Tigers fall to Raiders in Section 1AAA championship
The Albert Lea wrestling team, the No. 6 seed in the Section 1AAA tournament, faced the tough task of taking on No. 1 seed Northfield Saturday morning in the section championship.
While the Tigers got some good performances out of numerous wrestlers, the Raiders matched up too well and were too powerful to be taken down. The Tigers lost the dual, 52-12.
Eighth grader Nick Korman, junior Cameron Davis and senior Caleb Talamantes were the only Tigers to pick up victories in the dual.
Korman won in a 5-1 decision at 113 pounds, Davis won a 7-3 decision at 152 pounds, and Talamantes won in a second-period fall at 170 pounds.
“Northfield was really tough down low and they match up about as good as anyone can against us,” said head coach Paul Durbahn. “We only ended up winning three of the 14 matches today. The kids still wrestled hard and there were many good wrestling matches out there today.”
In eight of the 14 weight classes, Albert Lea had eighth graders, freshmen or sophomores. Something Durbahn said is a good sign that the program will continue to get stronger in the future.
While the Tigers team season is finished, individuals are still alive hoping for a chance to make the Minnesota state tournament. The first rounds of the individual tournament start at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The top four wrestlers in each weight class then move on to the state preliminary tournament.
The state preliminary tournament will be held Saturday in Farmington. It will bring the top four in each weight class from Sections 1AAA and 2AAA, with the top two from each weight earning a trip to the state tournament.