Double matted

Published 3:29 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Albert Lea Tigers and Owatonna Huskies wrestling teams are, once again, the frontrunners in the Big Nine Conference and Section 1A this season.

The Huskies enter the season ranked No. 3 in the state while the Tigers are No. 6, and both teams have a number of individuals ranked in the state’s top 10.

Among them is Albert Lea sophomore Lucas Hansen, a sixth-place state finisher last season, and currently ranked No. 3 at 112 pounds behind the Huskies’ Nick Scheffert, arguably the top wrestler in the Big Nine.

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Tigers’ sophomore Garrett Wangsness ranks No. 10 in 119, junior Trey Hable is No. 7 at 145, junior Dalton Westerlund is No. 4 at 152, senior Corey Hansen is No. 3 at 160, senior Carter Kortan is No. 6 at 171 and senior Conner Kortan is No. 8 at 189.

Owatonna has five wrestlers in the top 10 and four in the top five.

Albert Lea head coach Larry Goodnature said the Tigers’ strength will be experience, returning six all-conference performers, but their weakness will be depth due to low numbers.

The Tigers started practice Monday and have their first meet Dec. 4 in Hastings.