State Class AAA individual wrestling: Cumberbatch is state runner-up
Justin Cumberbatch may be only a sophomore on the Cardinal wrestling team, but he has a veteran presence on the mats.
Cumberbatch, who was one of three Alexandria wrestlers advancing to the State Class AAA individual tournament over the weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, worked his way to the championship match at 220 pounds, falling just short of a title.
"Justin picked up two wins on Friday to get himself into the semifinals on Saturday morning," said Cardinal head wrestling coach Tom Ellison.
Cumberbatch claimed a technical fall over Stillwater junior Haden Hausken at 4:20 in his opening match, then edged out Rochester Mayo senior Zach Lorang 8-7.
"In the semis, Justin took control early and finished with an impressive 19-5 win over a wrestler from Shakopee," Ellison said of Cumberbatch's win over senior Chaydon O'Fallon, who was ranked No. 7 at 195 pounds in the final Class AAA polls.
"Justin put the Shakopee wrestler on his back several times, and nearly finished the match with a pin."
That win put Cumberbatch in the title match against No. 2 ranked Paul Cheney of Apple Valley Saturday evening.
"Justin scored first by getting a takedown early in the match, and the first period ended 2-1 in Justin's favor," said Ellison. "The second period didn't have much action, but the Apple Valley wrestler was able to get an escape to tie the score at 2-2.
"In the third, Justin scored an early escape to take the 3-2 lead," said his coach. "Both wrestlers had chances for takedowns in the third, but neither could finish to score the points.
"It was late in the third when the Apple Valley wrestler scored a takedown. Justin quickly escaped, only to get taken down again and escaped early to make the final score 6-5 in favor of the Apple Valley wrestler.
"[It was] disappointing for Justin to end up on the losing end of the score after being so close to winning, but a fantastic state tournament," Ellison said.
Cumberbatch finished with a 35-3 record and was ranked No. 4 in the final Class AAA polls.
Cardinal freshman Blake Olhausen also reached the state tournament, but fell in his first round to a wrestler from Cambridge. That wrestler lost his next match, knocking Olhausen, who finished the season with a 28-10 record, from the tournament.
Senior Tony Hubbard lost his first match, then had a chance to wrestle his way back into the tournament at 145 pounds, but fell to an Eden Prairie wrestler in a tough 1-0 loss.
"Tony suffered the same fate at last year's tournament when he was placed in the bracket and the two guys he lost to went all the way out to place fifth and sixth," said Ellison.
Hubbard finished with a 32-7 record. He was ranked No. 9 in the final state polls.
STATE CLASS AAA INDIVIDUAL WRESTLING RESULTS
BLAKE OLHAUSEN, 120 POUNDS, NP - fell to Travis Swanson, Cambridge Isanti, 6-0; Swanson fell in the second round, so Olhausen did not advance.
TONY HUBBARD, 145 POUNDS, NP - fell to Jake Hanson, Rochester Mayo, by pin in 1:09; WRESTLEBACKS - fell to Chase Monger, Eden Prairie, 1-0.
JUSTIN CUMBERBATCH, 220 POUNDS, RUNNER-UP - technical fall over Haden Hausken, Stillwater, 18-2 in 4:20; decisioned Zach Lorang, Rochester Mayo, 8-7; decisioned Chaydon O'Fallon, Shakopee, 19-5. CHAMPIONSHIP - fell to Paul Cheney, Apple Valley, 6-5.