Last second pin sends Huskies to state


Source: Owatonna Wrestling Facebook

Owatonna Wrestling surrounds Isaiah Noeldner after his pin to send the team to the state tournament

Carter DeBus, Writer

Owatonna Wrestling ignored the rankings and wrestled leaving everything on the line. The Huskies had to face their rival Northfield after dueling Farmington. The third-seeded Huskies beat six seed, Albert Lea, in order to move on for a spot to wrestle at the Mayo Civic Center against the No. two seed Farmington. The match came down to a major decision, finalizing the score of 42-24. This pushed the Huskies into the championship match with Northfield. 

This match echoed last year’s championship match, which led to a heartbreaking end to the Huskies season sending them home empty-handed. Owatonna was not going to let history repeat itself. They stuck together, fighting back and forth until it came down to the final wrestlers.

The Huskies needed a pin to win; this would edge their team into the state tournament. In a thrilling 28-27 victory with a last-second pin between senior captain and heavyweight wrestlers Isaiah Noeldner (Owatonna) and Nick Lopez (Northfield), the Huskies came out on top. Noeldner said, “It’s surreal, but being able to come back and make everyone’s work come to fruition and accomplish our goal of making it to the state tournament is something I have always dreamed of.” This win crowned the Huskies with the title of the section champions and sent the team to state.

The Huskies will have to prepare quickly for the state tournament and get ready to face new opponents they have not come across in the regular season. Senior captain Jerez Autridge said, “We have already spent the last few weeks doing everything we can. Now it’s just time that we shouldn’t be overlooked anymore.” The Huskies have quite the group of kids that will be wrestling at state with five of them being ranked in the state of Minnesota. Head coach Adam Wiotalla said, “The whole season you’re preparing for it, that’s the goal in mind. That’s why we go to ‘The Clash’ and ‘The Christmas Tournament’ to prepare the kids for the tough part of the state tournament.” The Huskies will wrestle their first match in the state tournament on Thursday, Feb. 27. OHS Magnet will have more information on Monday regarding ticket presales.