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Wrestling: Moeller muscles way to third

Rosemount's Sam Moeller didn't hang his head after losing a 5-4 heartbreaker in Saturday morning's Class 3A state semifinals.

Instead, Moeller returned to the Xcel Energy Center mat to compete in the consolation bracket and scored two major decisions to earn third place at 182 pounds.

"He wrestled a quality wrestler and just came up a point short. If they wrestled 10 times they would probably split them," Rosemount coach Brett Larson said. "It was nice to see him rebound after that tough loss. To his credit, he regrouped and finished a great season with two of his best matches of the year."

Moeller, a senior, opened with 6-4 and 6-5 decisions to advance to the semifinals. After his lone loss, he defeated Matt Njos of Anoka 9-1 and Ricky Briggs of St. Michael-Albertville, 10-0. Moeller finished the season with a record of 40-7.

"It was great for him to be able to win his last match,"?Larson said. "He had agreat year and a great tournament."

The tournament started off well for teammate Adam Hedin. The freshman opened his first state meet with a 6-5 upset of third-ranked James Pleski of Forest Lake.

Hedin then lost his next two matches to a pair of seniors to close out his injury-shortened season at 16-5.

"Adam came out and wrestled just phenomenally to win his first match," Larson said. "It was a great highlight for his season. It was great for him to get three matches at state as a freshman."

Junior Payton Otterdahl also made his state debut for the Irish. He was pinned in his first-round match and finished with a record of 32-11.

"We're excited to have both Adam and Payton back next year. They both got some great experience wrestling at state this year and know what it takes to compete against the top guys,"?Larson said. "They both had great seasons."