Fresh off a runner-up performance in Rochester, Minn., for the annual Christmas Tournament, the St. Michael-Albertville wrestling team kicks off action again this morning in southern Minnesota for “The Clash,” one of the country’s premiere mid-season wrestling tournaments.
It’s the 13th year for the event, and STMA has been in the mix each time it’s participated, winning the event in 2012. This year, the Knights will look to knock off Apple Valley, the tournament’s defending champions, as well as teams from Illinois, California and around the Upper Midwest.
Prior to the Christmas break, the Knights performed well in Rochester, with eight wrestlers placing in the top eight at the Christmas Tournament. Complete results of the weekend tourney can be found online here, courtesy of The Guillotine and Track Wrestling.
Top-ranked Mitch McKee, who is No. 1 in the nation at 126 pounds, wrestled his way to first place in his class, leading all Knights. Jordan Joseph, who’s also ranked at 182 pounds, finished runner-up in his class. Jake Briggs, at 220 pounds, also found his way into the top three, taking third.
Rounding out the placewinners were Patrick McKee, fourth at 106 pounds; Cody Schoen, eighth, at 138 pounds; Mitch Zachman, seventh, at 160 pounds; Evan Ronsen, fifth at 170 pounds; and Ryan Jones, fifth at 195 pounds.
The Knights racked up 170.5 points, just 17.5 behind top-ranked Apple Valley. STMA was the second place team in all of Minnesota, as well, finishing well ahead of AAA opponent Willmar.
After The Clash this weekend, the Knights return to Mississippi 8 Conference action with the Big Lake Dual on Jan. 8. Then, one more big dual tournament test awaits in St. Cloud as the Kiffmeyer Duals kick off Jan. 10 at Tech High School. The Knights will be home at the STMA Arena on Thursday, Jan. 15 when they host Rogers.
Here’s a video of the first place matches at The Christmas Tournament in Rochester, including Mitch McKee’s win at 126 pounds.