OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Even with some varsity regulars out of the lineup, the Stillwater wrestling team power through a quadrangular meet with three comfortable victories on Thursday, Jan. 2 at Stillwater Area High School.

The No. 2-ranked Ponies opened with a 51-25 Suburban East Conference triumph over Woodbury and followed with nonconference wins over Eagan and Albert Lea.

“We’ve been talking about it the last three weeks that there’s no excuses and the next guy has to step up and fill in,” Ponies coach Tim Hartung said. “We had five guys in our lineup that we wouldn’t consider our No. 1 guy but they all wrestled really well and they’re doing a pretty good job.”

Stillwater fell behind 10th-ranked Woodbury after losing at 106 pounds, but then reeled off victories in eight of the next nine matches to seize control.

The loss in that opening match ended a remarkable run for the Ponies (5-0 SEC, 7-0), who blanked each of their first four conference opponents to start the season. Stillwater notched an astounding 62 consecutive victories — including 37 pins in 41 non-forfeited matches — in those dual meets while outscoring teams by a combined 327-0.

It was a combination of strong wrestling and match-ups that provided some forfeits in some of the weight classes the Ponies are more vulnerable.

“It matched up perfect,” Hartung said. “I didn’t think shutting out any of those opponents is something we thought we would do, but it happened to hit us perfectly.”

Sam Bethke (113 pounds), Elijah Wilson (120), Reid Ballantyne (138), Trey Kruse (152), Ryder Rogotzke (160), Hunter Lyden (170) and Roman Rogotzke (195) each recorded pins for the Ponies against Woodbury.

Stillwater also received an 11-2 major decision by Matt Hogue over Cade Johnson at 132 pounds.

The Ponies responded quickly after dropping the opening match.

“Everybody jumped into line and we took the momentum back,” Hartung said.

Stillwater followed with a 65-12 victory over Eagan in its second dual of the evening.

The Ponies won the first 11 matches before Eagan got on the board.

One of those victories was a 13-0 major decision for Kruse over Eagan’s Ty Gage, who is ranked fifth at 152 pounds in Class AAA by the Guillotine. Kruse is the top-ranked individual at 145 pounds.

“We were looking forward to that and he handled the match really well,” Hartung said. “It was nice to see Trey dominate.”

Stillwater also dispatched Albert Lea 57-15 to close out the night.

“Albert Lea also had a few guys out of their lineup,” Hartung said. “They’re a little tougher than they appeared, but we’re super strong right now and our kids are wrestling well and it was going to take a really good effort for them to beat us.”

Wilson (120 pounds), Lyden (160), Ryder Rogotzke (170) and Roman Rogotzke (182) each recorded three pins in as many matches for the Ponies. Kruse remained undefeated on the season with three victories and Matt Hogue also finished 3-0 in the quadrangular for Stillwater.

Stillwater is scheduled to host the eight-team Pony Stampede on Saturday, Jan. 11. It’s a stronger field compared to most years, with third-ranked St. Michael-Albertville joining the Ponies as this year’s favorites. The varsity quarterfinals are expected to begin around 10 a.m., and matches will continue with the final round duals expected to begin around 3 p.m.

Stillwater 51, Woodbury 25

106 — Alex Braun (Wo) major dec. Dylan Dauffenbach, 9-0; 113 — Sam Bethke (St) pinned Kaiden Kirby, 2:00; 120 — Elijah Wilson (St) pinned Blake Tinsley, 1:57; 126 — Will Bents (Wo) dec. Ben Colagiovanni, 7-4; 132 — Matt Hogue (St) major dec. Cade Johnson, 11-2; 138 — Reid Ballantyne (St) pinned Ryan Holt, :22; 145 — Corrstian Riesselman (St) tech fall Nick Howe, 17-2; 152 — Trey Kruse (St) pinned Sebastian Zamorano, 2:53; 160 — Ryder Rogotzke (St) pinned Omar Abdelal, 1:59; 170 — Hunter Lyden (St) pinned Nick Sieczkowski, 1:45; 182 — Brock Rinehart (Wo) pinned Nicholas Dauffenbach, 1:27; 195 — Roman Rogotzke (St) pinned Tre Hockenberger, 2:50; 220 — Mason Barrows (Wo) pinned Logan Warren, :59; 285 — Denis Tokin (Wo) pinned Andrew Rantila, :14.

Stillwater 65, Eagan 12

106 — Dylan Dauffenbach (St) won by forfeit; 113 — Sam Bethke (St) won by forfeit; 120 — Elijah Wilson (St) pinned Kevin Dang, 1:49; 126 — Matt Hogue (St) won by forfeit; 132 — Ben Colagiovanni (St) major dec. Kyan Carstensen, 12-1; 138 — Reid Ballantyne (St) pinned Austin Kalina, 2:54; 145 — Corrstian Riesselman (St) dec. Noah Kipp, 12-10; 152 — Trey Kruse (St) major dec. Ty Gage, 13-0; 160 — Hunter Lyden (St) pinned Noah Stejskal, 1:36; 170 — Ryder Rogotzke (St) pinned Jaden Williams, 2:31; 182 — Roman Rogotzke (St) pinned Zach Jacobson, 3:14; 195 — Jack Kelley (Eag) pinned Jawahn Cockfield, 4:54; 220 — Logan Warren (St) won by forfeit; 285 — Diego Villeda (Eag) pinned Andrew Rantila, 1:35.

Stillwater 57, Albert Lea 15

106 — Dylan Dauffenbach (St) pinned Nick Korman, 2:53; 113 — Aivin Wasmoen (AL) dec. Sam Bethke, 2-0; 120 — Elijah Wilson (St) pinned Casen Knutson, 2:36; 126 — Matt Hogue (St) pinned Triton Cox, :30; 132 — Cameron Davis (AL) dec. Ben Colagiovanni, 8-4; 138 — Owen Bouthilet (St) pinned Tucker Ericksmoen, 2:39; 145 — Luke Moller (AL) dec. Corrstian Riesselman, 4-3; 152 — Trey Kruse (St) dec. Cole Glazier, 5-0; 160 — Hunter Lyden (St) pinned Caleb Talamantes, NA; 170 — Ryder Rogotzke (St) pinned Tyler Barney, 1:02; 182 — Roman Rogotzke (St) pinned Kadin Indrelie, 3:14; 195 — Jawahn Cockfield (St) pinned Adam Semple, 5:13; 220 — Logan Warren (St) pinned Trevor Ball, 1:44; 285 — Hayden Johnston (AL) pinned Andrew Rantila, :32.

Contact Stuart Groskreutz at stuart.groskreutz@ecm-inc.com

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