As Shane Undem neared the end the 145-pound championship wrestling match at the Valley City Holiday Tournament Saturday, even he had his doubts over whether he’d be able to pull out a win.
With the clock ticking down into the final 20 seconds against Wahpeton’s Wyatt Meyer, the Valley City High School junior trailed 6-5 and Meyer wasn’t giving him much to work with.
“He’s a strong defensive wrestler and when you get someone like that it’s hard. They’re good at what they do on defense and it’s hard to generate any moves against him.”
But when the two were forced to restart at the 12 second mark, Undem knew it was his chance. And only seconds later, he got the points he needed with an arm drag takedown that got him two points and gave him the 7-6 win in the match.
He was one of two champions in the tournament for the Hi-Liners, who finished 5th as a team at their last meet before Christmas.
“I looked at the clock and saw I only had like 12 seconds left in the match and just figured I had to throw something,” Undem said. “I thought maybe I had a little more time but didn’t really have much time left so I was like ‘there’s no time like the present, you’ve just got to hit it.’”
The win came after a grueling match. After the first period the two were tied 0-0.
As the match went on, Undem fell behind, and eventually tied the match at 5-5 before Meyer took the late advantage.
But even as time was getting close in the third period when Undem was trailing, Valley City coach Aaron Larson had plenty of faith in his ability to pull out a win.
“I know Shane well enough I knew he could get it done. I knew he’d go down swinging anyway even if he didn’t get it done,” Larson said. “He just never gave up, he always believed he could get it done, and he did.”
Undem was one of four wrestlers who was in a championship match at the tournament. The only other champion from the school was Brandon Larson at 195 pounds.
Hi-Liners Zach Doty lost 2-0 in sudden victory in the 144 pound championship and Stephen Radermacher lost by pinfall in 3:45 in the 182 pound championship.
In Larson’s win, a pin over West Fargo Junior Varsity’s Zach Eider in 1:40, he took a bit of a different route than his teammates.
While Doty, Undem and Radermacher all spent the first period getting a feel for their opponent, Larson went straight for Eider and controlled him for almost the entire match. He had a 6-0 lead before the pinfall at 1:40 in the first period.
Brandon Larson said it was a basic match and there was no point where he doubted his ability.
“It’s just another match, I guess,” he said. “I just go out there, know that I’m better and win.
Doty’s match ended in dramatic fashion.
For nearly the entire match, he was able to avoid takedowns from Fargo North’s Andy Walton.
Neither of the two scored a point in the regulation periods and Walton won with a quick two points early in the sudden victory period.
“He lost to a tough kid,” Aaron Larson said. “That kid’s undefeated, a senior. He’s tough and Doty’s going down a weight class, so he was actually a little small.”
Despite Doty’s championship loss, Aaron Larson was pleased with how he performed, in part because Doty’s bracket contained five returning state placers.
“To get second and beat three of them, that’s pretty darn good,” he said.