22 December 2013

Wrestling: A good showing in Rochester

Jamin LeDuc placed second in the 113 lbs. division (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington continued its rugged December schedule this weekend with their first-ever appearance in the prestigious Minnesota Christmas Tournament in Rochester.

The 33-team, multi-state event featured top notch competition and the Tigers did more than hold their own, finishing 15th in the final team standings with 87 points. National power and defending Minnesota champion Apple Valley led the talented field with 292.5 points. Fargo West (North Dakota) placed second with 179 and Prior Lake ranked third with 169.

"The weekend was very enjoyable," coach Chad Olson said. "Our wrestlers competed hard in a tournament which is much tougher then the state tournament...We placed ahead of 4four state-ranked teams even though we had some wrestlers who were fighting some illnesses."

113-pounder Jamin LeDuc led the effort at Rochester, winning his first four matches before losing by decision to Hunter Marko of Amery, Wisconsin in the title bout. Marko is a returning Wisconsin state champion and the No. 1 ranked 120-pounder in the state this season. Three of LeDuc's four wins came against state-rated opponents.

Matt Rustad took fifth place at 132 lbs. (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Matt Rustad may have had the best tournament of any of the Tiger grapplers. Despite missing most of the week to illness, the 132-pounder won six of eight matches to win a fifth place medal. Three of his wins came against ranked opposition.

"Matt showed his mental toughness this weekend," Olson said.

Defending state champion Taylor Venz, who is wrestling up a couple of weight classes this season, went 3-3 at Rochester to finish sixth in the 126-pound division.

""Taylor wrestled well," Olson said. "He just ran into some really good competition."

Olson also praised the efforts of Brayden Chapman (2-2) and freshman Eric Heusbourg (0-2), both of whom wrestled well against stiff competition.

Other Farmington results from the meet: Victor Gliva (106), 3-2; Jacob Gabbard (120), 2-2; Joe Liden (152), 1-2; Zach Seufer (160), 0-2; Jake Rudeen (170), 1-2; Joe Hoeve (182), 2-2; Trevor Frost (195), 0-2 and Godfrey Mpetey (285), 1-2.

Over the holidays the Tigers take their annual trip to Fargo, North Dakota for the multi-state Rumble on the Red at the Fargodome.