By Brenda Erdahl, Sports Editor
Annandale-Maple Lake wrestlers had busy few days last week, competing in eight duals in three outings. The week started for the Lightning on Tuesday Jan 9, at the St. Cloud Apollo Tri with a formidable opponent from the Central Lakes Conference, ROCORI.
Zach Schmidt had a big pin at 120 pounds; Quinn Youngs provided a tech fall, and Jack Klug a decision for the Lightning. After a pin by Adam Neuman, the Lightning were down 22-20. The feature match of the night was Walker Weege versus Gunnar Feldhege. Weege took a slim lead into the third period and was wrestling an “excellent match” coach Ben Youngs said, when he was caught in a headlock and pinned. Down 28-20, the Lightning took advantage of a forfeit to Bergstrom and a pin from Reed Rasset to regain a four-point lead going into the last two matches. Cuyler Helwig sealed the Lightning’s 35- 31 win with a decision.
ANML claimed its second win of the evening when it defeated Apollo 63-9. Forfeits and some tough wrestling led to the team win. Weege was again the featured match at 160 pounds. His Apollo opponent Brett Kirchner got the first takedown and led 2-0 after one, but Weege didn’t panic. He earned nearfall in the second and a reversal in the third. “His toughness on top won him the match,” Youngs said.
On Thursday, Jan. 11, the Lightning hosted the ANML Tri at Maple Lake High School. After cruising to a 48-19 win over New London-Spicer, ANML fell 41-27 to Litchfield. The Lightning were faced with a 16-0 deficit after 126 pounds against New London- Spicer and were down 19-6 after 138 pounds when the wrestlers stormed back to win. The biggest victory of the match was Neuman’s pin over NL-S senior Nate Thein. The Dragons, a Wright County Conference and Section 6AA opponent that is ranked in the top 10 in the state proved to be too much for the Lightning. ANML was down 17-0 after the first four matches and never fully rebounded.
The highlight of the match was the Lightning’s No. 2 ranked Quinn Youngs’ victory over No. 6 ranked Afton Kaping at 132 pounds. Quinn Youngs won the takedown battle 3-1 and the match 8-5 to put the Lightning on the board. “We lost 195 by fall, which again featured two top 10 wrestlers, and if that had gone our way it would have been a closer score. Still, we battled very hard,” Youngs said. On Saturday, Jan.
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