Tigers wrestle to 3-0 start

Published 9:17 pm Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Albert Lea wrestling team’s seniors provided a necessary boost Saturday, winning 17 of 18 individual matches and helping the Tigers win all three matches at a season-opening tournament in Hastings.

Caleb Gaudian pinned all three of his opponents in the first period, and heavyweight Alex Nielsen upset No. 4-ranked Zach Vine as the No. 6 Tigers (3-0, o-0 Big Nine) defeated No. 8 Prior Lake, Centennial and Stoughton, Wis.

“For a first showing I thought we looked pretty good,” Tigers head coach Larry Goodnature said. “We found out what we need to start working on, too.”

In their first match against Prior Lake, the Tigers fell behind 17-3 and 23-10 after their first five wrestlers lost.

The Tigers rallied, though, and won the match’s heaviest five weight classes to edge the Lakers 37-23.

“It was a pretty tough match to start the year out with but a big win for us,” Goodnature said. “It was all because of our seniors.”

The Tigers got off to a better start against Centennial as Dakota Wangsness and again won the five heaviest weight classes, as Nielsen beat Vie, one of the top five heavyweights in the state, 7-4.

In the day’s final match, the Tigers won at all but two weight classes and topped Stoughton, Wis. 52-13.

The Tigers wrestle again at 5 p.m. Thursday against Rochester Century at Albert Lea High School.