Thompson looking for back-to-back titles
Detroit Lakes' junior Isaiah Thompson became the first wrestler in program history to win a state title last season. He's looking to become the first to go back-to-back.
"I love working hard and being able to beat good guys," Thompson said. "That's what I come down here to do."
Thompson got a pin in the quarterfinals to head to the Class 2A semifinals at 170 pounds. As the top seed, he knows he isn't sneaking up on anyone this season.
"I felt like it's a lot of pressure because everyone is coming for you and they want to beat you," Thompson said.
Frazee's Tweeton goes extra mile
Frazee junior Luke Tweeton lost in the Class 1A quarterfinals at the state wrestling tournament last season. He signed up for the J Robinson 28-day intensive camp in July to fix that. The camp is 28 straight days of running, lifting, wrestling and running some more.
He had to run 15 miles in order to graduate from the camp.
"That was something I've never done," Tweeton said. "It was a mindset to push myself. It was mental toughness to push myself beyond the limits."
He needed the extra mile in the quarterfinals Friday, as he won 4-2 in overtime to make his first trip to the semifinals.
"I didn't have a Fourth of July or anything," Tweeton said. "(I did it because) I want to be at the top of the podium. That's my goal. To get there, you got to do the work."
Fergus Falls' Dustin Portales earned a spot in the Class 2A semifinals at 285 pounds. New York Mills' Dane Niemi will wrestle in the Class 1A semifinals at 120 pounds and West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville's Wyatt Olson will do the same at 195 pounds.
Verndale's Craig Orlando used two pins to get to the Class 1A semifinals at 285 pounds. The top-seeded junior is looking for back-to-back titles at 285 pounds.
Perham senior wrestler Zach Peterson had just dominated his quarterfinal match at the Minnesota Class 2A state wrestling tournament on Friday at Xcel Energy Center.
For the second straight season, the 182-pounder was headed to the state semifinals via a 12-1 major decision. The first thing he did when he got off the mat was ask whether or not teammate Jack Fudge won his quarterfinal match at 145 pounds.
Fudge had lost in the final seconds. Peterson was more upset for Fudge than happy for himself.
"It's just the camaraderie with the guys," Peterson said. "You can come into this tournament and be stressed out and think about all the things you have to do, but I think something that we've really worked on in the past year or so is learning to just have fun. Overall, just have fun with this. You don't get many opportunities like this. For all the people who don't put in the extra work like we do, they won't ever get to experience this."
Perham had fun Friday, sending three wrestlers to the state semifinals. The Yellowjackets have not had a state champion since 2007.
Ty Moser is one of the wrestlers hoping to change that. Sitting as the top-seeded wrestler at 195, the senior moved to 44-0 on the season, using a technical fall and a 9-3 decision to head to Saturday's semifinal match.
"It's about getting back into the feel of things," Moser said. "It's a big tournament and the environment is really unique, so it's hard to treat it like it's any other tournament because obviously it's not. First day is really important about getting in a grove and getting ready for the second day because that's where a lot of hard battles are won."
Moser and Peterson both lost in the semifinals last season, finishing third.
"I've had a whole year to rethink that semifinal match and it just kind of ate at me," Moser said. "Especially with only one chance left here, I'm going to make sure that I leave it all out on the mat and get it done."
Joining Moser and Peterson in the semifinals is teammate Dylan Fudge at 152 pounds. Fudge pinned the No. 2 seed in the quarterfinals.