Princeton wrestled its way to a second-straight invitational championship after surpassing nine other teams at the Jan. 11 Zimmerman Invite. The Tigers’ 206.5 points eclipsed the 140 by runner-up Grand Rapids who is a Section 7AA partner of Princeton.
Seven Tigers reached the finals to lead the way to the trophy. Nate Hellman won the 152 lb. brackets with a major decision and pin, then he decisioned Cooper’s Black 7-4 in the finals. Brent Chambers won first place at 195 with a pin and a 5-1 decision before he beat Zimmerman’s Johann 9-2 for the championship.
Five Tigers placed second in the tourney. At 120, Elliot Arens posted two pins, then Ball of St. Charles won by fall in the finals. Tim Bialka began with a pin and 6-1 decision at 132 before Rockford’s 2nd-ranked Griffin won by major decision in the finals. Billy McClay posted two falls to reach the finals where Pine Island’s Class A 3rd-ranked McPhail won 3-2. At 182, Wyatt Ross worked for a tech fall and a decision, then the Thunder’s May held for a 7-4 decision in the championship. Eric Elsner scored two falls at 285, then Heim of St. Charles won the finals 12-5.
Princeton won seven of the eight final matches to close the gap. Consecutive decisions came from Robillard at 145 (5-2), Hellman at 152 (4-2) and Pramann at 160 (2-1 in tie-break). CL’s Joe Virga clipped the Tigers’ B. McClay 3-2 at 170 to end that string.
After Ross received a forfeit at 182, the Tigers closed up the night with a 7-0 Chambers decision and falls from both Warren and Elsner.
Mississippi 8 Wrestling: East: Cambridge-Isanti 3-0, 11-2; St. Francis 4-1, 10-5; Chisago Lakes 1-2, 9-6; Princeton 1-3, 8-9; North Branch 0-3, 1-11. West: St. Michael-Alb. 3-0, 13-3; Big Lake 2-1, 2-1; Monticello 2-1, 7-7; Rogers 1-2, 9-4; Buffalo 0-5, 7-9.