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Glazier grabs second state championship

ST. PAUL — After winning his first state title last season at 170 pounds, Albert Lea senior Zach Glazier said this year was about proving to himself that he deserved that championship.

After a dominating state tournament run and an undefeated senior season, Zach Glazier has done just that with his second consecutive state title.

Zach Glazier moved up a weight class to 182 this season and started out the year ranked No. 2 in the class. After quickly moving to No. 1, he stayed there for the remainder of the season.

In the state tournament he cruised to technical fall victories in both the opening and quarterfinal rounds, followed by a pinfall in the semifinal round. Two of those three dominating wins came against top-10-ranked wrestlers. In the championship match, Zach Glazier met No. 2 Cade King of Owatonna. King entered the matchup with a record of 43-4, all four loses coming at the hands of Zach Glazier.

Neither wrestler could get an upper hand on the other throughout the first period, ending the period in a 0-0 tie. Zach Glazier started the second in the bottom position, from which he escaped in the opening seconds. Up 1-0, it was again a battle on their feet and, again, neither was able to gain an advantage. Zach Glazier was on top to start the third and despite a few close rollout attempts, he was able to ride out King to the end of the period and win his second consecutive state title 1-0.

Zach Glazier talked about his impressive year.

“I’ve dominated everyone,” he said. “I’ve scored a lot of points and (King) has slowed me down all year, but I beat a good kid five times and that’s something to be proud of.

“It’s been a great year. I have no regrets looking back on my career. I’ve worked hard and my wrestling showed that. It’s been fun.”

Zach Glazier ends his high school career with his second consecutive state championship and a senior season record of 47-0. He is also Albert Lea’s all-time leader in wins.

“I don’t know if you can put into words how great of a kid he is,” said head coach Paul Durbahn. “He’s been a leader on and off the mat, he’s the hardest worker in the room and he puts more into this sport than anybody I’ve ever met. That’s the reason you see him winning matches like this. To beat a nationally ranked kid like King five times in a row is special; you won’t see many people do that. We’re all pretty excited right now.”

Albert Lea’s next-best finisher was senior Nic Cantu, finishing the tournament in third place at 120 pounds. Cantu also had a dominating start to his state tournament with a 47-second pinfall in the first round. He won a close 3-0 decision in the quarterfinals before losing a tough 6-4 decision in the semis to the eventual state champion.

In the consolations, Cantu won with a 4-1 decision in the semifinals, advancing him to the third-place match. Cantu met Nick Novak for the second time in the tournament, this time winning with just a one-point decision. Cantu scored a takedown midway through the first and controlled Novak for the rest of the period. He was unable to escape after starting the second period on bottom, keeping the score at 2-0 entering the third. Cantu rode Novak nearly the entire period, only surrendering the escape in the closing seconds, securing a 2-1 win and a third-place finish.

Cantu ends his senior season in third place with a record of 41-10.

“(Cantu) is unbelievable as well,” Durbahn said. “He’s a great leader as well and to come away with a third-place finish, especially after a tough loss in the semis, is pretty impressive.”

Four other Tigers competed at the state tournament, but were unable to get a spot on the podium.

Eighth-grader Cole Glazier qualified at 126 pounds and picked up a pinfall in his opening match, but would fall in the quarterfinals in a heartbreaking four-overtime match, in which he came out on the losing end of a 2-1 ultimate tiebreaker. He got back on track with an 8-6 decision win in his first consolation match, but lost another narrow matchup 4-2 in the consolation quarterfinals.

Cole Glazier ends his season ranked No. 4 with a record of 35-11.

Sophomore Caleb Talamantes qualified at 145 pounds with a thrilling overtime win at sections and started his state tournament with little difference. Talamantes won his opening match in an ultimate tiebreaker 12-9 after flipping his opponent to his back in the fourth period of overtime.

He lost in an 11-0 major decision in the quarterfinals and in an 11-5 decision in the consolation bracket. His season ends with a record of 31-21.

Senior Brady Nielsen qualified at 220 pounds after being in and out of the top 10 rankings throughout the year. He lost to the No. 1-ranked 220-pounder in the first round, sending him to the consolation bracket, where he lost his wrestleback to a 7-0 decision. His high school career comes to an end with a record of 32-15.

Sophomore Griffin Studier qualified at 152 pounds and fell victim to a pinfall in the second period of his first-round match. Due to his first-round opponent losing in the quarterfinals, Studier was not awarded a wrestleback — ending his season after one match at the tournament and a season record of 22-21.

“The tournament didn’t go the way a lot of them hoped,” Durbahn said. “I’m still proud of the way they wrestled. They had a couple tough draws, but they all wrestled with a lot of heart and wrestled with Albert Lea attitude. All around, I think it was a great tournament for our boys.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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