Anderson's third trip to state leads to another medal
Kirby Anderson's third trip to the state Class A wrestling tournament re-sulted in a third state medal. Anderson, who finished third at 103 pounds as a sophomore and third at 112 pound as a junior, returned to the third-place match at the Xcel En...
Kirby Anderson's third trip to the state Class A wrestling tournament re-sulted in a third state medal.
Anderson, who finished third at 103 pounds as a sophomore and third at 112 pound as a junior, returned to the third-place match at the Xcel Energy Center Saturday. This time the third time wasn't the charm as the Menahga senior had to settle for fourth place following a 12-3 loss to Wabasso sophomore A.J. Jenniges.
Anderson, a three-time section champion, qualified for state by winning the 119-pound title at the Section 7A tournament. The state's No. 4-ranked wrestler began his quest for another state medal by pinning Crosby-Ironton sophomore Bran-don Biever in 1:13 in Thurs-day's first round and defeating United South Central sophomore Seth Amberg 4-0 in Thursday's quarterfinals. Biever entered state with a 22-15 record while Amberg was 27-5 and ranked No. 8 in the state.
In Friday's semifinals, Anderson dropped a 7-5 decision to Madelia senior Andy Forstner, who entered state undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the state. Forstner defeated Yellow Medicine East's Matt Williams 7-0 in the finals to cap off a 40-0 season.
That semifinal loss dropped Anderson into the wrestlebacks. Anderson advanced to the third-place match with a 4-3 overtime win over Badger/Green-bush senior Ryan Campbell, who was ranked No. 5 in the state. Campbell ended up finishing fifth to cap off a 36-6 season.
Anderson's bid for a third straight third-place finish was denied with the loss to Jenniges, who was the No. 2-ranked wrestler in the state. Jenniges ended the season with a 42-3 record while Anderson ended his season with a 39-4 record.
Anderson, who went 37-6 as a sophomore and 33-4 as a junior, compiled a 109-14 record over the last three seasons.
"I think Kirby wrestled his best tournament. He lost to the eventual state champ and gave him the best match he had the whole tournament. In that match Kirby hit his head pretty hard and I don't think he was at his best for the next two matches. Like the champ he is, he fought through it and gave it everything he had," said Menahga-Sebeka head coach Kris Koll. "Kirby has the attitude and determination that separates him from his competition. He is not a cocky wrestler. He gets on the mat and gets the job done. His work ethic and desire to be the best make him one of the toughest wrestlers in the state. Kirby always does what he is asked to do and never second-guesses my judgment as a coach. That is very important to any coach."
Menahga sophomore Tyler Ahlf had a short stay in his first state appearance.
The Section 7A runner-up at 152 pounds opened with a 7-1 loss to Madelia senior Darrek Ulmen in Thursday's first round. Ulmen entered state ranked No. 4 at 152 pounds, but ended up placing sixth. Ulmen ended with a 24-5 record.
Ahlf received a second match when Ulmen defeated Blooming Prairie senior Brad Klemmensen 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Klemmensen ended Ahlf's tournament with a 15-5 win during Friday's wrestlebacks. Klemmensen, who was ranked No. 5 in the state, ended up placing fifth to cap off a 37-3 season.
Ahlf ended his sophomore season with a 29-10 record. Pierz senior Warren Gall, the No. 2-ranked wrestler at this weight, won the state title with a 7-2 win over top-ranked Sean Glenz, a senior from Paynesville. Gall capped off a 43-3 season while Glenz finished at 43-2.
"Considering his first opponent was 22-2 and his second opponent was 33-1 and they placed fifth and sixth in the tournament, I thought Tyler wrestled very well, probably the best he wrestled all year," said Koll. "Tyler is only a sophomore and has a couple great years of wrestling ahead of him."