Albert Lea sends 2 on to championship semifinals

Published 5:32 pm Friday, March 1, 2019

ST. PAUL — Six Tigers started Friday morning with aspirations of becoming a state champion at the Minnesota state wrestling tournament in  St. Paul.

After the first day, two of them are still vying for a championship, while one is still making his way through the consolation bracket.

Senior captain Nic Cantu started the day for Albert Lea at 120 pounds. The No. 2-ranked Cantu flew to a first-round victory with a pinfall in only 47 seconds. In the quarterfinals, Cantu faced a tough opponent in No. 4 Nick Novak of New Prague. Cantu controlled the entirety of the match, however, coming out on top 3-0. He advanced to Saturday’s semifinals, where he will meet No. 1 Derrick Cardinal of Forest Lake.

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Eighth-grader Cole Glazier continued the win streak for the Tigers, notching a pinfall victory in the second period of his match at 126 pounds. Cole Glazier, the No. 4-ranked 126-pounder, advanced to the quarterfinals, where he lost a heartbreaker 2-1. In the fourth overtime period, he was unable to ride out his opponent, falling into the consolation bracket.

Once in the consolations, Cole Glazier came out on top of a back-and-forth 8-6 decision with a takedown in the third period. He advances to the consolation quarterfinals.

In the most exciting match of the first round for the Tigers, sophomore Caleb Talamantes picked up a bigtime win with a 12-9 decision in the ultimate tie-breaker round over No. 5 Jahsa Rankins.

Trailing 9-7 with under 20 seconds remaining, Talamantes shot a successful takedown to send the match to overtime. Neither wrestler was able to score in the first overtime period, followed by each wrestler riding out their opponent in the second and third overtimes. Starting on top in the fourth overtime, Talamantes flipped Rankins to his back to pick up three points and the win. He advanced to face No. 3 Nick Dunagan of Mounds View in the quarterfinals, where he came out on the losing end of an 11-0 major decision.

In his wrestleback, Talamantes fell to his Brainerd opponent in an 11-5 decision. The loss ends his sophomore season with a record of 31-21.

Sophomore Griffin Studier ran into a tough first-round opponent in No. 7 Chance Hinrichs. Studier fell to a pinfall in the second period and due to no wrestleback in his bracket, his season ends with a record of 22-21.

Senior captain and No. 1-ranked Zach Glazier made easy work of his opponent at 182 pounds. Zach Glazier won his first-round match via a 18-3 technical fall at 4:39. He moved into the quarterfinals to match up with No. 6 Grant Litke of Little Falls and the outcome was not much different, winning in another technical fall in the third period, 22-7. He advances to the semifinals, where he will square up with No. 3 Ben Schmalz of Mounds-Westonka.

Senior Brady Nielsen squared up with No. 1 Ezayah Oropeza in his opening match, falling to a pinfall in the first round. In his wrestleback, Neilsen couldn’t find the offensive firepower necessary to come out on top, losing to his Shakopee opponent 7-0. Nielsen ends his senior season with a record of 32-15.

Zach Glazier and Cantu move on to the semifinals, while Cole Glazier will try and reach a third-place finish in the consolation bracket. The consolations are scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, followed immediately by the championship semifinals.

Check back with the Tribune for updates throughout the tournament at and follow @altribunesports on Twitter for live updates during the day.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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