By Brenda Erdahl
Neither snow nor quality competition could stand in the way of Annandale-Maple Lake wrestlers as they battled for positions in the State Wrestling Tournament last weekend. When the dust and snow cleared, the Lightning had five athletes standing on the podiums with tickets to state in their hands.
Lightning wrestlers braved a whopper of a snowstorm, Saturday, Feb. 24, to compete at Albany in the Section 6AA Individual Tournament. There they fought for a chance to compete at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3.
Quinn Youngs was the first to secure his state tournament berth. At 132 pounds, Youngs is the only Lightning wrestler with previous state experience.
“Quinn went in with high expectations,” Head Coach Ben Youngs said.
Youngs didn’t disappoint. After two quick pins put him in the final, he dropped a hard-fought match to another ranked wrestler, then had to win a true second match over an 11-4 Foley opponent. Youngs won the match to secure second place.
Hunter Manka entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed at 145 pounds and proved the rankings were accurate. After being disappointed last year at this event, Manka wasn’t about to let that happen again, Youngs said.
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