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Tiger wrestlers continue to grow at Rumble

The Farmington wrestling team braved treacherous roads and a tough slate of opponents over the weekend at Fargo’s Rumble on the Red and came out with some of its best wrestling in years.

The Tigers finished seventh in the 69-team field with 115.5 points. Apple Valley won the meet with 343 points.

“Saturday was the best day of wrestling we have had since I came back,” Farmington coach Chad Olson said. “We scored 44 team points on Day 2 against some very tough competition.”

Farmington was in 11th place with 71.5 team points after the tournament’s first day Friday.

Jamin LeDuc had the best individual finish for the Tigers, advancing to the finals as the fourth seed in the 113-pound division. He lost 4-3 to Tanner Cole, the Owatonna wrestler he beat in the semifinals of the Christmas tournament earlier in December. LeDuc is 14-2 on the year.

Joe Hoeve had what Olson called the best Tiger performance of the tournament and the best individual showing of his career to take third in the 182-pound division. Hoeve was 6-1 on the tournament with his only loss coming to eventual champion Bobby Stevenson of Apple Valley in the quarterfinals. In his last three matches he beat wrestlers ranked first, second and fourth in their respective states.

“He wrestled with a lot of confidence and was fun to watch,” Olson said.

Farmington’s other top performances came from Taylor Venz, who took fourth at 120 pounds with a 5-2 record, and Matt Rustad, who took sixth at 132 pounds with a 4-3 record.

Farmington has shown steady improvement over the years at the Fargo tournament. In 2010, the Tigers scored 16 team points and finished 55th in a 56-team field. The Tigers were 52nd of 59 teams in 2011 and 27th of 65 teams in 2012.

“To compete in a tournament of this size and competition and be in the top seven is amazing,” Olson said. “I received a lot of compliments from other coaches about how much our wrestlers have improved. As a coach, I am so proud of how hard our young men competed…. It is only going to make us better for February.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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