Tigers advance 5 to state tournament
Published 9:49 pm Saturday, February 24, 2018
The Albert Lea wrestling team entered the second day of the Section 1AAA individual tournament with 11 wrestlers still in contention for a trip to the state tournament.
Three Tigers were crowned champions of their weight class, while two more finished in second, sending a total of five wrestlers to the state individual tournament.
The first champion to claim his title was senior Gavin Ignaszewski. His first match of the day was a tight one, coming down to the final minute before he jumped ahead of his opponent, winning in a 5-4 decision. Ignaszewski’s second match wouldn’t be much different, beating his opponent 2-1 in a final-period thriller and winning the 132-pound bracket.
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Senior Brody Nielsen was the second Tiger to claim a section title. Nielsen left little doubt during any of his matches spanning the tournament, as he pinned his way to the championship. It took Nielsen 33 seconds to put his opponent away in the finals match.
Junior Zach Glazier was the third and final championship winner for the Tigers. After receiving two byes on Friday, Glazier came out and made quick work of his opponents on Saturday. Both of his matches ended in pinfall victories, as he advanced himself to the state tournament.
The second-place finishers were eighth-grader Cameron Davis and senior Jake Johnsrud. Davis advanced to the final round by winning his semifinal by ultimate tie breaker. Although he would lose his finals matchup, Davis took second without having to wrestle again and earned himself a trip to the state meet as just an eighth-grader.
Johnsrud dominated in his first match of the day, winning by a 6-0 decision. He would run into a tough opponent in the finals however, and he was unable to get a victory in his final match of the tournament. Just like Davis however, Johnsrud would not have to wrestle a true-second match and finished the tournament in second place.
Other Tigers who wrestled on Saturday, but failed to qualify for state were seventh-grader Cole Glazier, junior Brady Nielsen, and seniors Logan Donovan, Levi Kermes, Spencer Indrelie and Ty Harms.
Cole Glazier would finish in fifth place at 106 pounds going 2-2 in the tournament with a 10-2 major decision to win the fifth-place match.
Brady Nielsen would battle back up the consolation bracket after losing in the semifinals, 7-0. He would earn a true-second match against a tough opponent from Owatonna and would come up just short of a state tournament opportunity, losing 3-0 and finishing in third place.
Donovan would also finish 2-2 at the tournament with one pinfall in the consolation bracket and a 3-0 decision win securing him a fifth-place finish. Kermes would finish in sixth place after losing a high scoring, 18-16 decision in the fifth-place match.
Indrelie would battle to the consolation finals, but was unable to secure a victory and earn a true-second match. He finished in fourth place with a 2-2 record on the weekend. Harms would conclude his tournament run with a 2-2 record, including two pinfalls and a fifth-place finish.
Overall, the Tigers finished with three champions, two second-place finishers, one third-place finisher, one fourth-place finisher, three fifth-place finishers and one sixth-place finisher.
Glazier, Nielsen, Ignaszewski, Johnsrud and Davis will being their state tournament bids at 9 a.m. Friday when the first round starts at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The entire Tigers lineup will also be back in action when it starts the state dual tournament at 9 a.m. Thursday against Willmar.