Wrestling team splits pair of close conference duals

Northfield lost to Albert Lea but bounced back against Faribault Thursday night.

By Keith Harner and Colin Staab

Northfield traveled to the Faribault gymnasium Thursday night to take on the Albert Lea Tigers and Faribault Falcons.

In the first dual of the night, Northfield took on Albert Lea. Caley Graber set the tone at 107 pounds with a 5-0 decision over Devon Groess. The older Groess brother, Dylan defeated Drew Pribyl at 114 pounds with a fall in the first period. Caden Staab wrestled next at 121 pounds where he took on ninth ranked at 114 pounds, Ryan Collins. Staab came out with the 8-4 victory. Albert Lea’s third ranked Logan Davis pinned Taylor Blankenberger in 43 seconds. The second ranked wrestler at 133 pounds in class AAA, Michael Olson won by fall over Charlie Johnson. At 139 pounds, Sam Harner lost by fall in 1:20 to 10th ranked Brody Ignaszewski, and Austin Benjamin lost by fall in 1:27 to fourth ranked Nick Korman at 145 pounds. 

Caden Staab looks for a takedown during his Albert Lea match.

Just over halfway through the dual Northfield faced a 30-6 deficit. However the Raiders were about to go on a run. Zane Engels bumped up to 152 pounds and won 7-2 over Mason Attig. Colin Staab followed with a 4-0 victory at 160 pounds. At 172 pounds, Owen Murphy kept things going with his 3-2 decision over Triton Cox. Braxton Wood won a back and forth battle with Teaghn Tolbers 6-5 at 189 pounds. Ryan Kuyper made the score even closer with his half nelson fall over Evan Schroeder in 2:24. The Raiders trailed 30-24 going into the last match between Noah Ackerman and William Velazquez. Six minutes was not enough to decide the winner. The Albert Lea wrestler took Ackerman down in overtime, sealing the victory for Albert Lea 33-24.

Braxton Wood defends a shot for his Albert Lea opponent.
NorthfieldAlbert Lea
107Caley GraberDevon GroessN 5-03-0
114Drew PribylDylan GroessA Pin 2 min3-6
121Caden StaabRyan CollinsN 8-46-6
127Talyn BlankenbergerLogan DavisA pin :436-12
133Charlie JohnsonMike OlsonA Fall 1:216-18
139Sam HarnerBrody IgnaszewskiA Fall 1:206-24
145Austin BenjaminNick KormanA pin 1:276-30
152Zane EngelsMason AttigN 7-29-30
160Colin StaabBrecken WachlozN 4-012-30
172Owen MurphyTriton CoxN 3-215-30
189Braxton WoodTeaghen TolbersN 6-518-30
215Ryan KuyperEvan SchroederN Fall 2:2424-30
285Noah AckermanWilliam ValazquezA 4-2 OT24-33

In the last dual of the night, Northfield took on the home team Faribault. Yet again, Caley Graber started off things strong with a 12-1 major decision over Lain Kuhlman at 107 pounds. Drew Pribyl had a tough match losing by fall against Chase Vargo at 114 pounds. Caden Staab defeated senior Lucas Nelson at 121 pounds 10-3. Charlie Johnson followed that match up with another victory this time by fall. Talyn Blankenberger lost by fall to eighth ranked JT Hausen. Sam Harner was up next quickly taking care of business with a fall in the first period setting up a 19-12 lead in the dual. Isaac Yetzer got the better of Northfield’s Austin Benjamin with a fall in 37 seconds. Zane Engels matched Faribault’s fall at 145 pounds with his own at 152 pounds. Colin Staab followed with a fall of his own in the 170 pound weight class. Faribault responded though as Cooper Leichtnam got the fall over Iah Schwiech. 

Colin Staab looks for the fall in the last dual of the night.

The team score read 31-24. Faribault’s Elliott Viland got a fall of his own in the first period over Braxton Wood. With two weight classes remaining, the Raiders led by one. Ryan Kuyper towed the line for Northfield against Justin Sanoja of Faribault. Kuyper won the match with a fall in 3:08 to secure the victory for Northfield. But the Raiders weren’t done yet. Noah Ackerman made quick work at heavyweight with a fall in 24 seconds as the Raiders went on to win 43-30.

107Caley GraberLain KuhlmanN 12-13-0
114Drew PribylChase VargoF fall 2:27?3-6
121Caden StaabLucas NelsonN 10-37-6
127Charlie JohnsonChase FlicekN Fall 1:5213-6
133Talyn BlankenbergerJT HausenF pin 1:4613-12
139Sam HarnerWyatt AdamekN Fall 1:2919-12
145Austin BenjaminIsaac YetzerF fall :3719-18
152Zane EngelsJayden HartN fall 4:3925-18
160Colin StaabSam KoivistoN 2:2531-18
172Iah SchwiechCooper LeichtnamF 1:0631-24
189Braxton WoodElliott VilandF fall 1:2131-30
215Ryan KuyperJustin SanojaN fall 3:0837-30
285Noah AckermanXavier PadillaN fall :2443-30

Northfield varsity will wrestle in Lake City on Saturday. Then they will travel to Mankato West next Thursday and Cannon Falls on Saturday.