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Detroit Lakes looking for first state wrestling champion

Braydon Ortloff, top, of Detroit Lakes wrestles Brett Kirchner of St. Cloud Apollo in their Class-2A 160-pound individual quarterfinal match of the Minnesota Wrestling Tournament on Friday, March 2, 2018, in St. Paul. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

ST. PAUL -- Detroit Lakes’ Braydon Ortloff rolled his eyes and smiled when asked if every DL wrestler is aware the Lakers have never had a state champion in it’s over five decades of existence.

“Everyone knows DL hasn’t had a state champ,” Ortloff said. “The pressure gets to me, but when I get down here I just want to wrestle and prove myself. If that’s not first then so be it. I’m just going to wrestle my heart out.”

DL will send two to Saturday’s Class 2A semifinals, as Ortloff will wrestle at 160 pounds and Isaiah Thompson will wrestle at 170.

Ortloff is the No. 2 seed at 160 pounds. He originally hated wrestling and quit when he was younger, but he saw his cousins do it and that changed things.

"I started it, I hated it, I quit," Ortloff said with a laugh. "I saw my older cousins wrestle and I looked up to them, so I wanted to wrestle. Over the years I’ve had some success with the sport."

Ortloff was in the semifinals as an eighth-grader, but hasn't been back since. He didn't make the state tournament as a freshmen, was 0-1 as a sophomore and finished fourth last season. There's seemingly no nerves there for Ortloff.

"In my eyes, it’s just another match," Ortloff said. "I’m just going to go wrestle."

Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.

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