Lakeville South's Tommy Petersen had center mat to prove himself the best in the 195-pound division.
A nationally ranked presence on all three championship class mats battled for attention, but Petersen's ability to hold off Moorhead's Chase Morlock 3-2 in the Class 3A final earned the most cheers Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.
In arguably the marquee match of the meet, Petersen kept Morlock low to the ground to earn himself a repeat championship and even more national respect.
"Just defense. Strong strategy of defense," Petersen said in describing how he slowed the 2012 182-pound champion. "There are a lot of athletes in that weight class."
Still catching his breath from the victory, Petersen said he thought both wrestlers weren't at their best for all three periods. The nerves and big stage of the event changed the mood, but Petersen kept his focus just long enough. "There were a bunch of nerves going," he said. But "a lot of blood, sweat and tears and broken noses" helped him remain consistent.Staying put
Apple Valley's Mark Hall (152 pounds) is still on track to win a record six individual state championships. The freshman collected No. 3 on Saturday night and also confirmed that he has no plans to leave Apple Valley for a full-time spot training with the U.S. wrestling team in Colorado.
"Staying at Apple Valley is the thing that's really important to me," Hall said. "Right now, I love it here in Minnesota. There are no wrestling fans like here."
Though Hall is committed to Apple Valley for at least another year, he said he will seriously consider the move after his junior season. He had hoped to earn a chance to wrestle in the 2020 Olympic Games, but now that sport has been targeted for removal from the Olympic lineup, he has more time to consider a full-time commitment to U.S. wrestling.
"At that point I really have to make a decision of what's best for my future," he said.Brotherly love
Waiting for Danny Woiwor at the edge of his state championship mat was the best hug he'd had a in long time. Two state champions, and brothers, embraced to celebrate the Apple Valley sibling sweep.
"It's Woiwor all day," Danny (160 pounds) said, speaking for his younger state champion brother, Maolu (113 pounds). "We've tried to make it that each year."
The plan has worked well. Maolu, only a sophomore, already has two individual state championships and Danny finishes his career with a second title.
"Seeing him win almost brought tears to my eyes," Danny said. Then the other side of the brother came out. "We'll probably takes digs at each other about who's win was more impressive."
Three sets of brothers, including the Woiwors, competed in Saturday's individual state wrestling tournament's final day.
Irondale twins Dustin Weinmann and Ryan Weinmann each medaled. Dustin won the 126-pound state championship and Ryan finished fifth at 120.
The Voss brothers, Mark of St. Michael-Albertville and Wayne of Simley, each medaled. Mark finished runner-up for the second consecutive year and Wayne returned to the podium in fifth place after a two-year hiatus from the state tournament, during which time personal trials required him to transfer from STMA to Simley.Obvious dynasties
Apple Valley and St. Thomas Academy qualified 13 wrestlers for Saturday night's individual finals. The Class 3A co-champs collected nine individual state titles. The Eagles were 7-1 and the Knights 2-3.Family traditions
The Thorn family is among elite company. St. Thomas' Tommy Thorn (120 pounds) won his third individual championship to give his family name 10 titles. Brothers Mike and David combined for seven. No. 10 ties the Thorns with the Sanders family of Wabasha-Kellogg, whose brothers Eric and Zach won five titles each.