Juniors Tim Ostby and Zach Gibson made their Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament début this past weekend for the Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta Tigers. Ostby qualified at 152 lbs and Gibson at Heavyweight.
The State Tournament brings together the top 16 wrestlers in each weight class. There are eight sections in Minnesota and each section sends two wrestlers. The format for the State Tournament places the section champions against section runners-up via predetermined section pairings. There is no seeding done within weight. Champions wrestle runners-up in the opening round. The Tigers wrestle in Class AA.
Ostby, ranked No. 10 in the last state poll, wrestled Peter Harrison of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus, the No. 5 ranked wrestler in the opening round. This was a rematch of the Morris Invitational Tournament championship. Harrison won that match 6-4, but Ostby won this time 8-6. This guaranteed Ostby a second match. In round two, the opponent was No. 3 ranked Jesse Munos of South Saint Paul. Ostby surprised Munos and put him to his back taking a 5-0 lead, but it wasn't enough. Munos worked his way back to a 12-7 win. This put Ostby into the consolation round and elimination with a loss. His opponent in this round was Corben Hansen of Kasson-Mantorville. Hansen wasn't ranked, but he wrestled on a team that competed in the team competition so he was very experienced. After a scoreless first period, Hansen earned an escape, Ostby scored a takedown, and Hansen earned another escape. In the third period, Ostby added an escape to go ahead 3-2, but Hansen caught him at the end and earned a takedown to win the match 4-3. Ostby ended his year 31-11.
Gibson started his tournament out with the monumental task of wrestling the No. 1 ranked, undefeated and defending state champion Austin Goergen of Caledonia/Houston. The outcome was an 11-0 win for Goergen. Gibson would have to wait to find out if his state tournament was over. However, Goergen won his next match allowing Gibson to continue into the consolation bracket. Goergen went on to win the 285-pound championship.
In his second match, Gibson wrestled Dylan Hoyt of Chisago Lakes Area. The match was even all the way and Gibson earned a 1-0 win. In the next round, the opponent was the No. 4 ranked wrestler, Nick Cervantes of Thief River Falls. There was no score in the first period and after Cervantes earned an escape it appeared the match would be low scoring. However, Cervantes put Gibson to his back earning a takedown and a three-point near-fall. In the third period, Gibson earned an escape and takedown, but it wasn't enough. He lost the match 6-3. He finished his year 34-5.