The Madison Bulldogs had three place-winners at the State A Wrestling Tournament, which concluded on Saturday night at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
Madison High School senior Colby Mennis had the best finish of all of the Bulldogs. He placed second in the 160-pound class. Junior Sam Olson (120) placed third while junior Truman Stoller (113) placed fourth.
In the opening, round Mennis pinned Dillon Schneck of Milbank in just 30 seconds. He followed that with another pin over Landin Winter in 4:31 in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinal match against Brandon Valley's Jack Smith, Mennis fell behind 7-0 but came storming back to gain a major decision 20-7 win and advance to the championship match.
Mennis entered the championship match with a 39-3 record against Rapid City Stevens' unbeaten Cooper Voorhees (47-0). Voorhees was able to get a major decision 11-3 win over Mennis.
"I can't say enough about Colby and what he has done for our program," said Madison Coach Chris Waba. "Six years of varsity action and ending his career near 200 wins. He has set the bar high for our program, and we will be speaking his name in our room for a long time. Another final appearance for Colby to end his high school career is amazing and we are so proud of him. I'll still call him `champ'!"
Olson opened the tournament with a major decision win over Carter Hansmann of Watertown, 15-5. Connor Eimers slipped past Olson in the quarterfinals 2-1, putting Olson in a must-win situation for the rest of the tournament in order to place.
Olson picked up a 10-0 major decision win over Nick Roob of Vermillion and followed that with a technical fall win 16-0 over Dominic Santiago of Chamberlain. Olson earned a 10-6 decision win over Brayden Siemonsma to move him to the third-and fourth-place match.
Olson faced Eimers again and turned the table on him to gain a 2-1 win.
"Sam is a competitive young man that seems to rise to the occasion and finds a way to win," Waba said. "He had an awesome season and finished the State Tournament with three straight wins on Saturday. He is one good off-season away from being in a title hunt next year."
Stoller opened the tournament with an 8-2 decision win over Steven Permann of Rapid City Stevens. Wyatt Stuntbeck of Tea Area edged Stoller in the quarterfinals 7-5.
Stoller rebounded nicely after his setback and pinned Jesse Jost of West Central in 44 seconds. He followed that with an 8-2 decision win over Andrew Weiland of Dell Rapids. Stoller gained another 8-2 decision win over Jordon Oehme of Brandon Valley to advance to the third- and fourth-place match.
Stoller faced Stuntbeck and Stuntbeck picked up his second decision win of the tournament over Stoller 5-0.
"Truman has been rock solid for us all year," Waba said. "He has a quiet confidence about him, and he is very business-like. We are very proud of Truman's effort all year, but at the State Tournament he was able to find even another level of excellence. We have one opponent to figure out in the off-season, and I look for Truman to be in the title hunt next year."
Madison seniors AJ Peters (145) and Thomas Seppala (195) each picked up one win over the weekend. Sophomore Isaac Henry and freshman Blake Johnson did not get a win.
"Like all tournaments, it's all about building momentum during the day," Waba said. "Our wrestlers searched for that throughout the weekend and were able to put together a good State Tournament. Our team score was down a little from last year, but with a little luck we would have been right on pace."
Rapid City Stevens won the team title with 159 points. Following the Raiders and rounding out the top 15 teams were Brandon Valley 158, Watertown 154.5, Pierre, 116, Rapid City Central 104, Chamberlain 82, Sturgis 76, Mitchell 75, Spearfish 72.5, Tea Area 72.5, Sioux Falls Roosevelt 67.5, Madison 61.5, Harrisburg 58.5, Brookings 50.5 and Aberdeen Central 50.
Madison faced the Rapid City Stevens Raiders in the team duals on Thursday with the Raiders coming out on top 46-30.
The Bulldogs had four pins out of their six wins against the Raiders.
Gaining pins for the Bulldogs were Mennis (160), Nathan Mapp (182), Seppala (195) and Tyler Reck (220).
Mennis pinned Zach Hale in 24 seconds.
Mapp picked up a 1:24 pin against Jayden Alexander.
Seppala pinned Dominick Rubio in 1:46.
Reck gained a 1:51 pin against Colton Doney.
Stoller earned a 6-3 decision win over Caleb Richter at 113 pounds.
Peters picked up a 9-7 decision win over Riley Benson.
"It was a great experience for us to participate in the dual portion of the State Tournament," Waba said. "We thought our kids put on a good showing and competed hard that first day. Rapid City Stevens was the eventual State Dual champions and proved to be too much for everybody this weekend."
Waba said he was happy for the non-qualifiers to get an opportunity to wrestle in front of a packed house.
"Hopefully it will be a positive enough experience for them to do what it takes in the off-season to get back there as a team again," he said.