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USC’s Legred wins state title

ST. PAUL — Making it to the state finals, let alone making it to the state tournament, is a long, hard road. A wrestler incurs three matches against tough competition to just to make the finals. But for United South Central sophomore Blake Legred, he not only completed that journey, but he won the whole dang tournament.

Legred defeated Park Rapids’ Ashton Clark in the state finals Saturday night in front of a packed Xcel Energy Center by a score of 3-0.

Legred’s trek began on Friday when he took on New York Mills’ Carter Haman (23-16) in the first round. He had very littler trouble with Haman, winning by major decision 8-0 at 106 pounds. In his quarterfinal match against, Legred had no trouble with Trevor Janssen of Blackduck. Legred jumped all over Janssen early and never let up, going on to win by technical fall (16-0) to move into the semifinals.

United South Central’s Blake Legred has his hand raised after winning the Class A state title at 106 pounds Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Jarrod Peterson/Albert Lea Tribune

Legred would move into the semis where he faced Brett Willaby. He scored two points at the end of the first period and then scored three points coming on a reversal and takedown in the second period to go up 5-0. Legred would wear down Willaby and defeat him 7-0.

In the championship bout, Legred squared up with Clark.

The two wrestlers took the first period to feel out each other, trying to find a weakness or wait for the other one to make a mistake. In the second period, Clark gained a bit of advantage on the ground, but wasn’t able to secure any points. That sent the match scoreless into the third period where Legred would take advantage of starting behind Clark. Legred got three points for a near fall to go up 3-0 with about a minute left in the match. That would end up being the final tally, as Legred secured his first state title.