Lake Mills narrowly takes section championship; Northwood-Kensett sends 2 on to districts

Published 9:35 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Lake Mills wrestlers squeaked out a sectional championship Saturday, edging Central Springs by one point. Both teams qualified for regional duals Tuesday night.

“It was an interesting week for us, as we were only able to practice once due to the weather,” said coach Alex Brandenburg. “I feel this created some extreme inconsistency for us today as we had some extreme highs and lows.”

All in all, Lake Mills did enough to get the job done and win the tournament.

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“It is nice to know we can still win a tournament even if we have some struggles,” Brandenburg said. “I think we wrestled better than at conference and should continue to get better down the stretch.”

Seven Bulldogs also qualified for the district tournament as individuals. Four of them were champions: Jimmy Gallardo, Tyler Helgeson, Caiden Jones and Elijah Wagner. The three who advanced as runners-up were Jack Ramaker, Casey Hanson and Zack Wagner.

“It was nice to get half of our line-up through to districts.” Brandenburg said. “Hopefully these guys can wrestle just as well at districts and qualify for state.”

With the win, Lake Mills will host MFL-MarMac, Nashua-Plainfield and North Butler-Clarksville at regional duals. The Bulldogs will square off against NBC in one semifinal while No. 8 MFL faces N-P in the other.

Northwood-Kensett also wrestled at the sectional meet and advanced two wrestlers on to the district tournament. Juniors Caden Schrage and Giddeon Rollene each took second place, earning their spot at districts.

Schrage, at 132 pounds, won his first match via a 16-0 tech fall, followed by a third-period pinfall in the semifinal match. He fell in a major decision in the first-place match, but remained in second place after there was no wrestleback in the class.

Rollene received a bye in the first round and earned his way into the championship final after a pin in the third period of his semifinal match. He lost in an 8-3 decision in the finals, but was good enough to remain in second place with no wrestleback.

The seven Bulldogs and two Vikings who remain will compete Saturday at the district tournament in Lake Mills. Wrestlers must again place in the top two to earn their sport in the state tournament.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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