Wrestlers do well against good competition
The Farmington wrestling team is certainly using the early part of the season to see how it stacks up against the state's best.
And, with a short-handed crew, the Tigers are doing their part to show they can at least hang with some good wrestling teams.
With only 10 varsity wrestlers -- out of 14 weight classes -- Farmington is already in the tough position of giving away points in dual meets. Competing against some of the team's they did last week, the Tigers often face teams that can fill out the 14-wrestler squad.
Thus, the final results can be a bit misleading.
"I am pleased with the way we are wrestling right now," Farmington coach Jon Lund said. "We have some very tough kids that have committed to the team, and want to win. For us to be finishing where we are with only 10 out of 14 weights is great. The average observer might not realize it, but these kids are wrestling tough."
In the past two weeks, Farmington competed in a pair of individual-style tournaments, featuring some strong teams from around Minnesota and Wisconsin.
On Dec. 6, the Tigers placed fifth out of 16 teams at the Lakeville North Paul Wolf Panther Invite. They scored 111 points as a team. Hudson, Wis. won the team title with 248.5 points.
Last weekend at the St. Francis Invitational, Farmington finished in sixth place with 80 points. Each of the five teams ahead of the Tigers are either ranked in the state's top 12 or are receiving votes.
"The St. Francis tournament includes as good of competition as we'll see all year," Lund said. "The field was full of ranked teams and ranked wrestlers, returning state entrants and state champs. We wrestled against teams with full lineups, which means they have four more wrestlers able to score points."
Farmington's Nick Albano won the 215-pound weight class.
Cody Kary at 112 pounds, Nate Mills at 130 pounds, and Carl Elmer at 135 pounds each placed second in their respective weight class.
Will Pauling finished in fourth place at 145 pounds. John Gardner was fifth at 171 pounds.
"All of those teams will be in the running for their section titles," Lund said. "We wrestled well enough to get six out of 10 kids to place in their weights, three runner-ups -- each of which lost in close matches to state-place winners -- and Nick Albano won the 215-pound class with two pins, and he wrestled for a total of about two minutes."
At the Lakeville North tournament, Pauling was the Tigers' top finisher with a second-place showing at 145 pounds.
Mills (130), Elmer (135), and Albano (215) each placed third.
Gardner earned a fourth-place finish at 171 for Farmington, while Kary (112) and Eric Adrian (152) both placed sixth.
Farmington wrestles Class 3A, Section opponent Lakeville South at home tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.