As the No. 5 seed in Class 3A, Hastings’ 36-29 win over No. 4-seeded Owatonna in the quarterfinals may have seemed like an upset, but Hastings coach Josh McLay had an inkling the Raiders might pull out the victory.
“They beat us head-to-head about three weeks ago,” McLay said, referring to Owatonna’s 36-23 victory on Jan. 28. “Today, we wrestled much tougher down below. That’s the second time we’ve beaten a team that beat us earlier in the year. We feel like we got the guys ready to peak at the right time.”
The victory set up a semifinal against Apple Valley’s juggernaut. The Eagles rolled over the Raiders 52-12, but McLay was thrilled his team had the chance to face Apple Valley in a state-meet setting.
“If we want to be state champions someday, that’s the team we’ll have to beat,” he said.
“They’re the benchmark and they’ve earned that.”
Frazee falls, takes third
No. 1-seeded Frazee exited the Class 1A championship bracket quicker than expected, losing to No. 4 Zumbrota-Mazeppa 32-25 in the semifinals.
Coach Clay Nagel said after the match that his team wasn’t wrestling as well as he wanted it to, as Zumbrota was more physical and tough overall. “You can see they put a lot of wrestling in the offseason,” Nagel said. “Greco, freestyle stuff, they do a lot of that.
“Little bit more physical than I thought we were.”
Frazee finished third after defeating West Central Area 40-18. The Hornets placed second in last year’s state tournament.
In the other third-place matches, St. Michael-Albertville defeated Hastings 36-33 in Class 3A and Scott West downed Foley 33-24 in Class 2A.
The attendance for the first session of the tournament was 8,592. Second-session numbers on the first day were not available.