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Packer wrestlers take eighth in invite as Russell takes first at 126

The Austin wrestling team finished eighth out of 16 teams at the Veldman Invite in St. Paul Saturday.

Brennen Russell took first at 126 pounds and Devon Felten took second at 113 for the Packers.

Russell, who is 21-6, won with a 10-2 major decision in the finals over Brandon Sullivan of Pierz. He also had a pin, a 16-6 major decision and a 6-4 decision over Seoulec Gunvalson of Benidle-St. Margaret’s.

“This was a fantastic tournament for Brennen,” Austin head coach Bill Kinney said. “He has stepped up his practice routine as of late, and it really paid off for him on Saturday. He did a nice job of dictating the action on offense.”

Felten, who is 17-6, picked up two first period pins and a second period pin on his way to the finals, where he was pinned by No. 3 ranked Jarred Oftedahl of Benilde-St. Margarets.

Oftedahl, who also beat Felten in the same tournament last year, took second in state last year.

“Devon had an outstanding tournament,” Kinney said. “. For the second year in a row there was a big offensive scramble in the first period, and for the second time Devon came up short. Last year’s match motivated Devon to bigger things in the postseason. Hopefully, we will see the same from him this year.”

Erick Power, who is 12-4, took fourth at 120 for Austin as he went 1-2, Dylan Diekmann, who is 19-8, took fifth at 132 as he went 4-1 and Brandon Cotter, who is 18-11, took seventh as he went 3-2.

“We wrestled a number of our younger varsity guys in the JV portion of this tournament to give them a little break from the varsity grind,” Kinney said. “We still placed in the top half of the tournament, and Riley Grinstead and Michael Gaines were champs in the JV portion of the meet.”