Han-Lindemyer, Venz earn Class 3A medals

One of the state’s up-and-coming young wrestlers, Farmington freshman Cole Han-Lindemyer, announced his arrival with a second-place finish in the Class 3A tournament last week.

Han-Lindemyer, making his first state tourney appearance, reached the finals at 170 pounds to close a 30-2 season. After taking first in his weight class at a “super regional” in Farmington on March 20, Han-Lindemyer advanced to the Class 3A final eight March 25 at St. Michael-Albertville High School.

He won by forfeit over Wazyata’s Alex Riley in the quarterfinals, then defeated Caleb Talamantes of Albert Lea 6-5 in the semifinals on an escape in the final 30 seconds. It was Han-Lindemyer’s second victory over Talamantes in less than a week; they also met at the Farmington super regional.

Stillwater junior Hunter Lyden defeated Han-Lindemyer 11-4 in the championship match. It was the second state title for Lyden, who won at 152 pounds last year.

Also advancing to the final eight at state was Farmington senior Parker Venz, who earned third place at 195. Venz (27-6) defeated Jacob Solheim of Mounds View by technical fall in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Roman Rogotzke of Stillwater 13-6 in the semifinals.

Venz faced a nemesis, Shakopee senior Joey Johnson, for third place and won 8-1. Just five days earlier Johnson defeated Venz 9-3 in the Farmington super regional.

Venz built a 5-0 lead over Johnson after two periods on two takedowns and an escape. Johnson was penalized one point for stalling in the third before Venz scored another takedown with one second remaining.

It’s the second state tournament medal for Venz, who finished fourth at 182 last year.

South Suburban heavyweights

Two wrestlers from the South Suburban Conference – Diego Villeda of Eagan and Kellen Stewart of Eastview – reached the Class 3A final eight at 285 pounds.

Villeda, a senior wrestling at state for the second consecutive year, won two of his three matches March 25 at St. Michael-Albertville High School. He beat previously undefeated Jagger Schack of Osseo 4-3 in the quarterfinals, scoring an escape with 1 minute, 14 seconds remaining for the deciding point.

Tyler Nebelung of Anoka defeated Villeda 2-1 in the semifinals, but Villeda decisioned Vincent Gladbach of Minneapolis Washburn 10-3 in the third-place match to finish 34-5.

Stewart, a senior, finished his season 30-5 after losing to Nebelung 4-1 in the quarterfinals and Schack 5-3 in the consolation semifinals. It was the second consecutive state appearance for Stewart, who will play football at Southwest State University.

152 pounds

Eagan junior Austin Kalina was in one of the toughest brackets of the Class 3A tournament. The final eight at 152 pounds included two wrestlers who went in undefeated and another with just one loss.

Kalina found himself matched in the quarterfinals with one of the unbeaten wrestlers, Cael Swensen of Wayzata, who won by fall in 1:53. Kalina’s season ended 23-17 after an 11-1 loss to Aiden Erickson of Hastings in the consolation semifinals.

Swensen went on to win the 152-pound championship.

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