A Tiger with pedigree

Published 8:15 am Thursday, December 24, 2009

Albert Lea junior Cory Hansen has watched his four older brothers enjoy success on the wrestling mat and he has followed with his own achievements, but just one Hansen brother holds the distinction of being a state champion.

After a pair of second place finishes at the state tournament the previous two seasons, Hansen has the opportunity to become just the second state champion in the family.

The Hansens have had their share of near-misses and a multitude of incredible seasons, but since Josh’s state title as a junior in 2002 not one has taken the top place on the podium.

Email newsletter signup

“The younger ones always want to follow in the footsteps of their brothers,” said Albert Lea head coach Larry Goodnature. “Their goal is to do the same as their brother has and that’s definitely it with the Hansen boys.”

Cory is the second youngest of the six Hansen boys and all of his four older brothers have placed at the state tournament. They have also gone on to wrestle at Augsburg College where Beau and Cody wrestle now.

Josh won state at 103 pounds in 2002 as a junior and placed fourth as a senior. Zach placed third in 2005 and fourth in 2004. Beau took third and fourth at state, and Cody placed second as a sophomore and finished third in his junior and senior seasons.

Cory started the season ranked No. 1 at 125 pounds, but is ranked fourth at 130 pounds in the latest rankings by The Guillotine. He has wrestled most of the season at 135 pounds.

Watching and wrestling against his four older brothers has given Cory a pool of knowledge to draw from for his matches and made him a better wrestler. Out of all his brothers he said his style compares best to his Josh.

“I kind of wrestle like Josh more than any of my other brothers because we’re kind of the same kind of body type,” Cory said.

Though his style compares to Josh, Cory has drawn from all of his brothers for his matches.

“I kind of try to wrestle like them,” Cory said. “You kind of wrestle like them because you seen them a lot and then you might do some of the moves that they always do.”

Through his own experience and knowledge gained by watching his brothers wrestle it’s helped Cory know how to handle any number of situations that occur on the mat.

“Wrestling’s a sport where you have to experience situations, positions and you just react to those situations naturally, instinctively,” Goodnature said. “You just react to those situations because instinctively you’ve been there a number of times.”

Cory, who went 43-6 last year and finished sixth on the team in falls with 15, has focused this season on improving his ability to get a fall in a match as well as incorporating more takedown moves.

The Tigers need Cory to record more falls for the bonus points and he needs to add more takedown options to keep opponents off balance.

“The last couple of years I’ve relied on one or two takedowns and then if those aren’t there I’m kind out of luck,” Cory said.

With the knowledge Cory has built up through the years, rarely does he seem out of luck on the mat.