Gallery: Tigers down Falcons

Published 8:31 pm Friday, December 5, 2014

Zach Glazier of Albert Lea pins Faribault's Ricky Maciel at 113 pounds Friday during a triangular with Waterville-Elysian-Morristown at Albert Lea. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Zach Glazier of Albert Lea pins Faribault’s Ricky Maciel at 113 pounds Friday during a triangular with Waterville-Elysian-Morristown at Albert Lea. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

A successful non-conference start was matched with the Albert Lea wrestling team’s dominance against its first Big Nine Conference opponent of the season.

The Tigers crushed Faribault 51-9 and beat Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 50-14 to sweep a pair of matches on Friday at their home triangular.

“Our goal this year is to be Big Nine champs, and that was our first step,” said Albert Lea coach Larry Goodnature. “We went out there and got the job done. We wrestled for the fall.”

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Against Faribault, the Tigers either pinned their opponents or won by forfeit through the first five weight classes to build a 30-0 lead.

After a win by forfeit at 106 pounds, Albert Lea got off on the right foot with Zach Glazier at 106 pounds. Glazier pinned Faribault’s Ricky Maciel in 55 seconds.

Garrett Aldrich, Gavin Ignaszewski and Beau Johnsrud followed by pinning their opponents.

At 138 pounds, Faribault won its first match with a 3-2 decision, and the Falcons followed with an upset victory by Ryan Mullennex over Devin Nelson, ranked No. 6 at 145 pounds in Class AA.

“We had a couple of kids who dropped weight, and I could see it affected them a little bit,” Goodnature said. “That first match is always tough, but we’ll be fine.”

The Tigers won six of the next seven matches starting with an 11-0 decision by Mason Hammer at 152 pounds.

“Everybody had a good night for us,” said Hammer. “Devin’s match was good, too. That kid he wrestled is pretty tough.”

Albert Lea’s Chris Nelson pinned Dillon Schrot in 3:31 at 170 pounds, Parker Mullenbach followed with a win by forfeit at 182 pounds, Triston Westerlund won an 11-0 major decision at 220 and Brandon Neal extended the Tigers’ lead with a win by fall against Hank Schultz in 1:08 at 285.

“I was glad to see Brandon Neal get on the winning track with a pin at heavyweight,” Goodnature said. “Dom (Fadden) wrestled well even in a loss. Mason Hammer looked good, and so did Chris Nelson.”

Against Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton, Albert Lea came out of the gates strong again.

This time, the Tigers built a 31-0 lead, lost three of the next four matches between 145 and 170 pounds and finished strong with three consecutive wins.

At 152 pounds, Albert Lea’s Santana Acosta was on the brink of upsetting Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton’s Brody Boran. However, Boran, ranked No. 2 in Class AA, edged Samudio with an ultimate tie-breaker win.

Albert Lea wrestlers who finished 2-0 were Joe Peterson, Glazier, Aldrich, Johnsrud, Samudio and Westerlund. Ignaszewski, Mason Hammer and Chris Nelson were 1-0.

The Tigers are 5-0 with wins over Prior Lake, the Class AAA defending state runner-up, Forest Lake, Stillwater, Faribault and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton.

Look for results from Saturday’s five-dual meet at New Prague in Monday’s Tribune.

Next, Albert Lea will host a triangular against Mankato East and Winona at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.