KoMets return to state tournament
Over the course of high school tournaments, it’s understandable if a team should falter during the intense pressure that comes with the territory. For the Kasson-Mantorville wrestling team, they’ve been able to block that out and find a way to get to the state tournament seven out of the past eight years after defeating Albert Lea to claim the Section 1AA dual championship on Saturday afternoon.
The KoMets were completely dominant during the tournament, which began against Cannon Falls on February 11. While the KoMets only had five matches in the dual against the Bombers due to forfeits, they were able to really flex their muscle once they got to Rochester on Saturday afternoon.
The semi-final featured a matchup with Stewartville in which there was little doubt. K-M would launch out to a 24-0 lead thanks to falls in each of their first four matches. Stewartville wouldn’t get on the board until Ryan Clark earned a 5-1 decision over Elijah Wilcox at 138 pounds and the KoMets would cruise to a 64-6 victory over the Tigers.
Waiting for the KoMets in the final would be an Albert Lea team that had accumulated a 31-1 record on the season and was able to dethrone K-M as section champions a year ago. With the ranking of third in Class AA, it was fitting that the Tigers would be the final obstacle in the way of a trip back to the state tournament.
As it turned out, it was a mere speed bump.
The KoMets showed the gap between the first and third ranked teams in the class was about the size of the Grand Canyon as they picked up a 44-6 victory to win the section championship. K-M would win four of the first five decisions to open the dual and the one they lost was the result of a controversial 6-4 overtime decision when Gavin Ignaszewski defeated Brady Laumb at 120 pounds.
The KoMets would finish off the Tigers by the final eight matches including two technical falls by Aaron Berge (195 pounds) and Noah Ryan (220 pounds).
“A lot of the guys we have on our team now were defeated by Albert Lea last year,” K-M Wrestling Coach Jamie Heidt observed. “That loss really stung and we trained for this moment for about a year.”