Feldt works his way to fifth in Class 2A
To say Detroit Lakes senior Alex Feldt "earned" his fifth-place finish in the 171-pound weight class in the Class 2A state individual meet would be an understatement.
Feldt's high-level conditioning and wrestling style enabled him to survive a total of six overtime periods during his journey through the well-balanced 171 bracket.
DL head coach Rob Ullyott has seen first hand Feldt's conditioning, and he credits that for being one of his biggest strengths during state.
"Al is in great shape and his style was very good for 171," Ullyott said. "I don't know if there ever was a wrestler so determined and being able to will himself to win like (Feldt) did in the state meet."
Feldt's wins were impressive -- as well as close -- as he went 4-2 against six top 10 ranked opponents, and all of his match scores were separated by two points or less.
"You could say I snuck up on a lot of people," Feldt said. "But it's a great feeling placing in state. Being unseeded and unranked heading into the state meet, I think I opened up some eyes."
In fact, Feldt's first match last Wednesday to kickoff the state tournament inside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul was an eye-opener.
The styles of Feldt and No. 7 ranked Mongomery Lonsdale/LeCenter junior Zack Rutt clashed, with both being aggressive, offensive wrestlers.
That was more than apparent, as each racked up a combined 33 points, which ended with the DL senior coming out on top 17-16 -- through four overtimes.
"It was a marathon," Feldt said. "We were evenly matched and both offensive wrestlers. But there was going to be no way that I was going lose after going through that many minutes of wrestling."
That's where Feldt's conditioning started coming into play, as the smaller Laker grappler
was able to wear down the larger 171-pound wrestlers.
By the fourth overtime, Feldt was able to ride out Rutt for the win and advance to the quarterfinals.
With Feldt freshly recovered from a flu bug earlier in the week, he was a bit flushed out of energy against the No. 2 ranked Stephen Loosbrock of Adrian.
Loosbrock was a bulldog on the mat and eventually built a two-point lead in the third period, where he was able to fend off Feldt's efforts.
"I knew he meant business, I was pushing as much as I could in the third period, but he didn't give up any cheap points," Feldt said.
Loosbrock moved on and eventually won the state title with a victory over Monticello's Sebastian Gardner on a 5-3 decision.
But Feldt rebounded, much like he did when he lost in the Section 8-2A 171 championship and had to prepare for the True Second match to earn his state berth.
"I was down on myself, because it seemed it was going to be a repeat of last year (where he was eliminated in the first round of the wrestlebacks)," Feldt said.
He faced No. 5 ranked Blake Menard, pinning the Mora senior in 2:58.
Next up was an upset against Brandon Peterson of Waseca, who incidentally was the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the state and the final obstacle between Feldt and his goal of placing in state.
"I didn't want to be done, I wanted that medal so bad," the DL senior said. "It wasn't going to end."
That it wasn't, as Feldt made a comeback against Peterson to force overtime, in which Feldt finally tagged a take down on the tired Waseca grappler for the 8-6 decision.
"By the third period, I saw that he was so exhausted and I was just getting warmed up," Feldt said. "I was down two or three points and I knew I was going to be able to get those back.
"Then, when it went to overtime, I knew I had him, because he was so tired."
After earning a for-sure placing, Feldt lost to the No. 3 ranked Clay Olson of Chisago Lakes on an 8-6 decision, where Olson was able to gain the decisive takedown with six seconds left in the match.
"I didn't want to slouch, because I really wanted that third place, it was rough, I wasn't very happy with that one," Feldt said.
But instead of pouting, Feldt rallied again, this time against No. 5 ranked Alan Miller of Plainview/Elgin in the fifth place match.
Again, Feldt wrestled down his fatigued opponent, winning in overtime 7-5 for the fifth-place honor.
Feldt finished 3-0 in overtime matches during his state run.
"It was a good one," Feldt said of his final meet of his high school career.
Feldt becomes the seventh Laker wrestler to place in the state. Others include Joey Fingalson, Joey Chelmo, Shane Tappe, Michael Griffin, Brent Eidenschink and Justin Horne.
But this placing maybe made the most noise.
UCB wrestlers eliminated in first round
A pair of United Clay Becker wrestlers' runs ended prematurely in the Class 2A state tournament.
Eighth grader Mason Swegarden lost his first match on a 10-2 major decision to Monticello sophomore Eric Bourgeois.
The Monticello grappler lost his quarterfinal match, thus eliminating Swegarden from competition.
At 119, junior Sam Klingfus fell to sophomore Gabe Fogarty of Scott West on a 15-0 technical fall, with Fogarty also losing in the quarters.
Class 2A state wrestling meet at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Wednesday-Saturday, March 3-6.
DL results -- Alex Feldt (171 pounds): Feldt dec. Zack Rutt (Mongomer Lonsdale/LeCenter) 17-16 (4 OT)...Quarterfinals: Stephen Loosbrock (Adrian) dec. Feldt 5-3...Wrestlebacks: Feldt pin Blake Menard (Mora) 2:58...Feldt dec. Brandon Pederson (Waseca) 8-6 (OT)...Clay Olson (Chisago Lakes) dec. Feldt 8-6...Fifth place: Feldt dec. Alan Miller (Plainview/E-M) 7-5 (OT).
United Clay Becker results -- Mason Swegarden (103): Eric Bourgeois (Monticello) maj dec. Swegarden 10-2.
Sam Klingfus (119): Gabe Fogarty (Scott West) tech fall Klingfus 3:52, 15-0.