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On to State

Paulson finishes second at district; wrestles Thursday in Des Moines

By David Swartz - | Feb 17, 2021

Garrett Paulson

HUMBOLDT — Garrett Paulson did what he needed to do at Saturday’s Class 1A District Wrestling Meet in Humboldt to earn a trip to state.

As Estherville Lincoln Central’s lone district qualifier, Paulson wrestled all three of 170-pound bracket qualifiers to earn his spot.

In the semifinal match, Paulson dominated Lathe Muench of Southeast Valley, leading 4-1 after the first period, 7-2 at the end of the second and ending with a 17-4 major decision.

That set up a final against Colin Muller (31-6) of Osage. Muller scored a takedown in the first period and a reversal in the second to lead 4-0. Paulson escaped, but couldn’t score in the final period, as he lost 4-1.

“That was a tough kid, so a match we’ll try to flip if we meet him again,” said ELC coach Lee Hansen.

That sent Paulson in to the wrestleback against Spirit Lake Park’s Bryan Leathers (21-10)–the third meeting between the two wrestlers in the last three weeks. Paulson defeated Leathers at the Lakes Conference Meet 12-9, and won 8-3 the previous week at the sectional in Spirit Lake.

Paulson took charge from the start with a takedown and two-point nearfall halfway through the first period. Paulson led 7-1 entering the third period and a takedown and three-point nearfall helped seal up a 12-2 major decision.

“Garrett’s been grinding away all season long,” said ELC coach Lee Hansen. “It feels good to finally get him to state.”

The Class 2A First Round session starts at 6 p.m., Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Paulson’s (34-4) first match will be against fourth-ranked CJ Walrath (45-0) of Notre Dame/W.B./Danville. His second match will be against either Lucas Henderson (36-8) of Centerville or Kalen Meyer (25-2) of Central Lyon/George-Little Rock. Henderson is ranked 10th and Meyer is ranked third.