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FCLMC’s Anderson ‘pins’ state runner-up title

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Mar 8th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Sports

Niko Anderson is a junior at Lanesboro High School and a wrestler for the Fillmore Central-Lanesboro-Mabel-Canton Wolves’ wrestling team. Now a person can tag the title “Class A 170 pound state runner-up” to his list of titles after the individual state wrestling tournament that took place the first weekend of March at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Wrestling is a sport that sometimes has its popularity overlooked in Minnesota. Nonetheless, it definitely draws its crowds of avid fans. Just ask Niko’s mother, Lori Anderson, who was cheering Niko on in the stands throughout his entire state run. “Most parents are more composed, but my excitement was uncontainable,” she described the experience. As the sport is intense for the fans, there is even more intensity on the shoulders of the participants. Anderson described the state tournament as having an exciting atmosphere, stating, “It took awhile to take everything in… the lights, the noise.”

Anderson went into the beginning of his season with the goal of being a state tournament entrant, never expecting to come out with the title of “second in state.” The thought of actually placing never really entered his mind. He faced some tough competition at the state tournament as he worked his way through the championship bracket. Two of his matches resulted in overtime wins. His championship match took place Saturday evening at around nine o’clock, which resulted in a 5-2 loss against Jackson County Central’s senior Darick Vancura (who was also last year’s Class A 160 weight class champion).

Anderson said he was very thankful for his support network throughout his wrestling season including his parents and the Fillmore Central, Lanesboro, and Mabel-Canton communities. When he arrived at the state tournament he was told, “You have nothing to lose.” He lived by this theme throughout the entire duration of the tournament.

On Sunday, March 3 a reception was held for Anderson in the Fillmore Central cafeteria where FCLMC’s head wrestling coach, Jim Love, formally congratulated Niko for a tremendous job and the team for a great year. Assistant Coach Joe Cullen commented on Niko’s success, “Niko is a great natural athlete… His success comes from many years of hard work, not just one weekend of wanting to do well. There are very few who can match his dedication to improving himself in the weight room.” When asked about his future goals for next year Niko responded, “To be a state champ after being runner up this year, and to reach my 100th win, I’m pretty close.” In fact, he has currently has 90 wins and finished the season with a 36-2 record.

Note: The Chatfield wrestling team also had a very successful season. The team placed third overall in the Class A team state tournament. They also had three wrestlers place individually: Hank Friederichs placed third in 120A, Harvey Friederichs placed second in 132A, and Justin Viss placed fifth in 195A.

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