Owatonna wrestlers win over conference rival Albert Lea

On Saturday, Jan. 25, the sixth (AAA) ranked Owatonna Huskies wrestling
team traveled to Albert Lea to take on the eighth (AA) ranked Albert Lea
Tigers. The dual between these two bitter rivals is highly anticipated year
after year. The outcome had big implications on the Big 9 title.

The night started out with the Junior High teams battling it out before the junior
varsity portion took place at 6 PM. The Owatonna JV team started the night out
right for the Huskies winning their dual by a score of 46-27. Following the conclusion
of the junior varsity competition, the varsity dual began. The dual swung back
and forth many times. Owatonna quickly found themselves in a bit of trouble
after facing a 9-0 deficit after the first two matches. Freshman Tanner Cole
picked up a major decision to bring the momentum back onto Owatonna’s side.
Going into the 170 pound match, the Huskies were down 18-14. Senior captain
Tyler Vogt quickly brought the dual back into Owatonna’s favor with a first
period pin. When asked how it felt to win his last match against Albert Lea of
his career, Vogt said, “It was exhilarating! It’s amazing to check off for my
senior year.” Following Vogt, junior Jathan Dettmer picked up an 8-4 win at
182. Hunter Jirele lost a battle at the 195 pound weight class by a score of
3-2. Going into the final two matches, Owatonna led 23-21. A technical fall or
pin at 220 would clinch the dual for the Huskies. 220 pounder Logan Johnson
knew exactly what was needed. The senior went out and got a pin to clinch the
dual and a possible Big 9 title for his team. The dual ended in a score of
29-27 in the Huskie’s favor.

Head Coach Cliff Casteel said, “I’m very proud of
our athletes. We have many dedicated kids that have trained extremely hard
since November. We competed tough and outworked the Tigers. The athletes
deserved this victory.” The win over the rival Tigers was a big one for the
Huskies. It took a total team effort and that is exactly what the Huskies displayed.
Others picking up wins for Owatonna included, Chandler Bauer, Alex Green and
Brandon Moen. The Huskies wrestle next on Thursday, Jan. 30 in a triangular
against Cambridge-Isanti and Simley at home.