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Wrestling: Tigers triumph at Koda Classic

Farmington’s Jamin LeDuc, ranked seventh in the state at 132 pounds, wrestles to a win during Saturday’s Koda CLassic at Tiger Gym. The Tigers went 4-0 to win their home dual meet for the first time in its 25-year history.

The 10th-ranked Farmington wrestling team got to celebrate the program’s first-ever dual meet title on its home mats Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers won four straight duals, including a 42-33 victory over eighth-ranked (Class 1A) Chatfield in the finals, to claim the trophy for the first time at a home meet that dates back to the 1989-90 season. In the previous 24 years, the Tigers had never even reached the finals at the Tiger Duals, now known as the Koda Classic.

“Our young men got better each round. We improved technically, but more importantly wrestled with more intensity and emotion every round,” Farmington coach Chad Olson said. “The last two duals against Henry Sibley and Chatfield were the best duals I have witnessed by a Farmington team in the last six years.”

The finals victory came over a Chatfield team that won the 1A state championship last season. Trayton Anderson started that dual with a pin and teammate Victor Gliva, ranked second in the state, followed with a 7-1 decision. Seventh-ranked Jamin LeDuc added a pin at 132 pounds, but Chatfield took the lead with wins at 138 and 145, respectively.

That’s when the Tigers made their-meet clinching run, reeling off five straight victories. Matt Rustad and Taylor Venz started things with a pair of pins, and Kyle Benjamin followed with a technical fall at 170 pounds. John Walz made it four Farmington wins in a row with a pin at 182 pounds and Mason Hawkins came through with a 16-2 major decision at 195.

Rustad (6th), Venz (3rd), Benjamin (7th) and Walz (7th) are all state-ranked wrestlers.

The Tigers opened the meet by defeating Lake City, 39-21. They then knocked off Dassel-Cokato 47-22 and Henry Sibley 40-29 to reach the finals.

Anderson, Gliva, LeDuc, Rustad, Venz and Walz all finished the day unbeaten.

“The young men we have in our program are taking the program to new heights and I am glad to be a part of it,” Olson said. “I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the last half of the season.”

The Tigers are back on the mat tomorrow and Saturday at Bemidji. Their South Suburban Conference dual schedule resumes next Thursday with a meet against Burnsville and Shakopee in Burnsville.