11 December 2010

Wrestling: Big strides at Big Lake

10 Farmington place winners at Big Lake Invitational

A week after placing 10th at the Lakeville Invitational the Tigers took a big step forward with a fifth place finish at the Big Lake Hornet Invitational held Friday, Dec. 10.
Monticello won the team title at the eight-team meet with 247 points. North Branch took second with 193, followed by Big Lake 169.5, St. Cloud Apollo 155, Farmington 138, Sartell-St. Stephan 133, Spectrum Legacy 62.5 and Rush City 40.
Farmington had a great first round, racking up 66 points, but managed just five in the second. The Tigers bounced back the rest of the day, however, and won nine of 10 bouts in the placing matches.
"The young men on this team are surprising us with how well they are handling themselves," coach Chad Olson said. "We have a lot of depth (45 wrestlers) on this team for the first time in a long time and it shows when we compete because with depth comes competition in the wrestling room."
Freshman Jacob Gabbard made his varsity debut and brought home the highest Tiger finish of the meet by winning two of three matches, both by pin, in the 103 lbs. class to take second.
"Jacob was leading in the championship match before he got caught and lost by pin," Olson said.
Five Tigers earned third place medals, including Josh Iverson (135), Carl Elmer (145), Joe Hoeve (152), Tyler Beckett (171) and Dakota Louis-Dupay (215). Iverson, Elmer, Hoeve and Beckett each finished 3-1; Louis-Dupay won two of three matches.
Elmer, the fifth-rated Class AAA 145-pounder in the state, lost 7-5 to No. 8 ranked Patrick Mork of North Branch in the second round, his first defeat of the season, but came back to decision fourth-ranked Jake Schmitz of Monticello 6-2 in the third place bout.
Four more Farmington entrants turned in fifth place performances, including John Waltz (112); Brayden Chapman (119); Jake Rudeen (130) and Chris McCue (140). Each split four matches.
Heavyweight Jamie Scavone was injured in his first match and couldn't continue but still managed a sixth place finish.
"The biggest highlight of the day was winning nine out of 10 placing matches," Olson said. "We also had 24 wrestlers competing in the junior varsity meet. That's the second week in a row where we have had the most wrestlers in a tournament."
This Friday, Dec. 17, the Tigers hit the road again for the two-day Redwood Valley Invitational at Redwood Falls.