Johnson claims state title
After a dominant year where he won 34 of his 35 wrestling matches, Owatonna junior Landen Johnson capped off the season by winning the state championship in the 160-weight class.
Johnson earned his place in the state tournament after placing first in individual sections, and he proved quickly that he was intent on carrying that momentum into Thursday. In his first match of the day, Johnson collected a pinfall to advance him to the semifinals.
In his second match, Johnson again showed his strength, winning by a 6-1 decision to advance the championship match for the second straight year.
Last year, Johnson fell short of first, placing second, but that would not be the case again this year. In a close match that would come down to the last period, where the junior was able to score a reversal to take the lead and the 5-4 win.
Johnson was not the only Huskie to compete in the state tournament.
Sophomore Cael Robb, who earned his way into the tournament after placing second at sections, placed sixth in the 120-weight class on Thursday.
Robb was pinned in the opening round but bounced back in his first match of the consolation round, winning by a 6-3 decision, allowing him to wrestle for fifth place.
In the fifth-place match, Robb was again pinned.
Senior Matt Seykora also represented Owatonna at the state tournament. While Seykora lost both of his matches and did not place, the entry in the state tournament is impressive within itself, especially given his circumstances. Ahead of last week’s sections, Seykora had only wrestled seven times after an injury had held him out of majority of the season.
In team competition, Albert Lea, who knocked Owatonna out of team competition, fell to Northfield, who fell to Shakopee in the section finals. Shakopee went on to win the state championship, defeating Anoka and St. Michael-Albertville on Thursday.