Rocori wrestler focused, well-fed

Rocori wrestler focused, well-fed


Rocori wrestler focused, well-fed


Wander underneath the stands at the Xcel Energy Center and there’s a common sight: Wrestlers, bundled up in hoodies and several layers of sweats, running laps around the perimeter of the arena.

It’s to sweat off that half pound or so in order to make weight.

Rocori’s Seth Klein has the complete opposite problem. Wrestling at 195 pounds, Klein is on the brink of being too light.

He weighed in at 181 Thursday, putting him 17 pounds below the state tournament maximum of 198. As recently as a few weeks ago, he was at 174.

“Five pounds of ziti,” Klein said, got him out of the danger zone.

For a wrestler, it’s an unusual –– and nice –– problem.

“I had a lot of food last night,” Klein said after he won his first-round Class 3A match, an 11-3 win over Farmington’s Mason Hawkins. The main entrée: Pizza.

One can almost hear the sighs and unmentionables uttered by other wrestlers at that previous sentence.

Klein (35-7) lost to Coon Rapids’ Tyler Berdahl 6-5 in the state quarterfinals Friday evening, sending Klein into the wrestlebacks.

“He wrestled well,” Rocori head coach Jeron Lieser said of his lone senior. “I think he’s refocused himself because it’s the end of his senior year.

“He doesn’t seem to let anything affect him.”

Klein said he prefers being in a heavier weight class, and not just because he can eat whatever he wants. He enjoys being the smaller, quicker guy against bigger and, at least theoretically, slower wrestlers.

“I like wrestling up,” he said. “I have been pretty much all year.”

Klein went into the state meet ranked 10th in the state at 182. Hawkins was ranked eighth at 195. Berdahl, who pinned St. Cloud Apollo’s Nick Graham in 1:57, is ranked third.

“He’s beaten ranked wrestlers before,” Lieser said.

After the Hawkins match, Klein talked to Graham about Berdahl’s style. It was a classy gesture by the two Central Lakes Conference rivals. Interestingly, the two were paired up in the wrestlebacks after Klein’s loss to Berdahl. Klein won 6-4 to remain alive.

Klein was scheduled for another wrestleback match later Friday.

Klein’s just happy to be wrestling. He overcame a multitude of injuries, illness and afflictions his sophomore year to continue.

He severely injured his collarbone, suffered a couple of concussions in football, tore his meniscus, seriously jammed a finger in a car door and then had four wisdom teeth pulled for good measure.

That wasn’t it. There was another injury in a meet against Eden Valley-Watkins.

He also got Lyme disease and a case of viral meningitis. And that’s just the lowlights.

“It was a rough year,” he said.

This one has been fun and, knock on wood, healthy. The Spartans had a successful dual-meet season and have a young team that should make them a CLC contender in 2015-16.

Lieser’s optimistic and so is Klein. The Spartans also had two sophomores wrestling at state Friday: 113-pounder Cole Steil and 145-pounder Nick Warne.

Though both lost, each got the kind of experience Lieser and his staff desired. The future’s bright, Lieser said.

This is the opinion of Times prep sports coordinator Tom Elliott. Contact him at 259-3661 or at Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @sctimestom.


More USA TODAY High School Sports
Rocori wrestler focused, well-fed

Seth Klein has an enviable life for a wrestler: He can eat pizza

I found this story on USA TODAY High School Sports and wanted to share it with you: %link% For more high school stories, stats and videos, visit