Albert Lea wins Big Nine championship

Published 5:05 am Friday, February 6, 2015

Gavin Ignaszewski of Albert Lea wrestles Rochester Mayo's Tyler Glomskie Thursday at 120 pounds. — Pam Nelson/For the Albert Lea Tribune

Gavin Ignaszewski of Albert Lea wrestles Rochester Mayo’s Tyler Glomskie Thursday at 120 pounds. — Pam Nelson/For the Albert Lea Tribune

The first goal on a long list was realized by the Albert Lea wrestling team.

The No. 3 Class AA Tigers crushed Rochester Mayo 57-14 Thursday to win the Big Nine Conference title and finish undefeated in conference duals for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

“The kids got the job done,” said Albert Lea coach Larry Goodnature. “We got a lot of falls, and we accomplished what we set out to do. We’ve improved every time we’ve stepped out onto the mat.”

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Overall, the Tigers finished 30-1. The only blemish was against No. 2 Class AAA St. Michael-Albertville, a team that completed a perfect season against teams from Minnesota Thursday with a 44-19 win at No. 11 Class AA Waconia.

Albert Lea was 10-0 in Big Nine Conference duals. The Tigers’ closest match was a 32-27 win Jan. 24 at Owatonna. Even with that included, Albert Lea beat conference opponents by a combined score of 556-131 for an average victory of 42.5 points per match.

Against Mayo, Albert Lea started with four straight falls. A minute hadn’t run off the clock, and the Tigers already led 12-0. At 106 pounds, Albert Lea’s Joe Peterson pinned Aaron McKinley in 38 seconds; Zach Glazier followed with a fall in 26 seconds at 113.

Gavin Ignazewski pinned Tyler Glomskie in 2:35 at 120 pounds, and Beau Johnsrud maintained the trend with a fall in 3:18 at 126. Mason Hammer, Chris Nelson and Triston Westerlund also pinned their opponents. Tim Christianson won with a forfeit, and Brandon Neal took down Mayo’s Josh Jackson with a 5-0 decision.

The Spartans managed decisions at 132, 145, 160 and 195 but were unable to muster any bonus points.

Albert Lea’s scoresheet overflowed with bonus points. The Tigers won 10 of 14 bouts and posted eight falls, a win by forfeit and a decision.

Next, Albert Lea will host the Section 1AA dual meet on Thursday. The schedule has not been announced.