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Glazier falls in championship; Aldrich, Nielsen and Cantu take 3rd

ST. PAUL  — A day after suffering a right shoulder injury and a grueling Saturday morning match, Albert Lea sophomore Zach Glazier found himself in the state title match at 152 pounds.

He put up a good fight against Simley sophomore Anthony Jackson, but fell in the championship by a score of 5-3.

Albert Lea’s Zach Glazier takes on Simley’s Anthony Jackson in the championship match Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center. Jarrod Peterson/Albert Lea Tribune

Along with Glazier’s second place finish, Garrett Aldrich, Brody Nielsen and Nic Cantu all earned third place finishes.

Glazier met Lewiston-Altura-Rushford-Peterson’s McCoy Tekautz in semifinals match that would start with a lull and end on a high.

It took Glazier three overtimes, but he outlasted Tekautz to move on to the state championship, 7-6.

The two wrestlers spent the first period feeling out each other.

Glazier scored a point with an escape. Tekautz would even the score at 1-1 at the end of the second period. That set up a pivotal third period with a trip to the state championship on the line.

Action picked up at the end of the match. Tekautz scored a takedown and had Glazier in a bind. But with seconds remaining, Glazier was able to reverse it and nearly pinned Tekautz, but time ran out. Overtime ensued with the score tied at 3-3.

Glazier scored a point with an escape and then a two-point takedown. Tekautz would battle back with a takedown, but was still down 7-5. Glazier was called for stalling for the second time, awarding another point to Tekautz. He was unable to overcome the deficit with five seconds remaining, meaning Glazier would advance to the state championship.

Once there, he met Jackson, a defending state champion from 2016.

The two spent the first minute hand fighting and jostling back and forth. No wrestler went to the mat until 48 seconds were left in the first period. Jackson scored two points with a takedown. Glazier countered with a point on an escape. The 2-1 score would hold into the second period. Jackson started down and earned an escape in the opening seconds to make it 3-1. Jackson would earn another takedown 45 seconds into the period to go up 5-1. A Glazier escape made it 5-2. He started the third period down, but was able to escape Jackson for the third time. Down 5-3, Glazier knew he had to make a move, but Jackson did a good job at staying on his toes and deflecting Glazier’s attacks.

It wasn’t the ending he wanted, but Aldrich finished off his high school wrestling career with a third-place finish. After winning two matches on Friday, Aldrich suffered a loss in the semifinals on Saturday morning. He would rebound to win later in the morning, and then hung on to win the third=place match.

Aldrich faced Waconia’s Tyler Wagener in his semifinal match.

Wagener scored two points with a takedown with less than a minute remaining in the first period. Wagener kept scoring as he added a point for an escape and two points for a takedown in the second period to go up 5-0. He would add two more points to start the third period, Aldrich showed some signs of life with a reversal in the final minute of the match, but Wagener countered with a reversal of his own and would go on to win the match 12-2.

Aldrich would then face Hibbing’s A.J. Bethea.

The two would wrestle the first period with neither notching a point. In the second period, Aldrich came out aggressive, but Bethea earned a point for an escape to take a 1-0 lead. Aldrich would continue to put pressure on Bethea throughout the period.

That aggressiveness paid off in the final 45 seconds of the period when Aldrich scored two points for a takedown. The match would enter the third period with a score of 2-2. Aldrich scored another point for an escape to go up 3-2. Aldrich would extend his lead to two points, 5-3, with 15 seconds left and that’s how the match would finish.

Albert Lea Garrett Aldrich faced Detroit Lakes’ Braydon Ortloff in a third place match Saturday afternoon.

In his third place match, Aldrich faced Braydon Ortloff of Detroit Lakes. Aldrich found himself on the offense from the first whistle, earning two points via takedown. After Ortloff earned a point, Aldrich took him down again to go up 4-1 and would add three more points at the end of the first period to go up 7-1.

He found himself being a little too aggressive in the second period and Ortloff nearly pinned him. Instead, Ortloff took three points for the near fall and earned three more points to make it 7-6 at the end of the second period.

In the third period, Aldrich played more of a defensive style. Still up 7-6 with 30 seconds remaining, both wrestlers tried to make a move. Aldrich earned an escape and hung on for the win.

He finished his career at Albert Lea as the all-time leader in wins, a four-time placer at state and three-time state champion. He will wrestle at St. Cloud State University.

Nielsen faced Hibbing’s Morgan Fuenffinger in his semifinal match.

Fuenffinger would stay unbeaten as he won a hard-fought match, 7-3. He limited Nielsen’s offense early in the match and had built a 4-point lead halfway through the second period. Nielsen pulled off a nice reversal off a restart to cut the lead in half. Fuenffinger earned an escape to go up 5-2 with 45 second remaining in the second period. Nielsen earned a point thanks to an escape, but still trailed 5-3 with 1:24 left. He earned a takedown with 25 seconds left and Nielsen was unable to generate any offense late.

Nielsen took on Scott West’s Parker Huss in the consolation bracket.

Nielsen earned a point with an escape in the second period to go up 1-0. He worked Huss in the third period. It took about 40 seconds, but he finally pinned him.

Albert Lea’s Brody Nielsen works the leg of South St. Paul’s Josh Oberg in their third place match Saturday afternoon.

He would face South St. Paul’s Josh Oberg. Nielsen earned two points via takedown, then pinned Oberg 20 seconds later to earn third place.

After winning his opening match on Friday, Cantu suffered a defeat that sent him into the consolation bracket, meaning it would be a long road back just to place at state.

“I was bummed I couldn’t pull off a win (Friday) in my quarterfinal match,” Cantu said. “But I knew I had to forget about that match and come back and wrestle my hardest to place third.”

Cantu won a match Friday night that kept him alive, and set him up for a long but terrific Saturday.

Cantu began his day with a match against Jerry Simes (Litchfield) with a chance at finishing in third place. Cantu scored two points in the first period, then added two more with a reversal in the third period to win 4-0.

Cantu would then face Foley’s Nathan Graceau with a spot in the 106-pound third-place match on the line. Cantu went to work right away and worked Graceau over before pinning him just before time expired in the first period.

Albert Lea’s Nic Cantu looks for advantage against Foley’s Nathan Graceau in their third place match Saturday afternoon.

In the third-place match, Cantu took on Simley’s Cael Berg. Cantu scored two points in the opening minute and would hold a 2-0 lead after two minutes. He would earn two points on a reversal to go up 4-0 in the second period. Berg was able to score a point at the end of the period, but still had a lot of work left to do. Cantu’s early lead would hold up as he stymied Berg’s offensive attacks to win.

It was pretty intense and nerve-racking,” Cantu said after his win. “With this being my first time participating in the state tournament. I knew that if I truly wrestled my hardest, I could get third place. I made sure I could end the tournament with a win.”