Wrestlers take state trip
After a three-year absence, the Bulldog wrestlers qualified for state competition when they beat Rocori, 37-17, and Annandale-Maple Lake, 33-19, at sections last February.
The Bulldogs' Jesse Spates and Lee Hiltner brought home medals, but the team only placed sixth, down four places from their 1992 state trip, when they brought home a second-place trophy.
In the first round against Heron Lake-Okabena-Lakefield-Jackson, the Bulldogs won only five matches and lost 32-38. Tim Roberg, Zach Welle, Spates and Hiltner notched pins for the Bulldogs and Nick Utsch earned a major decision.
After a slow start in the consolation semifinals, the Bulldogs beat Zumbrota-Mazeppa 34-13. Paynesville lost to Scott West 35-19 in the consolation final. The Bulldogs were able to win only five individual matches and brought home a sixth place trophy.
Hiltner wins heavyweight
Although the Bulldogs couldn't pull off a team championship, junior Lee Hiltner won the Class A heavyweight title.
In his first match, Hiltner beat Plainview-Elgin-Millville's Sam Siebenaler 6-1. He then pinned Fulda-Murray County Central's Aaron Konz in 3:27 and advanced to semifinals.
Hiltner pulled out a last-second takedown and beat Shane Waverly of West Central Area. In the last seconds of the semifinals, Hiltner was behind 4-3, but his takedown reversed the score to 5-4 in Hiltner's favor.
The final round went into overtime. In the last seconds of regulation, Hiltner tied the score at 9-9 and claimed the state title with a takedown in overtime.
Fenske at nationals for Army
In March, Army junior Brad Fenske won two and lost two at the 1996 Division I NCAA Wrestling Championship.
Fenske, the lone Army wrestler, earned his trip to the championships in a wildcard bid. He slimmed down from 150, where he had wrestled all season, to 142 pounds.
Fenske lost his first round, then won two matches later that night in the wrestlebacks. The next afternoon, he was eliminated by Illinois' Jon Vaugn, 5-3.
Fenske was two wins short of finishing in the top eight and earning All-American honors.
Fenske, the son of Dallas and Pat Fenske, graduated from Paynesville Area High School in 1992.
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