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Hastings takes third at Kiffmeyer Duals

The Hastings wrestling team has seen some of the best competition that the state and the nation has to offer over the past few weeks. Hastings competed at the Christmas tournament, then followed that up with The Clash in Rochester, a nationwide tournament that is among the most competitive in the United States.

On Saturday, they wrestled at the Kiffmeyer Duals, where they faced the state’s No. 2 ranked team.

Here are summaries on how the Raiders fared in their recent action.

The Clash

Hastings traveled to Rochester on Jan. 2-3 to compete in the national tournament called The Clash. The tournament features the best teams from across the nation, and this year was no different.

Hastings was put in a four-team bracket and the Raiders went 2-1 in their bracket.

“The competition is unbelievable,” coach Josh McLay said.

Hastings beat Jefferson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the opening round, 42-17.

In the second round, Hastings lost to Marmion Academy in Aurora, Ill., 37-26.

“We wrestled them super tough,” McLay said. “We just lost a few close matches and that ended up costing us the dual.”

In the third and final match, Hastings beat Anoka, 31-27. The win over Anoka was a big one for the Raiders – last year, Hastings fell to Anoka in the same tournament.

“The kids really rallied,” McLay said. “We had a heartbreaker in the semifinals against Marmion Academy. To bounce back after that showed a lot of character.”

In the match against Anoka, Hastings had several wrestlers come up with big performances.

Jake Anderson had a close match going against his Anoka opponent, then was able to pin him.

“That was a big turning point in that match for us,” McLay said.

T. J. Pottinger, wrestling against one of the top Anoka wrestlers, was losing a major decision. Pottinger, though, got a reversal and rode out his opponent to keep the loss to a decision instead of a major decision.

“That was pretty cool,” McLay said.

Jacob Bacon, the team’s heavyweight, won a close match, 1-0.

“That was a big match for us,” McLay said. “The last couple years, he’s been battling injuries. Just to have him in the lineup and see him contribute to a huge team win was a nice deal.”

In the match against Jefferson, Trey Rogers beat the No. 5 ranked wrestler in Iowa at his weight class. Rogers is a freshman who wrestles at 160 pounds.

“He just wore the kid out,” McLay said. “He’s a kid who is constantly getting better.”

A week before the Clash, Hastings competed in the Minnesota Christmas Tournament, also facing some bigtime competition there.

“When you go through the Christmas tournament and The Clash, you really get beat up,” McLay said. “No matter what team you are, you’re going to take some lumps. We took some lumps, but the kids are healthy and they’re looking forward to the rest of the season. We got battle tested. We found where we can get better. There’s a lot of room for improvement.”

Saturday

Hastings competed at the Kiffmeyer Duals on Saturday, Jan. 10.

Teams from Hastings, St. Cloud Tech, St. Michael-Albertville, Albert Lea, Foley and Elk River all competed.

Hastings opened against Foley and won, 38-18.

The Hastings junior varsity lost to Foley, 42-30.

Hastings then faced No. 2 ranked St. Michael-Albertville and lost, 48-18. The junior varsity lost to STMA, 61-15.

Hastings then faced St. Cloud Tech for third place and won handily, 50-18.The junior varsity, meanwhile, beat Elk River, 63-0, to take fifth.

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