Tim Ostby placed second at 145 and Zach Gibson placed fourth at 285 at the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament held this past weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. It was a return trip for both Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta wrestlers who made the trip last year but did not place.
Sixteen wrestlers compete in each weight class. The top six places are acknowledged in the medal ceremony.
"The goal is the state championship, but being a medal winner in Minnesota is a big deal," explained Tiger assistant coach Blaine Hill.
Tim Ostby's trip to the championship match started with a major decision over Zach Jaeger of Stewartville by a score of 13-3. Ostby scored four takedowns and two near-falls in a strong performance.
In the quarterfinals he edged out Colton Vekved of Becker 5-2. In this match he put Vekved on his back two times.
The semi-finals were one of the most exciting matches of the year for Ostby. His opponent was Dustin Ellsworth of St. Paul Harding. Down 3-1 halfway through the third period, Ostby was awarded one penalty point because his opponent was stalling (not trying to score or was blocking). After several more takedown attempts that were blocked, and with only seconds left on the clock, the referee awarded a second penalty point to Ostby to tie up the match. In overtime, Ostby caught his opponent in a front headlock and put him to his back for a pin.
In the finals, Ostby met Jake Short of Simley . Short was 40-1 coming into the state tournament and ranked No. 1 in the State and No. 4 in the nation. Ostby gave up only one takedown in the first period, but wasn't able to hold Short off. After giving up an escape and a second takedown to Short, Ostby was pinned with 25 seconds left in the second period.
Ostby finished his senior year second in state with a record of 36-4.
Gibson's tournament started with a pin of Preston Woods of South St. Paul in 5:24.
Then he faced Austin Goergen of Caledonia. Goergen came into the tournament with a 33-1 record. He was the two-time defending state champion and Gibson lost to him in the opening round of last year's tournament. This year Goergen defeated Gibson 16-0.
In the wrestlebacks, Gibson defeated David DeYong of Staples-Motley by a pin in 1:38.
He then defeated Mike Dyer of Richfield 5-1.
In the consolation semi-finals, Gibson faced Matt Kadrlik of Simley. Kadrlik had knocked off two of the top heavyweights in the early rounds and had just come from a loss in the semi-finals. Gibson pinned Kadrlik in 3:36 to earn a spot in the third-place match.
He faced Sam Stoll of Kasson-Mantorville, the No. 2 ranked heavyweight in the state. In a hard fought match, Gibson was unable to score and lost 1-0.
Gibson finished his senior year fourth in the state with a record of 37-5.
"The State Tournament is all about the best wrestlers from around the state coming together to see how they match up," said Hill. "Tim Ostby and Zach Gibson both showed that they belonged. Their results were an exclamation point on a MAHACA Tiger wrestling season that was fun and showed everyone that the Tigers are on the move."