3 Tigers still in the hunt

Published 7:10 pm Friday, February 26, 2016

Albert Lea's Zach Glazier wrestles Hector's Brock Luthens at 126 Friday during the state wrestling tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. - Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Zach Glazier wrestles Hector’s Brock Luthens at 126 Friday during the state wrestling tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

ST. PAUL — Three Albert Lea wrestlers will advance to the semifinals after each of them went 2-0 Friday during the state wrestling tournament at Xcel Energy Center.

Tigers Garrett Aldrich, Zach Glazier and Matt Palmer were undefeated through the Class AA quarterfinals Friday, meaning they’re guaranteed a place in the top six of their respective weight classes.

At 132 pounds, Aldrich pinned Anthony Dawson of Simley in 1:20 to start off Friday, before winning a 13-1 major decision over Glencoe’s Dylan Pundsack.  Aldrich, a back-to-back state champion the past two seasons, will look to repeat his success at this year’s tournament. He was set to wrestle Waconia’s Tyler Wagener in the semifinals Saturday, who he defeated last year to win his second state title.

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“With Garrett Aldrich being a two-time state champion, we’re looking for him to get to finals again and win it all again,” said Albert Lea coach Larry Goodnature. “And Zach Glazier’s had a great tournament, and we’re hoping he can get to the finals and bring home a state championship, also.”

Glazier won a 4-0 decision over Mora’s Drew Van Vleet in his first bout Friday, before taking a 6-5 decision over Brock Luthens of Hector at 126. On Saturday, Glazier was set to wrestle Belle Plaine’s Jackson Stauffacher.

“The kids are wrestling great,” Goodnature said. “And the big surprise is Matt Palmer, coming up (to St. Paul) unseeded.”

Palmer got an unexpected bye in his first round of the 285 weight class matchups, with Scott West’s Joshua Scatz forfeiting. Palmer then went on to defeat Albany’s Tyler Baird in a 2-1 decision in Friday’s quarterfinals, and was then set to face Detroit Lakes’ James Huwe in the semifinals Saturday.

Albert Lea’s Brody Nielsen and Chris Nelson also wrestled Friday at the state tournament.

Nelson lost his first match in the 170 weight class to Albany’s Mitch Kotschevar. With Kotschevar losing his quarterfinal match, Nelson was eliminated from the tournament competition.

“The kids are really wrestling tough,” Goodnature said. “It’s the state tournament. The best in the state are up here right now.”

At 138, Nielsen lost his first bout to No. 1-seed Anthony Jackson of Simley, but battled back through wrestlebacks. In the consolation quarterfinals, Nielsen won a 5-1 decision over Fairmont’s Collin Steuber. He was scheduled to contend with Isaac Haman of Kasson-Mantorville on Saturday, who he previously defeated in the Section 1AA tournament to earn his trip to the state competition. If Nielsen defeats Haman, he can place in the top six of his weight class.

“We brought up five guys, and we’re looking to place four out of the five,” Goodnature said. “That’s a good weekend up here.”

Look to albertleatribune.com and Monday’s print edition of the Tribune for more state wrestling coverage.

About Colleen Harrison

Colleen Harrison is the photo editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She does photography and writes general-assignment stories.

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