Tigers wrestle 3 ranked teams

Published 9:27 am Monday, December 2, 2013

Albert Lea grapplers go 1-2 at Raider Duals on Saturday

Albert Lea doesn’t pad its non-conference schedule with cupcakes.

In the first wrestling action of the season on Saturday, the Tigers faced a ranked opponent in all three of their matches at the Raider Duals in Hastings.

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“We’re in these tournaments where every team in the tournament is a ranked team, and in the long run it’s going to help us,” Goodnature said. “We’re pleased with going 1-2, because we wrestled some good competition.”

Goodnature said he scheduled the non-conference meets, while Albert Lea athletic director Chris Chalmers scheduled the Big Nine Conference meets.

Albert Lea, ranked No. 10 in Class AA, beat Coon Rapids and lost to Scott West and Hastings.

Against No. 9 Class AA Scott West, the Tigers began with five straight wins. Garrett Aldrich, Gavin Ignaszewski, Bryce Hoyt, Beau Johnsrud and Blake Smith notched victories before Scott West stormed back by winning six of the next nine matches. Albert Lea’s Tristan Westerlund gave the Tigers hope with a pin at 220 pounds, but Scott West won 33-31 when Daniel Kochlin pinned Will Mendez in the heavyweight class.

“We were within a whisker of beating Scott West,” Goodnature said. “In their previous match, they tied No. 2 (Class AAA) Scott West 26-26, and I was really pleased with how we took them down to the wire.”

Against No. 4 Class AAA Hastings, Albert Lea earned four wins. Hoyt and Westerlund won by pins, and Johnsrud and Derek Samudio won by decisions. Hastings won 54-18.

In Albert Lea’s 42-24 win over No. 12 AAA Coon Rapids, the Tigers dominated the lightweight classes. Aldrich, Ignaszewski, Hoyt and Johnsrud gave Albert Lea a 24-0 lead with four straight pins. Devin Nelson added another fall at 145 pounds, as did Westerlund at 220. Santana Acosta and Samudio won by decision.

Going undefeated at the meet for the Tigers were Westerlund, Samudio, Hoyt and Johnsrud. Westerlund pinned all three of his opponents. Samudio won by a two decisions and a major decision, and Hoyt and Johnsrud won two pins and a decision.

“I was happy with the way we wrestled the whole day,” Goodnature said. “We competed in every individual match, and as a team we fought hard. That was nice to see.”

Next, Albert Lea will wrestle at Austin at 7 p.m. Thursday.

View box scores in the Scoreboard: Nov. 30 post.