Apple Valley's numbers: 20 for 30 and 4

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 6, 2012 - 6:18 PM
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It’s an even 20 team championships for Apple Valley, whose wrestlers celebrated their latest Class 3A title Thursday night after defeating St. Michael-Albertville.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

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Like any sport, numbers are a big part of wrestling.

Two points for a takedown, one for an escape. Six minutes in a match, six team points for a pin to end it early.

In Apple Valley, they use numbers to talk about championships -- plural -- and many, many of them. Making its 30th consecutive team appearance at state last weekend, at Xcel Energy Center, Apple Valley wrapped up title No. 20 with a 49-24 victory over St. Michael-Albertville in the finals.

Two days later, four Eagles wrestlers finished the season as the state's individual champion at their respective weight. The most impressive performance came from a middle-schooler.

Eighth-grader Mark Hall finished an undefeated season at 145 pounds with a pin in the championship match. A model of consistency, Hall pinned his finals opponent in the exact same 3 minute, 38 second time it took for him to breeze through the opening round. He earned an 11-2 decision in the semifinals.

Hall has a long way to go, but he's on track to become the state's most decorated wrestler. His title Saturday came a year after he won the crown at 140 pounds as a seventh-grader. There have been four five-time state champions in Minnesota, but never a six-timer.

Eagles senior Brandon Kingsley became the 12th wrestler ever to finish his career as a four-time champion. Kingsley defeated Mitch Rechtzigel of Eastview 6-3 in the 160-pound final.

Other Apple Valley wrestlers who collected gold medals were Maolu Woiwor (106) and Seth Gross (120).

Hall was the only Class 3A wrestler to finish the season undefeated.

At 195 pounds, Lakeville South's Tommy Petersen added to his family's success with a state championship at the weight. Brother Zane was last year's champion at 215 pounds.

"Something we've dreamed of since we were kids," Tommy Petersen said. "I was ticked that he got his first, but I don't think our mom or dad cares. This is pretty big for us."

In Class 2A, Simley and Scott West battled for the team title with the Spartans coming out on top 36-22 for their fifth consecutive title.

The success bled into the individual brackets. Five Simley wrestlers won titles, while the Panthers' Michael Kroells completed an undefeated season with the gold medal at heavyweight.

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