Tigers headed to next round

Published 9:08 pm Sunday, February 21, 2016

Albert Lea’s Zach Glazier wrestles Saturday during the Section 1AA tournament in Rochester. - Pam Nelson/For the Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Zach Glazier wrestles Saturday during the Section 1AA tournament in Rochester. – Pam Nelson/For the Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea will send 5 wrestlers on to state tournament in St. Paul

Five Tigers will continue their season at the state level.

The Albert Lea wrestling team competed in the Section 1AA wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.

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“We brought 13 wrestlers over there, and all 13 placed,” said Albert Lea coach Larry Goodnature. “They wrestled with that Albert Lea wrestling attitude.”

Five of those 13 Tigers will advance to the state tournament: Zach Glazier, Garrett Aldrich and Brody Nielsen, who each placed first in the section tournament; and Chris Nelson and Matt Palmer, who both placed second.

“We had an awesome weekend,” Goodnature said. “They wrestled great, and they made some big improvements from the beginning of the year through now.”

A number of Albert Lea wrestlers had to battle their way through the section tournament to punch their tickets to state.

At the heavyweight class, Palmer had to beat Kasson-Mantorville’s Brett Paulson — who had already defeated Palmer twice earlier this season — in order to advance to the finals.

During the finals of the tournament, Glazier at 126 pounds had to defeat defending state champion Keaten Schorr from Kasson-Mantorville. The two had previously wrestled each other twice this season, splitting victories. On Saturday, Glazier beat Schorr in overtime to take first place and advance to the state tournament.

Nielsen entered sectionals as the No. 3 seed at 138, and defeated No. 1 seed Isaac Haman of Kasson-Mantorville on his way to first place.

“That was a huge win for Brody,” Goodnature said.

At 170, Nelson fell to the No. 1 seed in the early rounds of the section tournament, forcing him to roll through wrestlebacks in order to get to the second-place match. During wrestlebacks, Goodnature said Nelson had to wrestle opponents he had previously lost to, and also had to wrestle one opponent two separate times.

“He really had a gutsy week,” Goodnature said of Nelson’s performance. “He came back through wrestlebacks, and that’s hard to do.”

Nelson is the only senior advancing to the state tournament, meaning that fellow seniors Parker Mullenbach and Mason Hammer wrestled their last matches for the Tigers varsity team.

“They wrestled hard and really ended their careers with their heads up,” Goodnature said. “They gave it everything they had and left it all on the mat. You can’t ask for anything else. I’m very proud of them.”

With just three seniors wrestling varsity over the weekend, the other 10 in the lineup will return next season — a season Goodnature said is sure to be another big one.

“If we can make those big improvements again next year, it’s going to be another big year,” he said.

According to Goodnature, Albert Lea will wrestle in the first sessions of the state individual tournament beginning at 9 a.m. Friday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The first round matchups will be as follows:

126: Glazier (36-6) vs. Drew Vanvleet of Mora (34-5)

132: Aldrich (39-4) vs. Anthony Dawson of Simley (25-16)

138: Nielsen (30-7) vs. No. 1 seed Anthony Jackson of Simley (36-4)

170: Nelson (31-12) vs. Mitch Kotschevar of Albany (37-3)

Heavyweight: Palmer (14-8) vs. Joshua Schatz of Scott West (11-1)

Quarterfinals will begin at 4:30 p.m. Friday, with wrestlebacks starting at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, semifinals will begin at 10:45 a.m. following wrestlebacks. Third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place matches will begin at 4:30 p.m., with championships starting at 7 p.m.

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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