Owatonna Heavyweight Pins Team to State
It was a classic Section 1AAA final between the #6 rated Owatonna Huskies and #5 ranked Northfield Raiders Saturday at the Rochester Mayo Civic Center. The match came down to the 285 weight class. Owatonna senior Isaiah Noeldner had to pin Northfield junior Nick Lopez for the Huskies to gain state. He did just that with the team score ending 28-27.
If the two teams had ended the dual in a tie the Raiders would have won on criteria because they won 8 of the 14 matches. The difference was the extra points Owatonna was able to obtain and avoid.
The Huskies started the dual with a fall at 106 pounds in 3:58 by freshman Cael Robb over freshman Brady Gorr. Guillotine ranked Robb 9th in the state in Class 3A. He came into Saturday's action with a 30-6 record. Gorr was 4-7. The first period ended with Robb up 8-5 and Gorr's teammates applauding his efforts.
Northfield would win the next five matches but had no bonus points along the way. The Raiders forfeited at 170 which gave the Huskies a 1 point lead heading into the final four matches.
Senior David Tonjum, ranked #7 at 220 recorded a fall in 1:01 over senior Luke Efffertz to give Northfield a 5 point lead going into the 285 pound match.
After the pin the Huskies fans and players were hugging each other and jumping up and down while the Raiders were dejected. It was the classic Wide World of Sports open that talks about the "thrill of victory" and "agony of defeat."
Northfield was the top seed while Owatonna the #3 seed coming into Saturday's final four. The Raiders had no problem dispatching #5 seed Rochester Mayo 55-9 and Owatonna secured a comfortable 44-29 win over #2 seed Farmington to set up the final.
The Raiders finish their team season 25-5. Owatonna heads to state with a 21-3 dual mark.
In the other two Section finals Saturday the top seed came out on top. Grand Meadow-Leroy-Ostrander-Southland representing Class 1A and Simley Class 2A.