Gallery: Tigers dismantle Rockets
Published 9:14 pm Thursday, January 2, 2014
The Albert Lea wrestling team earned four pins and dismantled Rochester John Marshall 55-10 at home on Thursday.
“It’s a nice win to get under our belt. We were aggressive and going for the fall,” said Albert Lea head coach Larry Goodnature. “Rochester (John Marshall) had a good team.”
The matchup at 120 pounds garnered the most hype because Albert Lea’s Beau Johnsrud, the No. 6-ranked wrestler in Class AA, was pitted against Rochester John Marshall’s Logan Saltou, the No. 8-ranked wrestler in Class AAA at 126 pounds.
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However, Albert Lea jumped out to a 49-6 lead, and the match that brought the fans on their feet was at 220 pounds.
Dominick Fadden, a junior for the Tigers, started the first varsity match of his career, and 43 seconds later he pinned his opponent.
“It felt good,” Fadden said. “I don’t know what happened. I was surprised.”
Goodnature paced the sideline. The Tigers jumped with excitement during the match and beamed with smiles and applause after Fadden won.
“Dom going out there and getting that fall for the first time on varsity — that was fun,” Goodnature said.
Fadden’s pin was fast, but it wasn’t the fastest of the night. Garrett Aldrich, the No. 7-ranked wrestler in Class AA at 106 pounds, took that honor. He pinned Justin Higgins of Rochester John Marshall in 41 seconds.
Aldrich’s fall gave the Tigers an early lead, just as it has many times this season. The freshman leads the team with 19 wins and 69 points.
“It was nice to see (Garrett) Aldrich keep up his winning ways,” Goodnature said.
Nick Kromminga and Tanner Palmer also earned falls. Kromminga did so at 170 pounds by beating Monte Ridley of Rochester John Marshall in 4 minutes and 42 seconds. Palmer pinned Kori McCarthy in 1 minute and 17 seconds at 182 pounds.
Winning with technical falls for Albert Lea was Bryce Hoyt — the No. 9-ranked wrestler in Class AA at 113 pounds — Santana Acosta and Derek Samudio. The trio won by a combined match score of 52-4.
Samudio racked up 19 points in 3 minutes to give the Tigers a 31-6 lead after the 160-pound weight class.
“I basically went out there and worked on my takedowns,” Samudio said. “I’ve been trying to get better at those. We practice those a lot in the wrestling room.”
At 145 pounds, Devin Nelson led Rochester John Marshall’s Carter Williamson 2-0 at the end of the first period. He extended his lead to eight points and earned two more points in the final seconds to push his advantage to nine points (11-2).
“You always like seeing kids dig in and get the major (decision) like that,” Goodnature said.
Albert Lea’s Gavin Ignaszewski won with a 10-4 decision at 113 pounds and Tim Christianson won by forfeit at 195.
In the battle of ranked wrestlers at 120 pounds, Saltou beat Johnsrud with a 6-1 decision. Goodnature said the duo split wins last season. Saltou won during the regular season, and Johnsrud bounced back with a win at sections. The two teams won’t meet at sections this year because Albert Lea is in Class AA and Rochester John Marshall is in Class AAA.
Other Tigers who lost matches were Blake Simon at 132 pounds and Will Mendez at heavyweight.
“I thought the guys wrestled well even in our losses,” Goodnature said. “That heavyweight Mendez lost to is really a good heavyweight, and he battled the whole time. I was happy with that.”
Albert Lea will play next at the Maple River tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday. Other teams in attendance will be Fairmont, Waseca, Madelia, Hayfield and Maple River.
Statistics are in the Scoreboard: Jan. 2 post.