The Winning Edge: Bulldog wrestlers finished strong at state meet

Published 8:34 pm Monday, March 6, 2017

GRAND MEADOW — If Christophor Bain had to sum up his senior year in athletics with just one word, it would most likely be ‘winning.’

In the fall Bain led the Superlarks football team to an undefeated season and its fourth straight Minnesota ‘nine man’ title as a running back and linebacker and this past weekend he wrapped up an undefeated wrestling season to win the 195-pound state title at Minnesota Class A state meet.

Bain was able to stay focused throughout the weekend without worrying about the pressure of the big meet.

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“I went out there trying not to think of anything so I wouldn’t have too much on my shoulders. I just took it one match at a time,” Bain said. “This has been a great senior year. Probably a senior year that a lot of seniors would like to have and I was lucky enough to have it. Hard work pays off. You just have to have confidence and you have to believe that you’re better than whoever you’re going against.”

While Jackson Hale, left, is just getting started on the state wrestling scene, Christophor Bain recently won the first ever state wrestling title by a Grand Meadow wrestler. Rocky Hulne/

While Jackson Hale, left, is just getting started on the state wrestling scene, Christophor Bain recently won the first ever state wrestling title by a Grand Meadow wrestler. Rocky Hulne/

Bain won his 100th career match in his state championship win and he is now the first GM wrestler to ever bring home an individual state wrestling championship. As a co-op, the GMLOS Bulldogs now have won seven total state individual championships — with the last one coming in 2005 when Joe Bunne won a state title.

As Bain was making history, another GM football player Brenn Olson nearly matched him in the winner’s circle. Olson, who played quarterback and cornerback in the fall, took second place at 138 pounds in his second career appearance at the state meet. He was glad to finish his high school wrestling career next to Bain, his long-time friend.

“We grew up thinking about winning state championships in football and wrestling. it was really awesome to be a part of it all,” Olson said. “The Grand Meadow community and our co-op community is unreal. We had at least 100 fans [at state wrestling] and you look at our football support and it’s great too.”

Olson was facing a little physical pain from an injury at the state wrestling meet, but he said that wasn’t going to keep him off the mat.

“There was no way I wasn’t going to compete my senior year at the state meet,” Olson said.

Jackson Hale, a sophomore who learned a lot from Olson when he was a youngster, took third at 106 for the Bulldogs. Hale was wrestling partners with Olson when Hale was a seventh grader and he said he learned a lot from Olson.

“Brenn and I used to be practice partners when I was a seventh grader and I remember he was always teaching me ways to finish,” Hale said. “I picked a lot up from Brenn and by watching Bain. You learn a lot from those guys.”

Hale said his experience at state has motivated him to come back even stronger next season.

“It drives me to want to be on top of the podium,” Hale said. “Third was awesome, but next year I want to be on top of the podium. That’s the goal.”

Olson was glad to see Hale succeed in his first state meet. Olson has always enjoyed working with younger athletes.

“It’s great to work with the younger wrestlers and help them along,” Olson said. “The little kids look up to you and I’ve had a couple of little kids look at me and tell me what I have to do differently. It helps the sport grow.”

GMLOS head coach Randy Smith said that it was a great year for the Bulldogs and a big reason for the team’s success was he leadership of Bain, Olson, Hale and Chris Romero, who also qualified for state at 113 pounds.

“All four of those kids that qualified for state, their work ethic is second to none,” Smith said. “They come to practice every day and work hard and most of them are working out before school starts. We’ve had some snow days this year and they’ve come in and worked out on their own. They were easy to coach this year because they were self motivated.”

As for Bain, he was satisfied with his own performance at the state meet, but he was equally excited about the time he was able to spend with his teammates.

“Wrestling is known as an individual sport, but it’s always great to have kids there with you,” Bain said. “It was a great experience and a great time with kids I grew up wrestling with.”