Park Center High School delivered more state qualifying wrestlers this year than in any other year. To top it off we even qualified a PCSH gymnast at their state meet. This year we had 5 wrestlers who made it to state: Alex Vosberg, Mike Boettner, Alec Dickens, Justin Miller and James Sims. Ashley Klatte was our talented gymnast who made it to state.
The wrestlers stayed at a hotel in St. Paul. They spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the meet. Upon arrival on Wednesday, all of the wrestlers were weighed in and went through the tedious “skin checks”. Each wrestler had their own weight class to make, Mike was heavyweight, Alec was 171 lbs, Justin was 165, James was 152 and Alex made 125. Our wrestlers, being a part of Division AAA, were scheduled to wrestle at 7:30 am. This meant leaving the hotel by 6:30 am and arriving at the Xcel by 7:00am. To prep for their matches our wrestlers jogged, drilled moves, and stretched. Mental preparation was one of the more difficult parts of the meet. Senior Justin Miller thought of his matches being his last so he could focus all of his energy into performing his best ever. This was Justin’s second time to the state meet so his matches weren’t as nerve-wracking as they were to the other four. James was nervous enough that he was shaking before his matches. The crowds cheering and going nuts added to the shaky nerves our competitors had. Although none of our wrestlers won a match, it was still an exciting time. The completion of their season was followed by tons of food. With no weigh-ins to worry about the next day our wrestlers felt free to eat to their hearts content.
Our gymnast made it to state for “floor”. Floor is a competition based on a routine composed of tumbling, dance, and jumping. The routine is performed on a giant blue mat that provides more spring then a normal floor would. The meet was held at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, so unlike the wrestlers, Ashley decided to stay at home throughout the meet. The meet itself was pretty packed adding to the pressure Ashley faced. “It was the most nervous I have ever been,” said Ashley. She performed her one minute thirty second routine and scored 9.2, tying her highest score of the year. She placed 24th out of 50th.
One thing in common with all of our state athletes, they all put a lot of dedication into their sport. Some were pushed by the urge to do better, others pushed all out because they knew they had what it would take to make it to state, while the rest of them gave every ounce they had to their sport out of the love of the game. Another common agreement was that the state meet experience is like no other and was one of the most enjoyable experiences in their life.