Members of the men’s wrestling and swimming teams compete at state tournaments

Elika Beck and Laura Thomas, Staff writer and Sports Editor

This past weekend, members from two of South’s athletic teams participated in state tournaments. Swimmers competed at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center while wrestlers took the mats at the Xcel Energy Center both Friday, February 4, and Saturday, February 5.

“I was happy to be there,” said junior Emerson Hunton about the swimming state meet. Hunton, along with senior Calder Michienzi, senior Riley Kramka, junior David Baldus, and sophomore Andres Alvarez, qualified for the state swim meet this year. They all swam in the preliminaries on Friday night but only Michienzi made it to the finals, which took place on Saturday.

Hunton, Michienzi, Baldus, and Kramka participated in the medley relay. In this event, they finished 17th overall, gaining time from the sections final race. Alvarez finished 20th individually in the 100-meter backstroke race. In the 200-meter individual medley, Michienzi finished 23rd and broke the previous school record in the event, with a time of 2:05.06. Michienzi made it to finals in his third event, the 100-meter breaststroke, and took sixth place overall, earning a medal. He also broke the school record in that event with a time of 0:59.83.

“It was our goal to be there and experience it,” commented Baldus. He and Hunton are both hoping to make it to state again next year.

Senior Nathan Peterson was one of two South wrestlers to make it to this year’s state tournament. Competing in the 160-pound weight class, this was Peterson’s first year making it to state. Peterson lost his first match against the third-ranked competitor in the 160-pound weight class, Cory Hanson from Albert Lea High School, and did not get the opportunity to wrestle again.

Though the experience was short-lived, Peterson commented, “It felt good to have the opportunity to compete in such a large and intense atmosphere.”

The second wrestler from South to go to state was junior Amin Buta, a participant in the 125-pound weight class. In his second year at state, Buta won 4 out of 6 matches, finishing 5th overall in his weight class. He also managed to avenge one of his losses by defeating the wrestler he lost to in the second round.