It was a weekend of highs and lows for the St. Michael-Albertville High School wrestling team as the Knights competed last weekend at the State 3A Tournament inside the confines of the Xcel Energy Center.
With six wrestlers qualified for the individual tournament and a No. 2 seed in the State 3A team tourney, STMA was poised to walk away with another season of success on the mats. And, for the most part, they did. Five of the six earned spots on the the state podium in the individual tournament, and the Knights as a team won their last duel of the season.
It just wasn’t the one they, collectively, were hoping for.
Prior Lake knocked off STMA in the team semifinals Thursday night, using a couple of upsets in the early going to put STMA in a hole, and holding off the Knights late to advance. The Lakers, who had missed the State 3A finals and ended up third the past three seasons, couldn’t top Apple Valley, however, as the Eagles cruised through the team tournament to their ninth straight state championship.
STMA knocked off Hastings for the bronze, thanks in large part to the three wrestlers it would put atop the state individual podium: Tommy Thorn, Mitch McKee and Mark Voss.
For each of those young men, it was a season of breakthroughs.
Mckee, at 120 pounds, was fighting not only his mat opponents, but his own personal struggles, as his father is battling cancer. The two men provided the moment of the tournament, when, after winning handily in the 120-pound state championship match, Mitch bolted for the sidelines to find his father, Steve, and embrace him in front of a crowd that rose to its feet in approval.
“I wanted him there,” Mitch would later tell MSHSL reporter John Millea. “It meant so much.”
Immediately following that, Tommy Thorn would put himself and his family in the record books with a state championship at 126 pounds. The title was his fourth straight individual crown, and for the Thorn family, it was win No. 11, making Mike, Tommy and David the winningest trio/family in MSHSL history. Tommy will follow in his brothers’ footsteps and wrestle at the University of Minnesota next fall.
Finally, for Mark Voss, it was a time to break through. After coming up second a couple of times, each in its own heartbreaking fashion, the STMA senior found his way to the title match again at 145 pounds. This time, however, Voss wouldn’t be denied, taking down Osseo’s Carson Brolsma for his first, and long-awaited, individual title.