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Wrestling: Ranked wrestlers lead Tigers at South St. Paul

Farmington's wrestling team continued to battle state-ranked competition during Saturday's eighth-place finish at the 16-team Veldman Invite at South St. Paul High School.

Four Tigers wrestled to top-three finishes, while four more earned spots in the top eight in their weight classes as the team scored 113.5 points. Monticello crowned five individual champions and won the meet with 251.5 points, more than 90 points ahead of runner-up South St. Paul and third-place Lakeville North.

Senior Nick Albano, the state's third-ranked wrestler at 215 pounds, was the only Farmington wrestler to finish first in his weight class. Albano won his first two matches by fall, then beat seventh-ranked Yuseff Hasson of Burnsville by a 4-2 decision in the 215-pound championship.

Fifth-ranked junior Carl Elmer made it to the 135-pound finals, but settled for second place after suffering an 11-2 major decision loss to three-time state place-winner Clint Poster of Pierz-Healy. Elmer mowed through the first three rounds with three pins.

Eric Adrian and Seth Franklin each wrestled their way to third-place finishes for the Tigers. Adrian, who broke into the state rankings this week at sixth place at 160 pounds, won by a pin and an 8-2 decision in the first two rounds at 160 before falling 3-1 to fifth-ranked eventual champion Jared Flaata in the semifinals. Adrian came back to beat third-ranked Sean Huls 7-2 in the third-place match.

Franklin followed the same path as Adrian, winning his first two matches before losing 9-2 to eventual 125-pound champion Alex Peck, who is third in the state's rankings. Franklin came back with his second major decision of the day to claim third place.

Senior Will Pauling followed up a first-round bye with a 12-4 major decision before dropping his final two matches and finishing fourth at 145 pounds. Josh Iverson added a sixth-place finish at 130 pounds and Braydon Chapman was eighth at 103 pounds.

Franklin, Elmer, Adrian and Albano all remained unbeaten in three Missota Conference duals during Thursday's 51-25 loss to Prior Lake.

The Tigers won five of the 13 matches wrestled, including three via first-period pins from Elmer, Adrian and 160-pounder Jake French. Franklin added a 21-7 major decision and Albano closed out the meet with a 9-3 decision.

Prior Lake won six of its eight matches by pin.

The Tigers compete again tonight when they travel to New Prague for a conference dual. The first matches are set to get under way at 5 p.m.