BY DAVID PEDERSEN
Four area wrestlers who qualified for the state tournament last season are seeking return trips at section finals Feb. 21-22. Chances look good since all four are ranked in the state’s top 10 in Class 2A.
Rockford is in the Section 5AA tournament at Orono, with action starting at 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.
Delano heads to Mankato West for the Section 2AA individual finals starting at 5 p.m. Friday and 11 p.m. Saturday.
Tucker Sjomeling of Delano is undefeated at 35-0 ranked No. 1 at the 106-pound weight class. The ninth-grader hopes for a chance to defend his state title captured last year. He has won 16 matches by pin.
Sophomore Kevin Kneisl is ranked No. 7 at 220 pounds. He is 24-6 with 11 pins
Rockford also has two ranked wrestlers. Senior Ty Griffin is No. 2 at 132 pounds and senior Brad Johnson is No. 6 at 138. Griffin won a state title as a sophomore and Johnson qualified for state the first time last season.
In section team tourney won by Totino-Grace last week Rockford lost to Fridley 50-24. Victories were posted by Griffin, Johnson, Fordy Thorson, Thomas Reinking and Kato Cano.
Delano won the first match at the 5AA team tourney, defeating St. Peter 40-36. The Tigers next lost to section champ Scott West 64-13. The wins were by Sjomeling, Kneisl and Walker Russek
Against St. Peter, victories were secured by Sjomeling, Cole Paskach, Sam Oeffling, Zach Knight, Marty Soderberg, Seth Streachek, Kneisl and Russek.