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Tiger wrestlers close out 15-11 season

Seventh-ranked Owatonna won the first three matches and pulled away for a 42-16 dual win over Farmington in the semifinals of the Section 1AAA team tournament Saturday at the Mayo Civic Center.

The Huskies went on to fall to top-seeded Hastings in the finals.

“We scored one more point, but unfortunately they scored six more than the last time we wrestled. Our wrestlers gave great effort, but we came up short,” Farmington coach Chad Olson said. “It was a great learning experience for our wrestlers. This group of wrestlers — and the program in general — have not been in a semifinal round of sections and have not competed in the environment of the Mayo Civic Center.”

The Tigers won five of the dual’s 14 matches. Matt Rustad, Kyle Benjamin, Joe Hoeve and Godfrey Mpetey each claimed decisions and Taylor Venz was a winner by major decision.

The Tigers opened the section team tournament by breezing past Rochester John Marshall 60-12 at home last Thursday.

Victor Gliva opened the dual with a pin at 106 pounds and Farmington wrestlers went on to win 10 of 14 matches. Jamin LeDuc followed with a pin at 120 pounds and Venz earned a major decision against JM’s 10th-ranked wrestler at 126.

Brayden Chapman, Benjamin, Joe Liden, John Walz, Hoeve, Trevor Frost and CJ Wynings each added victories of their own.

The team finished with a dual record of 15-11. It will be back in Rochester tomorrow and Saturday for the Section 1AAA individual tournament where several wrestlers will have a chance to make a run at the state tournament.

“Really the only goal for next weekend is to make sure our wrestlers are peaking,” Olson said. “If we can get them to wrestle the best they have all season, the results will take care of themselves.”