Four Tiger wrestlers become place winners

Published 9:07 am Monday, March 9, 2009

It was a very successful state tournament for a number of Albert Lea wrestlers and four came home with medals from the state tournament.

Sophomore Cory Hansen came out with a second place finish for the second consecutive year in the state individual tournament Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul while Cody Hansen took third, Dalton Westerlund fourth, and Logan Kortan fifth.

Senior Cody Hansen became a four-year state entrant and placed second in 2007.

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Kortan became the first five-time state entrant for Albert Lea and also the first wrestler to ever place five times at state. He leaves the program as the all-time leader in career victories.

Kortan defeated Dalton Lilledahl 7-0 in the fifth place match.

Westlerlund was the surprise at the state tournament for the Tigers. Westerlund, a freshman, wasn’t expected to go very far in the state tournament, as the second seed in the section tournament, but he was able to reach the semifinals and had a shot at third place at 119 pounds.

Westerlund lost his third place to Forest Lake’s Ben Morgan, a state champion last season at 112 pounds.

The Tigers will return two state entrants in Westerlund and Hansen next season. Freshman Trey Hable also made a lengthy run at 103 but lost his wrestleback match.

Other state entrants returning next season include Matt Tiegs, Carter Kortan, and Trevor Rasmussen.

Two other area wrestlers became medal winners Saturday.

New Richland-Hartland-Elledale-Geneva senior Colton Schlaak made his final trip to state a memorable won with a run to a third place finish.

Schlaak defeated Aaron Zimmer 5-2 at 145 pounds in Class A in the third place match to end his career on a strong note.

United South Central’s A.J. Dreyer had a surprise run through the tournament and came up with a sixth place finish.

Dreyer, a junior, was surprised by what he was able to accomplish this season.

Dreyer fell to the No. 1-ranked wrestler at 215 pounds, Brad Kneisel, when he was pinned in the first period.

Dreyer was a three seed at the section tournament and not expected to place at state entering the stat tournament.