Sebas Swiggum of Apple Valley (left) [Shari L. Gross - Star Tribune]
It was a little piece of advice, one that Sebas Swiggum had heard endlessly in his 12 years of wrestling training, that proved the difference as the Apple Valley senior pulled out a 3-2 victory over top-ranked Drew Woodley of Northfield in the 138-pound final at the Class 3A tournament at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.
“My coach [Apple Valley assistant] Rudy [James] has always taught us to never stop wrestling,” Swiggum said.
Swiggum trailed Woodley 2-1 late in the final period when that piece of wisdom paid off.
“I never stop to take breaks,” Swiggum said. “I caught Drew taking a break. He looked over at the clock. Right at that moment, I took a shot. A double-leg. I was just throwing a wild card in there and I ended up scoring on it.”
Swiggum beat Stillwater’s Trey Kruse 3-2 in the semifinals, gaining a measure of revenge for a 9-2 loss to Kruse earlier this season. Swiggum said the way he won — beating Kruse and then the No. 1-ranked Woodley — was significant.
“It makes it that much special to me,” he said.
It was the first state championship for Swiggum, who was runner-up at 132 pounds in 2018.
106: Pierson Manville, Shakopee
113: Paxton Creese, Shakopee
120: Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake
126: Reid Ballantyne, Stillwater
132: Trayton Anderson, Northfield
138: Sebas Swiggum, Apple Valley
145: Cael Carlson, Willmar
152: Willie Bastyr, Lakeville South
160: Gabe Nagel, Little Falls
170: Riley Habisch, Buffalo
182: Zach Glazier, Albert Lea
195: Calvin Sund, Prior Lake
220: Ezayah Oropeza, Rosemount
285: Bryce Benhart, Lakeville North