Theisen makes it to state
March 3, 2023
The Cloquet-Esko wrestling program got a lift from one of its youngest members last week. Eighth-grader Aiden Theisen finished second in the Section 7AA 113-pound weight class, advancing to this weekend's individual state tournament in St. Paul.
Theisen reached the 7AA championship match, falling to Carter Young of Pierz. The state meet is March 2-4 at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul.
Cloquet almost qualified another wrestler to state, as eighth-grader Cavan Fjeld lost at 106 pounds while wrestling in a true second wrestle-off at sections.
Earlier this season, Theisen finished second in the six-team Great River Conference tournament at 113 pounds. He's one of the team's many underclassmen who have set groundwork for program successes to come.
"It is remarkable that an eighth grade student athlete in a combat sport like wrestling can advance to the state tournament. It is very rare," said head coach Al Denman.
Denman pointed at the difference in the physical development and skill level of an eighth grader versus high school opponents, many of them in grades 10-12.
"The fact that he's able to place in the top two is a remarkable feat and something the community should be very proud of," Denman said.
Denman said Fjeld and Theisen practice together and are both talented.
"These two guys are going to go places," he said. "This is the first of many state tournament stops for these two."