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Franek sets N.D. wins record as Packers take East Region wrestling title

West Fargo's Jared Franek is all smiles after his win at 160-pounds during the Eastern Dakota Conference high school wrestling tournament at West Fargo on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.David Samson / The Forum1 / 5
West Fargo's JJ Harms defeats Valley City's Jonathon Langer at 138-pounds during the Eastern Dakota Conference high school wrestling tournament at West Fargo on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.David Samson / The Forum2 / 5
West Fargo Sheyenne's Chase DeBlaere controls Grand Forks Central's Brock Brandon at 113-pounds during the Eastern Dakota Conference high school wrestling tournament at West Fargo on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.David Samson / The Forum3 / 5
Fargo Davies' Ty Weber takes down Wahpeton's Braden LeNoue at 132-pounds during the Eastern Dakota Conference high school wrestling tournament at West Fargo on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.David Samson / The Forum4 / 5
Fargo North's Danny Monatukwa fends off Grand Forks Central's Josh Isassi at 120-pounds during the Eastern Dakota Conference high school wrestling tournament at West Fargo on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.David Samson / The Forum5 / 5

WEST FARGO—Jared Franek was a freshman when West Fargo graduate Jordan Shearer set a North Dakota record with 259 career wrestling wins.

Franek won his first state championship that year. Now he's broken his old teammate's wins record and could be on his way to a fourth state title.

Franek, ranked No. 1 in Class A at 160 pounds, beat David Peterson of Valley City by fall in one minute and was among five Packers wrestlers to win East Region championships on Saturday, Feb. 10, at West Fargo High School.

That victory gave Franek 261 for his career as he set a new all-time record in North Dakota.

"It's just another stepping stone to my final goal," Franek said. "It's pretty cool growing up with (Shearer) and just watching him do as well as he did knowing I'm right there with him."

Setting a new state record is cool enough for Franek, a North Dakota State commit, but he's more focused on winning his fourth state championship in four years.

"I just kept getting better every year," Franek said. "I just kept pushing myself to get better everyday and building up wins over time."

West Fargo's Cade Pederson, JJ Harms Joel McIntosh and Riley Kringlie all won individual region championships to help the Packers win the team title with 239 points.

Pederson, who won the 160-pound Class A state championship last season, beat Jaden Haugen of Grand Forks Red River with an 8-6 decision in the 182-pound championship. Pederson, the No. 2-ranked wrestler at 170, moved up a weight class so his teammates could have a better chance at winning. He took down Haugen, ranked No. 2 in the state, in the final period to secure himself a region title.

"I'm still going to wrestle the same way," Pederson said. "They're a little bigger so I just had to be a little more patient."

Harms, a two-time state champion, won the East Region title at 138 over Valley City's Jonathon Langer. Harms, ranked No. 1 in Class A, was nearly pinned by Langer when the two rolled over each other, but Harms ended up on top to win by fall in 1:40.

McIntosh, the No. 3-ranked wrestler at 170, needed a comeback and a 3-1 sudden victory to finally beat No. 6-ranked Innocent Nsengiyumva of Davies.

Both Nsengiyumva and McIntosh had near takedowns in the final stretch of the third period. The match went to sudden victory and McIntosh stayed inbounds and took down Nsengiyumva for the region title.

"It feels really good," McIntosh said. "We had a lot of people come today, so I think all that support really helped push me."

Kringlie defeated Grant Sullivan of Grand Forks Central by fall in the first period for his first 220-pound East Region championship. Kringlie, the No. 4-ranked wrestler in Class A, scored late in the first period on a takedown and leveraged himself until he had Sullivan pinned.

"The hard work we put into practice is starting to pay off," Kringlie said. "I just had to stick to my gameplan and wrestle hard."

Fargo Davies trio wins region titles

Andre Baguma, the top ranked wrestler in Class A at 285, won the East Region championship over No. 2-ranked Jaden Oestern of Valley City by a 6-3 decision. Baguma was nearly pinned in the second period but worked his way out of it. He built up a two-point lead in the third period and preserved the lead.

"It definitely builds up my confidence for state," Baguma said. "I trained for it. It wasn't given to me."

Ty Weber took the 132-pound region championship with a 12-3 major decision over Braden LeNoue of Wahpeton.

Jaden Mairs of Davies secured a narrow 7-6 decision win over Parker Vilandre of Devils Lake in the 152-pound championship. Vilandre tied the match at 6-6 midway through the final period and allowed Mairs back up for a one-point escape. Vilandre nearly got the final takedown he needed, but Mairs, the No. 3-ranked wrestler in Class A in his weight class, fended him off.

"I just had to wrestle my match and wrestle smart," Mairs said. "This is always the best time to peak and to do your best."

DeBlaere becomes first Mustang to win East Region title

West Fargo Sheyenne's Chase DeBlaere defeated Brock Brandon of Central by fall in the third period of the 113-pound championship to become the first individual to win an East Region title in the program's three-year history.

DeBlaere, the No. 2-ranked wrestler in Class A in the weight class, nearly won by fall to end the first and second periods. Although he was already winning by 10 points, DeBlaere, who wrestled for Davies last year, got his pin in the third period.

"It's pretty cool," DeBlaere said. "For the competition that's going to challenge me (at state), it's a good warmup. I feel like I've been working a lot harder."


Fargo South's Jacob Thomas and Ashise Gurung ended up facing each other in the 106-pound region championship. Thomas, the No. 3-ranked wrestler in the Class A weight class, secured the pin in the second period. ... Fargo North's Danny Monatukwa defeated Josh Isassi of Central in the 120-pound championship with a 14-7 decision. Monatukwa was up 6-5 to start the third period and scored a one-point escape and a two-point takedown early in the final period. Isassi scored three points on a reversal to get within two points, but Monatukwa scored six straight points to finish the match with the win.

Team scores: West Fargo 239, Valley City 209.5, Fargo Davies 172, Devils Lake 161, Grand Forks Central 160, Fargo North 105, Wahpeton 85, Fargo South 63, West Fargo Sheyenne 60, Grand Forks Red River 49.5.

Championship matches

145: G. LeNoue, W, fall Mohr, FD, :48. 152: Mairs, FD, dec. Vilandre, DL, 7-6. 160: Franek, WF, fall Peterson, VC, 1:00. 170: McIntosh, WF, sudden victory dec. Nsengiyumva, FD, 3-1. 182: Pederson, WF, dec. Haugen, GFRR, 8-6. 195: Tangen, VC, dec. Masumbuko, WF, 5-4. 220: Kringlie, WF, fall Sullivan, GFC, 1:40. 285: Baguma, FD, dec. Oestern, VC, 6-3. 106: Thomas, FS, fall Gurung, FS, 2:42. 113: DeBlaere, WFS, fall Brandon, GFC, 4:28. 120: Monatukwa, FN, dec. Isassi, GFC, 14-7. 126: Larson, VC, tech. fall Humble, GFC, 15-0. 132: Weber, FD, maj. dec. B. LeNoue, W, 12-3. 138: Harms, WF, fall Langer, VC, 1:40.

Colton Pool

Pool is a reporter for The West Fargo Pioneer covering city sports and community news. He was the sports editor for The Dickinson Press covering Dickinson State athletics, high school athletics and Southwest Speedway. He graduated from North Dakota State with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. You can reach him by phone at 701-451-5715 or tweet him @CPoolReporter. 

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