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Griffon, Teal qualify for national tournament

FORT DODGE, Iowa -- Wrestling at the North Central Tournament Sunday, Minnesota West had seven wrestlers compete.

Two of those wrestlers will advance to the national tournament Feb. 27-28 in Rochester.

Ashton Griffon (125) and Ryan Teal (157) each finished sixth and were selected to advance to nationals.

Griffon had a tough draw, but was able to pick up a win in his first match.

"Actually, he came out in his first match and he wrestled really well," MW head coach Bob Purcell said. "He had an 8-0 win against (Dan) Anderson from Rochester. Then he kind of had a let down in his next three matches. He didn't wrestle well; he was in the semifinals and lost by a decision."

In the wrestlebacks, Griffon faced a tough opponent from North Iowa Area Community College before facing Anderson again.

"He was in the semifinals of the wrestlebacks and he was wrestling a NIACC wrestler, and he ended up getting head locked for five points and lost 8-4," Purcell said. "For the fifth- and sixth-place match, he ended up wrestling the Rochester kid again and he lost 9-5. He got head locked there, too."

But as a wild-card selection, Griffon will still be making a trip to nationals.

"It's a good thing that he made it to the national tournament, and he looked good in his first match," Purcell said. "But after he lost in the semifinals, he kind of let down and it kind of took it out of his matches for the rest of the day."

Teal defeated Ryan Daniel Selder VanPuymbrouck at 157, and also finished sixth.

However, just like Griffon, Teal was also selected as a wild card and will be moving on.

Bryan Louis (149) and Jarek Bannister (heavyweight) each finished 1-3 on the day, and each were on the outside looking in at a trip to nationals.

"I'm disappointed we didn't get a third or a fourth one," Purcell said. "They really came down close to having them in there. Realistically, two is good to go. I was hoping for two minimum, and we got two."

Danny Cordido (133), Jamal McAllister (141) and James Sebea (174) each finished 0-3 at the tournament.