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Wrestling: Hastings provides a challenge for Tigers

Farmington’s Matt Rustad scores a pin during Friday night’s 40-18 dual loss to fourth-ranked Hastings. Rustad started the season with a pair of wins last week.

After opening the regular season with a 72-0 shellacking of Edina/ Richfield last Thursday, the Farmington wrestling team faced its first big challenge a night later against fourth-ranked (Class 3A) Hastings.

The Tigers won four of the first five matches, but the Raiders closed out the dual with nine straight victories to pull away 40-18 at the Farmington High School Auxiliary Gym. Farmington still held the lead through six matches before closely-contested decisions at 145 (3-1), 160 (4-1) and 170 pounds (2-0) turned the dual in Hastings’ favor.

“We wrestled really well. There were some great individual matches during the dual,” Farmington coach Chad Olson said. “They won three close matches and that ended up being the difference. I am proud of the way we competed.”

Farmington’s Victor Gliva started the dual with an 8-4 decision at 106 pounds. After a Hastings decision at 113, fifth-ranked Jamin LeDuc gave the Tigers the lead back with a 6-2 decision at 120. Defending state champion Taylor Venz and Matt Rustad followed with back-to-back pins to make it 18-3 Tigers.

The Tigers won all 13 matches a night earlier against Edina/Richfield. Rustad, Merek Reddell, Eric Heusbourg, Joe Liden, seventh-ranked Joe Hoeve and Godfrey Mpetey all won their matches by fall.

LeDuc and Jake Rudeen opened their seasons by winning via technical fall. Kyle Benjamin dominated in a 14-0 match and Skylar Raymond, Brayden Chapman and Trevor Frost all won decisions.

The Tigers are back at home tomorrow night against Tri-City United.