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Wrestling: Tigers grind it out at Prior Lake

The Farmington wrestling team went down to the wire with four of the state’s top teams at Saturday’s Prior Lake Ron Edwards Duals.

The Tigers lost all four of their duals by a combined 22 points against four teams ranked in the top 10 in Class 3A and 2A, respectively. 

“It was a grinder, but the wrestlers were awesome. We had a chance to win three of the four duals going into heavyweight,” Farmington coach Chad Olson said. “It is exciting to know that we can compete with the best programs in the state. Our wrestlers have put a lot of work in during the springs and summers the last three years to get to this point. It is great to see all their hard work paying off.”

The Tigers opened Saturday morning with St. Michael-Albertville, the third-ranked team in Class 3A. Jamin LeDuc and Joe Hoeve each won via pin and Victor Gliva, Brayden Chapman, Jake Rudeen and CJ Wynings each scored decisions, but St. Michael-Albertville won two of the last three matches to claim the dual, 32-24.

“Godfrey (Mpetey) ended up losing by one at heavyweight due to the fact that he was trying to pin the guy to win it for the team,” Olson said.

In the second dual, ninth-ranked Albert Lea won the final three matches via pin to rally, 30-28. Rudeen and Hoeve moved to 2-0 on the day with a pair of pins and LeDuc, Taylor Venz, Matt Rustad and Joe Liden won decisions.

“The boys were very disappointed by the outcome and I was worried how we would respond,” Olson said. “They responded very well the next round.”

Against fourth-ranked Simley, the Tigers again won six of 14 matches while being edged, 37-29.

Hoeve and Rudeen once again supplied a pair of pins and LeDuc continued his perfect day with a 15-3 final. Rustad, Venz and Mpetey also picked up wins.

In the final round of the tournament, second-ranked Prior Lake claimed the final five weights, including the final three by fall, to rally past the Tigers 34-29.

Gliva opened the dual with a 15-0 win. LeDuc and Rustad followed with their fourth victories of the day and Venz, Chapman, Liden and Mason Hawkins also scored wins.

The Tigers are back on the mat tomorrow and Saturday at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament at the University Center Field House. The following week they travel to the Fargo Dome for the Rumble on the Red before returning home for their home meet Jan. 4 at Tiger Gym.