In their 132 lb. match, Reid Ballantyne of Stillwater, in the dark singlet, defeated Seth Bakken of Shakopee with a 2-1 decision. Photo: Jeff Wheeler * firstname.lastname@example.org
Stillwater junior Reid Ballantyne slumped in a folding chair underneath the stands at the Xcel Energy Center, a sore left knee in no way diminishing his enjoyment at just having joined one of state wrestling’s most exclusive clubs.
A 6-0 victory over Shakopee’s Ben Lunn at 132 pounds was Ballantyne’s fourth state championship match victory, making him the 27th wrestler in state history to win at least four. (A few minutes later, Kasson-Mantorville’s Patrick Kennedy made it 28.)
“I tweaked it,” Ballantyne said of his knee. “But the only thing it could do is hurt more, so just keep going, I guess.”
Ballantyne said winning four titles was a product of his relentless drive, something that comes naturally to him: “It’s just how I’m wired. Just get it done.”
Ballantyne used a late takedown in the second period to take a 3-0 lead over Lunn. That forced his opponent out of his comfort zone and Ballantyne cruised to an easy victory.
Well, with the exception of hurting his knee, but for Ballantyne, wrestling through injuries is simply what he does. He’s been battling them all season and had to stop and think about when the last time he was healthy going into the state tournament.
“I think when I was in eighth grade,” he said. “I definitely haven’t ended one healthy, though. It’s a meat grinder here.”
106: Jore Volk, Lakeville North
113: Blake West, Shakopee
120: Ryan Henningson, Winona/Winona Cotter
126: Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake
132: Reid Ballantyne, Stillwater
138: Cael Swensen, Wayzata
145: Trey Kruse, Stillwater
152: Hunter Lyden, Stillwater
160: Carson Manville, Shakopee
170: Max McEnelly, Waconia
182: Roman Rogotzke, Stillwater
195: RJ Chakolis, Hopkins
220: Isaiah Green, St. Cloud Tech
285: Bennett Weber, Waconia