St. Michael keeps State streak alive

Knights defeat Cambridge-Isanti in 7AAA championship

Greg Hunt

St. Michael-Albertville earned its 13th straight team trip to State after holding off Cambridge-Isanti 34-16 in the Section 7AAA Team championship, hosted Feb. 18 at Blaine. The Knights won 9-of-14 matches in defense of the section title.

SMA opened with a 13-0 lead after three matches before C-I’s Landon Chumley got in a big throw for a 7-4 decision at 125. The Knights won the next two to increase their lead to 19-3, including a victory for Mike Lindquist over C-I’s Tyler Tischer at 130 when Lindquist got in an escape in the third overtime.

The Jackets rallied in the middle weights when Travis Holt worked for a 10-4 decision at 140 and Adam Kelling  took a 15-5 major at 145. Mark Volker’s 8-3 decision at 160 had C-I within 22-13, but the Knights countered with a Ryan Stott major at 171 followed by a 4-overtime win by Shaun Little at 189 to seal the win when he had an 18-pound advantage over a bumped-up Clayton Jennissen.

“We knew it was going to be a tough, tough match even though they had Edling out at 215 (broken ankle). We just tried to shake up our lineup, but we just didn’t shake it up enough,” said Chumley. “I had a good match against Mallinger– got a little cut up in my mouth in the process. But it was the best match of my life. It was fun. I had a great end of the season with our team.”

Kelling (above) also set a good pace in his major decision at 145. “I wrestled Martin twice before this season– beat him 4-0 and 2-0. I was working for a pin against him tonight, but he just kind of blocked everything I did,” he said.

Analyzed Coach Neil Jennissen on the championship match, “We knew we needed something different this time around against the Knights. Bottom line was when we grew too much in the off-season in our lower weights. We have enough athletes to match up with them if we’re at the right weight. But when we couldn’t do that, we had to try to find another way so we bumped up our guys at the heavier weights. I think any observer of wrestling could see that we were out-physicalled in every single match. They were the bigger, stronger guy.”

He continued, “I thought our kids battled really well. St. Michael plays great defense. When we were the better wrestler, we tried hard to score, and they just grabbed our hands and elbows. We couldn’t get the referee to think twice about that, and they didn’t call much stalling. That wasn’t the difference in the dual at all– St. Michael did their job and they did it well. They have an amazing team with 10 guys ranked in the state.”

Convincing wins in first two rounds
The No. 2 seed Bluejackets opened Friday’s tourney with a 47-21 win over No. 6 St. Francis. Winning by fall against the Saints were Tanner Torgerson, Kelling, Volker, and Jennissen. Holt added a tech fall, with major decisions won by Tischer, Cody Skog and Cody Glines.

That set up a great semifinal meeting with No. 3 seed Coon Rapids. The Cardinals and C-I locked up in a 30-30 match back in December, but this time the Bluejackets got on a major roll for a 53-18 victory. The Bluejackets reeled off 11 straight wins including pins by Tanner Torgerson (119), Chumley (125), Travis Holt (140), Kelling (152), Volker (160), and Swanson (189).

“We came to battle in that match, and we ended up destroying them,” said Chumley.

“We knew we tied Coon Rapids the last time we faced them, so we had to set the pace tonight. Once the pins started going, we just kept rolling with it. It felt great,” added Kelling.

“Medin, Skog and Volker turned around their matches from the first time we faced the Cardinals. Tanner Torgerson was sick and didn’t wrestle that first time,” said Coach Jennissen. “They figured Gagne would win at 130, but Tischer wrestled a real nice match, and that was big. Then they figured that Nix was going to win at 135, but Ty took that one away (getting a takedown to clinch with 2 seconds left).

“It was huge to have our guys step up and go after the Cardinals. I got a great group of kids. I’m proud of them all, and they battled really hard out there tonight.”

Cody Skog put Lubinski in the scruncher  while winning a 9-1 major in the semifinals.

• The Bluejackets will next host the Section 7AAA Individuals this weekend, with State berths on the line. The action will start at CIHS Friday at 3:30 p.m., with a Saturday start of 11 a.m.

Section 7AAA Team
Semis: Jackets 53, Coon Rapids 18
103: Valiancourt (CR) pin Guy :22
112: Medin (CI) dec Lindberg 7-3
119: T.Torgerson (CI) pin Anderson 3:32
125: Chumley (CI) pin Danielson 3:32
130: Tischer (CI) dec Gagne 4-1
135: Ty.Togerson (CI) dec Nix 10-6
140: Holt (CI) pin Chimlowsky 1:43
145: Skog (CI) maj. Lubinski 2:43
152: Kelling (CI) pin Magaard 2:43
160: Volker (CI) pin Lawson 1:32
171: Jennissen (CI) maj. Halseth 11-2
189: Swanson (CI) pin Murphy 1:18
215: Burchhardt (CR) pin Zins 2:36
285: Lowe (CR) pin Knowlton 1:36

Finals: St. Michael-Alb. 34, Jackets 16
103: Thorn (SMA) pin Guy :59
112: Sladek (S) maj. Medin 21-8
119: M.Voss (S) dec. Ta.Torgerson 5-2
125: Chumley (CI) dec. Mallinger 7-4
130: W. Voss (S) dec Tischer 6-5 3OT
135: Lindquist (S) dec Ty.Togerson 7-1
140: Holt (CI) dec Nerdahl 10-4
145: Kelling (CI) maj. Martin 14-5
152: Lillie (S) dec Skog 6-0
160: Volker (CI) dec. Briggs 8-3
171: Stott (S) maj. Glines 9-1
189: Little (S) dec. Jennissen 3-2 4OT
215: Swanson (CI) dec. Kolles 6-3
285: Betts (S) t.fall Chromey 21-6