29 December 2013

Wrestling: Tigers a big hit in Fargo

Jamin LeDuc finished runner-up in the 113-pound division (photo by Jim Lindquist)
For four years coach Chad Olson has taken his Tiger wrestling team to the multi-state Rumble on the Red marathon at the Fargo Dome in Fargo, North Dakota, and each year the team's point total has trended upward.

This year it took off like a rocket.

Farmington racked up up 115.5 points over the weekend to place seventh among 69 teams in the mega-meet that featured competition from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Last year the Tigers scored 69 points and placed 27th in a 65-team field.

"To compete in a tournament of this size and competition and to be in the top seven is amazing," Olson said. "I received a lot of compliments from other coaches about how much our wrestlers have improved.

 "As their coach, I am so proud of how hard our young men competed against great competition for the third weekend in a row. It is only going to make us better in February."

Four Tigers found their way to the medal stand with 113-pounder Jamin LeDuc leading the way. LeDuc won his first four matches before losing a 4-3 decision to Owatonna's Tanner Cole in the championship bout. Leduc will take a 14-2 record into the 2014 portion of the schedule.

Joe Hoeve (182 lbs) finished 6-1 and placed third (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Joe Hoeve had a busy weekend for Tigers, winning six of seven matches to take third place in the 182-pound division. Hoeve won the his first two, dropped the third and then reeled off four straight, including a 4-1 verdict over United South Central's Colten Carlson in the third place match-up. In his last four matches Hoeve defeated opponents ranked in the top five in their respective states.

"Joe wrestled with confidence and was fun to watch," Olson said.

Defending state champion Taylor Venz (106 lbs.) provided a fourth place finish in the 120 lbs. bracket. Venz followed the same path to the third place finals as Hoeve, losing to Windom's
Joe Fischenich on a 9-6 decision in his last match of the weekend.

Matt Rustad won four of his first five bouts before losing the final two in the 132 lbs. bracket to finish in sixth place. Rustad dropped a 5-1 decision to Owatonna's Brandon Moen in the fifth place match.

Farmington filled 13 of 14 spots in their lineup for the big meet. Other Tigers competing included Victor Gliva (106 pounds), 2-2 ; Brian Caravantes (126), 0-2; Brayden Chapman (138), 2-2; Eric Heusbourg (145), 0-2; Joe Liden (152), 0-2; Jake Rudeen (160), 2-2; Zach Seufer (170), 0-2; Trevor Frost (195), 0-2 and Godfrey Mpetey (285), 2-2.

Farmington now takes a short break from its busy schedule. The Tigers return to action next Saturday when they host their annual eight-team Tiger Duals.

"We have had guys wrestle 15 or 16 matches in the last two weeks and are looking forward to some rest," Olson said.