St. Michael-Albertville wrestlers rise to top in Clash, state

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 30, 2012 - 12:12 AM

The Knights won the 32-team meet in Rochester and have overtaken Apple Valley as the state's top program.

ROCHESTER - If there was any doubt left that St. Michael-Albertville -- undefeated and winner of the prestigious Christmas Tournament two weeks ago -- has supplanted Apple Valley as the chief dog in Minnesota high school wrestling, those questions were answered Friday and Saturday at the Clash National Duals.

Despite losing their final match of the day, the Knights won the tournament, narrowly edging Montini Catholic of Lombard, Ill., in the championship bracket. The Knights finished with 55 team points, edging Montini by a point.

Considered one of the nation's premier prep wrestling tournaments, the Clash featured 32 teams from across the country, including 13 teams ranked among the nation's top 50 by the InterMat wrestling website.

Organizers hoped the tournament would showcase the strength of Minnesota wrestling, but the first day of competition proved more arduous than anticipated for state teams, with only St. Michael-Albertville qualifying for Saturday's four-team championship bracket.

The Knights salvaged some of Minnesota's prestige in the process, winning their first five matches before losing to Brandon, Fla., 33-21 in their final match. The Knights, stung by losses from their two top wrestlers -- 113-pounder Mitchell McKee and 120-pounder Tommy Thorn -- trailed just 24-21 going into the duals' final two matches, but that was as close as they would get.

The loss did not affect the final result, however, as no team in the championship bracket went undefeated. St. Michael-Albertville was declared the winner on tiebreaker criteria.

That SMA even had the chance to wrestle for the team championship was remarkable. The Knights began the day falling behind Carl Sandburg 23-0 before rallying to tie 26-26 on a pin by 145-pounder Lincoln Mallinger in the final match of the dual. They were declared winner by virtue of tiebreakers. The Knights then handed Montini Catholic its only loss of the tournament, 34-21.

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Cincinnati - WP: M. Lorenzen 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 1
Miami - WP: M. Latos 2 FINAL
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 1
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Estrada 3
Philadelphia - LP: C. Billingsley 0 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: S. Miller 9
Baltimore - LP: B. Norris 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 3
Tampa Bay - LP: D. Smyly 0 FINAL
Boston - WP: R. Porcello 2
Los Angeles - WP: Z. Greinke 8 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Garza 2
Cleveland - LP: D. Salazar 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Vargas 5
Detroit - LP: S. Greene 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Samardzija 5
Oakland - WP: J. Chavez 2 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1
Texas - WP: W. Rodriguez 7 FINAL
Houston - LP: S. Feldman 1
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Harris 7
Arizona 0 Postponed
Colorado 0
Seattle 4 FINAL
LA Angels 5
San Diego - LP: A. Cashner 0 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong 6
Washington 90 FINAL
Atlanta 106
Memphis 81 4th Qtr 6:19
Golden State 74
Chicago 1 FINAL
Minnesota 0
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Houston 0

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