Three Tea Area High School wrestlers punched their tickets to the State Meet with one third place and two fourth place finishers at the Region 1A Tournament held in Dell Rapids on Saturday, Feb. 17.
“We’re extremely proud of how our kids came to compete at the Region Tournament from top to bottom. They left it all on the mat and even the kids who didn’t make it in really shined when their season was on the line,” said Titan head coach John Niesen. “It’s tough to perform in a high-pressure situation like that, and the kids responded well to the adversity.”
Those advancing to State were Titans: PJ Parmelee who captured third place at 182 pounds; JT Panning who claimed fourth place at 160 pounds and Kaden Johnson who earned fourth place at 145 pounds.
“We’re tremendously excited to get the three qualifiers in so they can experience what the state tournament is about; it’s a long, grinding few days and the exposure will be good for our kids,” said Niesen. “Having one freshman and two sophomores in, we’re going to see if we can get a few wins in early to build confidence and put us in position to bring home some hardware.”
The 2018 State A Tournament will be held at the Denny Sanford Premier Center on Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24. Action begins on Friday at 10 a.m.
Parmelee began his Region run with a pin over Sioux Falls Roosevelt’s Sam Knozem in 2:41. This win advanced him to the semi-finals where he lost to Watertown’s Jayden Hartford by fall in 3:29. Parmelee battled back in the consolation bracket where he won by fall in 3:47 over Mitchell Klinkenborg of Dell Rapids to reach the third/fourth place match. In the match, Parmelee won by fall yet again in 2:51 over West Central’s Clay Farmer to earn third place at 160 pounds and advance to State. Parmelee brings a 26-20 season record to State.
At 160 pounds, Panning began his Region run by pinning Dell Rapids’ Trystan Stahl in 3:21. This win advanced him to the semi-finals where he lost by fall in 1:41 to Madison’s Jarred Hodges. However, like Parmelee, Panning battled in the consolation round, winning by fall over West Central’s Zach Brown in 4:42 to advance to the third/fourth place match. In this match, Brookings’ Logan Bowes managed to win by fall in 2:48 over Panning, but with a fourth place finish Panning still secured his spot at State. Panning will bring a 21-25 season record to State.
Also claiming fourth place was Johnson at 145 pounds. Johnson began with a pin over Brookings’ Caden Wright in 2:35 to advance to the semi-finals. In the semi-final, Watertown’s Jake Werner won by fall in 4:51 over Johnson.
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