United South Central sophomore Blake Legred had a tall task on the mats at the Class A state wrestling tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on March 2-4.
And he delivered.
Ranked second in Class A, Legred finished the season with a final record of 38-3 but was opposed by none other than top-ranked 106-pounder Ashton Clark, of Park Rapids Area, in the finals at state.
Clark needed a No. 1 finish on Saturday, March 4, to mirror former Park Rapids standout Tyler Safratowich, a three-time state-title winner in the early 2000s. But it was Legred who left victorious, claiming a championship with a 3-0 win.
A three-point nearfall in the third period marked the end of a scoreless start to the 106-pound title match and helped Legred edge Clark, making him the top finisher at his weight in the entire statewide tourney.
The USC sophomore's road to No. 1 started with an 8-0 major decision over New York Mills' Carter Haman on Friday, then continued with a win by technical fall over Blackduck's Trevor Janssen in the state quarterfinals.
Legred rounded out his tour to the state title match with a 7-0 semifinals victory vs. Windom-Mountain Lake's Brett Willaby.
USC's Gavin Sonnek also competed at the state level in St. Paul, falling in the opening round.