Tigers rock the Rumble

Published 9:12 pm Thursday, December 30, 2010

Albert Lea wrestlers place 11th of 64 teams at Rumble on the Red championships

The Albert Lea wrestling team was stranded an extra night in Fargo, N.D. Thursday after wintry weather forced the closure of I-94 eastbound.

The stay was much sweeter after the Tigers placed 11th of 64 teams in the Rumble on the Red Wrestling Championships at North Dakota State University’s Fargodome and had four wrestlers place in the top eight.

“We had a great tournament,” Tigers head coach Larry Goodnature said. “When you have 64 teams, each round eliminates guys and it gets tougher. It’s a good tourney for all our kids to see this type of competition.”

The Tigers finished with 123.5 points, behind 10th place Frazee’s 125.5. Scott West, the No. 4-ranked team in Class AA took home first place with 201.5 points.

The Tigers’ 103-pounder Dakota Wangsness placed eighth, 152-pounder Dalton Westerlund placed third after winning a 2-0 decision over Scott West’s Tyler Zilverberg, 189-pounder Connor Kortan placed eighth and 215-pounder Caleb Gaudian placed sixth.

Garrett Wangsness, Trey Hable and Cory Hansen were each a match away from placing but all lost in the final seconds of their last match.

This was the first year the Tigers have wrestled at the Rumble on the Red.

“It’s a brutal tournament,” Goodnature said. “Those that didn’t place got up to eight matches and some good experience.”

The Rumble on the Red was the second of three consecutive two-day tournaments for the Tigers.

Last weekend, the Tigers placed ninth at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament in Rochester and next weekend Albert Lea participates in the 32-team Clash National Wrestling Duals, also in Rochester.

“It’s a tough three weeks of competition,” Goodnature said. “But I have a team this year that can handle it and they’ve proved it.”

The Tigers open the clash at 4 p.m. Friday against Carl Sandburg High School, Illinois.