Mahnomen-Waubun senior Garret Hoffner became the first six-time winner of the Rodd Olson Invitational in Crookston Saturday. But a Crookston kid is hot on his trail to tie that mark. Pirate sophomore Cody Weiland became a four-time champion with the 138-pound title.
As a team, Crookston finished runner-up behind United North Central, who repeated as champions.
"Last year we were fourth and to come back and be 16 and a half points out of first...it was a nice tournament for us to start the year," said Pirate head coach Chad Hitchen." We knew Wahpeton would be tough tournament to push our better kids. This was good for everyone to get involved and have some success. It's nice to see all the kids win a match or do well. This was a confidence booster for those needing some success.
"Cody is on track for that as well," Hitchen said of Weiland on pace with Hoffner. "Cody is looking tough right now. There are still things we could get better at. He'll get better as the year goes."
Joining Weiland as Crookston's champions were his younger brother, Colton, at 113 pounds and junior Blake Bergeron at 160 pounds. Bergeron is now one win away from his 100th career victory.
"Colton, in his last tournament at Wahpeton he lost two matches and did not place so I didn't know what to expect," said Hitchen. "He got a pin in Thief River Falls but I didn't even ask for a seed for him and he ended up seeded sixth. You really didn't know what you'll get with a seventh grader with a losing record. It was a four seed and six seed in the finals. He was a surprise. I knew he could do it, but you just don't know what you're going to get with a seventh grader. He had a good day.
"Blake had a good finals match and won 9-8," Hitchen continued. "This is Blake's third Crookston tournament win. He had four matches and three pins. Cody and Blake are now the leaders in pins. He's been wrestling well, continuing where he left off last year."
Seniors Wyatt Hanson, 152 pounds, and Josh Edlund, 195 pounds, each placed second in their divisions. Edlund lost to Christopher Zimmer of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley-Nevis for the second straight year.
Seniors, Edlund, who is a two-time State participant, and Hanson have never won the Crookston tournament, finishing runner-up in 2010 and third in 2009.
"Wyatt always had a very tough wrestler in his bracket," Hitchen said. "Josh was always big for his age. He was at 152 or 160 pounds in his first year of varsity. Sometimes you'll have it that way. Josh and Wyatt happened to run into some tough weight classes each year."
The Pirates will compete in the Grand Forks Quadrangular Tuesday at Red River High School.