By Victoria Dahlin —
After blanking Columbia Heights 84-0 in a meet last Thursday, the Vikings wrestling team placed seventh against tough opponents in the Mounds View Mustang Duals Tournament.
North Branch was defeated by Maple Grove 38-17, Tartan 40-27 and Milaca 57-18 before crushing Park Center 69-12 last Saturday in the duals.
“Although we beat Columbia Heights and Park Center by a wide margin, we were not focused enough to beat Tartan and Maple Grove,” said Coach Tony Aho. “They are good teams, but we feel that we should beat teams like that. Our guys are starting to take the initiative to rectify the situation, and we think things will start to click soon. Milaca is a very solid team, but we will find a way to push them harder next time we wrestle them.
“The junior varsity team looked very good on Saturday with two wrestlers taking championships against tough competition like Apple Valley and Owatonna. Cameron Sampson and Levi Eastwood represented the Vikings very well as champs, but the whole team is really showing aggression and a desire for excellence. Jesse Frink is an awesome leader while young guys like Thomas Steele and Alex Bigley are improving rapidly,” Aho explained.
The North Branch wrestling team will travel to Robbinsdale Cooper High School in New Hope for a meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, before competing in a tournament at Cambridge-Isanti High School in Cambridge beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21.