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Wrestling: Tiebreaker criteria gives Tech win over Cardinals

Dan Oberg picked up a crucial pin at heavyweight to give the Alexandria wrestling team a 31-31 tie with St. Cloud Tech after the final match on Thursday.

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Sophomore Dan Oberg goes for the pin in the first period at heavyweight in Thursday's match against St. Cloud Tech. Oberg's pin tied the match at 31-31. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Dan Oberg picked up a crucial pin at heavyweight to give the Alexandria wrestling team a 31-31 tie with St. Cloud Tech after the final match on Thursday.

With the score tied at the end of the dual meet, coaches and officials pulled out the scorebook to figure out which team won by tiebreaker. Alexandria head coach Tom Ellison said the Tigers ended up pulling out the victory by having the highest combined total of all first points scored in each match. St. Cloud Tech had 14 of those while Alexandria had 10.

Both Ellison and the Cardinals wrestlers said it appeared they came out a little flat in the match. Part of that was potentially due to a trip up to Moorhead on Tuesday when the Cardinals lost a close 31-26 match to Moorhead.

“I think we maybe wrestled a little tired,” Ellison said. “We had a long trip up to Moorhead, and we got back at about midnight.”

The match was important in the standings as Tech (1-1) and Alexandria (1-0) both had one win in the Central Lakes Conference heading into Thursday. The Cardinals knew the match would be important in the end-of-the-season conference standings.

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“It’s honestly disappointing,” senior Dustin Neu said. “We just need to work hard in the practice room and improve a lot.”

The match came down to the heavyweights after Tech’s Tyler Hugg picked up a key pin at the 220-pound weight class. But Oberg’s crucial pin with 39 seconds left in the first period gave the Cardinals a chance in the criteria.

After the match, Oberg said he has been wrestling with a little extra effort in remembrance of teammate Michael Schluter, who died in a car accident in October.

“It felt so good,” Oberg said. “There’s always an extra incentive, we missed one of our teammates in an accident and I’ve always got that extra heart in me to keep going. It felt good to finally come back with that pin.”

Jake Nienaber picked up another key come-from-behind pin at 152 pounds. He trailed 7-4 after the second period but got his opponent on his back in the third. Ben Johnson also started the match with a second period pin for the Cardinals at 106 pounds.

Neu wrestled his way to a 12-1 major decision at 160 pounds. Neu said he was disappointed with his opponent’s lack of movement on the mat as he was trying to pick up a technical fall victory.

“I’m going to come across wrestlers like that who play it safe, especially when it comes down to team (points) and everything,” Neu said. “This is a huge conference match and everything, and that’s one of the reasons I am sort of disappointed.”

Other Cardinals decisions came from Adam Johnson (113), Gage Zieske (126) and Blake Olhausen (145).

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Olhausen felt he wrestled strong in his match despite having some trouble getting on his feet in the second period.

“On top he rode me pretty hard, and I was having a tough time getting away,” Olhausen said. “Once I was out of the bottom position I wrestled pretty well.”

The Cardinals will next make the trip down to Redwood Falls tomorrow for the Redwood Valley weekend tournament this weekend.

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