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Ostby, Gibson are champs at sections, advance to state tourney

Tim Ostby and Zach Gibson will represent the Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta wrestling team at Minnesota State High School Wrestling Tournament.

Both wrestlers were champions at the Section 3AA individual tournament Saturday in Dawson, while the Tigers also had eight others placing.

Evan Nelson was in a True Second Place match for a trip to State, but finished third at 120. Also placing third were Connor Metzger at 170 and Joel Harrison at 220.

Three Tigers had fourth-place finishes including Travis Ostby at 106, Myles Smith at 132, and Jordan Thooft at 160.

Dillan Johnson at 126 and Tyler Moser at 195 each placed sixth.

"During last year's Section 3AA individual tournament, the Tigers had two runners-up and placed seven wrestlers on the podium," explained assistant coach Blaine Hill. "The goal this year was to place more wrestlers higher on the podium and that is exactly what happened."

Tim Ostby was the No. 1 seed at 145 pounds and went untested, pinning his way to the title. In his first match he pinned Chase Rahe from Redwood Valley/Cedar Mountain by a fall in only 15 seconds. In the semi-finals he showed his throwing ability with a tremendous throw of Mathew Slater from Adrian. He pinned him in 2:52. In the finals he again showed his power and technical ability pinning Matt Poppema from Worthington in 4:39. Ostby will take a 33-3 record into the State Tournament.

Zach Gibson at 285 pounds had a tough path to the title. Despite a 30-3 record going into the tournament, Gibson was the No. 3 seed. Two of Gibson's regular season losses came at the hands of Brandon Schmitt, the No. 2 seed and defending Section Champion from Dawson Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley. The other loss, for the record, was to the two-time defending Class A State Champion Alex Yeager from Badger-Greenbush-Middle River. In his first match, Gibson defeated Arron Benson from Fulda/Murray County Central by a fall in 3:32. Then it was time for his rematch with Schmitt. This time the outcome was different with Gibson pushing the action and coming out on top 4-3. In the championship, Gibson pinned the No. 1 seed Colton Hines from Fairmont/Martin County West in 5:43. Schmitt then came back to defeat Hines in a True Second Place match and will join Gibson in the 285 bracket of the State Tournament. Another rematch could be on tap, but that will have to be in the championship. Gibson will also go into the State Tournament with a 33-3 record.

The Tigers wrestled very well in the wrestle-backs and had six wrestlers in the third- and fourth-place matches.

Tournament Records and place finishes:

106: Mitchell Ascheman, 1-2

113: Travis Ostby, 2-2, 4th Place

120: Evan Nelson, 4-2, 3rd Place

126: Dillan Johnson, 1-3, 6th Place

132: Myles Smith, 2-2, 4th Place

138: Jerid Berning, 0-2

145: Tim Ostby, 3-0, 1st Place

152: Seth Nelson, 1-2

160: Jordan Thooft, 2-2, 4th Place

170: Connor Metzger, 3-1, 3rd Place

182: Wade Ehlers, 0-2

195: Tyler Moser, 2-3, 6th Place

220: Joel Harrison, 4-1, 3rd Place

285: Zach Gibson, 3-0, 1st Place