Mason Moreno reacts after winning his semi-final match against #3 ranked Jason Meyer of Sibley East, Arlington.
By Mary Nelson
Mason Moreno earned a trip to the State Wrestling Tournament at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul which was held on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1 after placing first in sections the week before.
His expectations going into the state tournament was to win a state title. "I'm pretty sure that was my coaches' expectations too!" Moreno said. "I wanted to attack and completely dominate. For my first two matches I did."
Mason's first match was against #5 ranked Tyler Berghuis of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in which he won 8-2. He then faced K-W's Ted Androli. Mason won a close match against him during the regular wrestling season. Mason moved on to the semi-final match after beating Androli 10-4.
One more win and he would be guaranteed a place on the podium. To do that he'd have to beat the third ranked wrestler in the state, Jason Meyer of Sibley East, Arlington. Mason was trailing toward the end of the third period 3-2.
There were just a few seconds left in the match. That's usually not enough time to pull off a win but Mason proved it's not impossible. He was able to take down Meyer before time expired getting the 4-3 victory to advance to the championship match.
"What was going through your head during the end of that match?" I asked.
"I was thinking about a move Coach Masching was beating into my head all week called the 'bull whip'. I got into position where I could do it and it worked perfectly!" Moreno replied.
It was an unbelievably exciting moment for Mason, Coach Heydt, Coach Masching, his family and fans. In the championship match, Mason would go up against the #1 ranked wrestler in the state, Quinten Berres, who was also last year's 126 lb state champion.
Mason wrestled Berres like he wrestled any other wrestler - aggressively - moving around the mat, and setting up shots. Berres got the first takedown. Mason reciprocated with an escape. In the second period, Mason chose down. He tied things up 2-2 with an escape. Then towards the end of the second period Mason used a lateral throw on Berres recording a takedown to put him up 4-2. Berres escaped before the end of the period. Berres chose down in the third period. He tied up the score with an escape. With about twenty seconds left in the match, Berres got a takedown going up 6-4. This time Mason wasn't able to get into position for any move against Berres to try to score.
Mason would end his high school wrestling career placing second at state.
"This state tournament experience was a lot of fun!" Moreno said. "My coaches Brad and Shane made sure I was prepared for what would be my last tournament. I could not have asked for any better coaches."
Many wrestlers compete at state each year, some get there once while others make multiple trips. Many don't ever step onto the podium. But for someone who goes from never getting onto the podium to placing second, that's quite an accomplishment! It was an amazing journey Mason! Congratulations!
"I'd really like to thank the Hayfield Community, my coaches, teammates, my family and wrestling family for all of their support throughout my wrestling career," Mason said.