STMA wrestlers top 10 at ‘Clash’

STMA’s Zach Nygaard enroute to a 5-4 win over his Buffalo opponent at 106 pounds, just before Christmas break. (Photos by Bill Halldin)

STMA’s Zach Nygaard enroute to a 5-4 win over his Buffalo opponent at 106 pounds, just before Christmas break. (Photos by Bill Halldin)

STMA senior Aaron Dick(113 pounds) securing a tech fall, earlier this season, against his Buffalo opponent.

STMA senior Aaron Dick(113 pounds) securing a tech fall, earlier this season, against his Buffalo opponent.

Knight Jeff Geiger attempting a turn against his Buffalo opponent, on his way to a win, earlier this season.

Knight Jeff Geiger attempting a turn against his Buffalo opponent, on his way to a win, earlier this season.

The St. Michael-Albertville wrestling team placed 10th in the 32-team “Clash” dual meet wrestling tournament held Jan. 3 and 4 at Rochester Community College. The defending “Clash” champions, Knights, won 4 dual meets and lost 2 duals in the 2-day event that attracts many nationally ranked teams from all over the country.

The Knights opened competition Thursday, Jan. 3, with a 43-10 victory over Alburnet, Iowa, ranked number one in “class A” in Iowa, then lost to Marist, Illinois (ranked number 13 in the nation) by a score of 44-17, before defeating Hononegah, Illinois 31-22, to place third in their 8-team pool. On day 2, the Knights wrestled a round-robin tournament with the 3 other “3rd place” pool teams. STMA beat Timberland, Missouri by a score of 33-30, then lost a close one to nationally ranked Vacaville, California, 30-29, then avenged an early-season loss to Prior Lake by defeating the Lakers 36-22 and secured 10th place overall in the tournament.

Senior Tommy Thorn (132 pounds) led the team by going undefeated in his 6 matches. Aaron Dick (113), Mitch McKee (126), and Mark Voss (145) each won 5 matches and lost 1, while Jacob Briggs (195) went 4-2 (W-L) and Lucas Jeske (152) was 3-2.

Knight’s coach Dan Lefebvre, said,” The coaching staff is extremely pleased with our overall team place of 10th out of 32 teams and finishing with a 4-2 record. This is such a tough tournament that tests the will and perserverance of each one of our young wrestlers. Our veteran wrestlers set an example of how hard one needs to wrestle each match. Our young guys are figuring out the sustained effort that is required throughout a 6 minute match in order to consistently win against this type of high level competition. Many of our young guys came back to win after being behind early in a match. We now know they have some fight in them and they are not going to give up in a tough match when they face adversity. That trait will help them be successful in a short amount of time. We now just need to keep refining and drilling our techniques in practice in order for our team to make a return trip to the State Tournament in 6 weeks.”

In other STMA wrestling competition from over the weekend, the STMA junior varsity wrestlers competed in a varsity tournament at Norwood-Young America, where they finished behind Sibley East and tied for second with Eden Valley-Watkins. Knight wrestlers and their individual places earned at the Norwood-Young America Tourney are as follows:

Cody Schoen (2nd), Patrick McKee (3rd), Jeff Geiger (3rd), Max Jensen (3rd), Garrett Ailts (3rd), Jake Ross (3rd), Alec Birk (3rd), Joel Zachman (4th), Brendan Kohlemain (4th), Sam Bong (4th), Tre’Vyon Wilson (4th), Alex Wolseth (5th), Joe Salonek (5th), Coltan Koenig (5th), and Jovon James (5th).

The Knight wrestlers host Big Lake in a Conference dual met Thursday, Jan. 9, then travel to St. Cloud Tech for the “Kiffmeyer Duals,” an 8-team dual meet tournament Saturday, Jan. 11.

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