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Class 3A wrestling quick hits

02/28/2013, 1:06am CST
By Star Tribune

CLASS 3A QUICK HITS

• With St. Michael-Albertville owning the No. 1 ranking (according to theguillotine.com) in Class 3A, this will be the most anticipated team tournament in recent years. The undefeated Knights, ranked No. 6 nationally by the InterMat Wrestling website, could become the first team other than Apple Valley to win the team title since Owatonna in 2005.

• Don't expect Apple Valley to go out quietly, however. The No. 2-ranked Eagles still are formidable, sending all 14 starting wrestlers to the individual tournament, and are ranked No. 18 in the nation by InterMat. Apple Valley has won seven team championships in a row, 13 of the past 14 and 20 overall.

• No. 3-ranked Prior Lake has taken third place in each of the past two meets. Three of the Lakers' four dual-meet losses have come to Minnesota's elite: Simley, Apple Valley and St. Michael-Albertville.

• Woodbury is making its first state tournament appearance as a team. Moorhead is back for the first time since 1981.

• There are four undefeated wrestlers: St. Cloud Apollo 138-pounder Mitch Bengtson (40-0); Rochester John Marshall 160-pounder Tim Moore (16-0); Roseville 195-pounder Trae Story (39-0) and Willmar heavyweight Cass Herzog (33-0).

• Bengtson needs two victories to become the second-winningest high school wrestler in state history. His record is 261-6; Destin McCauley of Apple Valley holds the record with 286 victories. Bengtson, who has won three previous championships, had his state-record 179-match winning streak ended by Eden Prairie's Sam Brancale in the 126-pound final last year.

JIM PAULSEN

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