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Falcons trounce Royalton, 56-12

Travis Frederiksen of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City eyes a first-period pin in his 152-pound match with Tom Averill of Royalton/Upsala in the Class A state quarterfinals Thursday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

ST. PAUL -- Micah Larson never grows tired of visiting the state capital in March.

Forget the Science Museum and the capitol building. The Xcel Energy Center is where he wants to be.

He and his Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City teammates are back in session at Xcel. It's the sixth straight team visit for the Falcons.

They opened their campaign for a second state title by scorching Royalton/Upsala 56-12 Thuyrsday.

The Royals are making their first trip to state and were the winners of 11 straight matches coming into the Class A tournament.

This is the fourth trip for Larson, both as an individual and with the team. He won his 30th match with a pin at 160 pounds, one of seven falls against the Royals (18-6).

"I'm just as excited to be here as the first time," said Larson. "I still feel nervous."

If the Falcons were nervous they took it out on the Royals with aggressive wrestling from the first whistle to the last.

"We wrestled smart and wrestled well on our feet," continued Larson, who plans to wrestle in college, either Southwest Minnesota State or Concordia College. "We knew we could do this. We're looking good right now."

The road to the final gets much tougher today against Kenyon-Wanamingo (23-6), the Section 1A champions who knocked off tourney regular Frazee 35-22 on the adjacent match.

It will be a rematch of last year's consolation semifinal won by the Knights 34-26.

Jessie Whitcomb, Scott Litzau, Matt Meyer, T.J. Frederiksen, Travis Whitcomb, Larson and Dylan Nelson all had pins for ACGC.

Even in losses by decisions at weights where the Royals were favored, Michael Kramer and Nate Meyer were on the attack at the end of their respective matches at 135 and 145.

Royals coach Kevin Presler, a 1975 Brooten graduate and the Royalton coach since 1982, said his wrestlers were a little "starry eyed" in their first visit.

"Even in the matches we thought were a toss-up, we were down five points by the time we got rolling," said Presler.

ACGC 56, Royalton/Upsala 12

103: Jessie Whitcomb, A, pin Dan Borash 4:30

112: Hayden Rouser, A, maj Mitch Lange 13-4

119: Matthew Lee, A, dec Andy Poster 7-3

125: Scott Litzau, A, pin Dan Moulzolf 1:01

130: Matthew Meyer, A, pin Odin Guerard 5:11

135: Peter Borash, R, dec Michael Kramer 6-2

140: Ryan Larson, A, maj Ryan Brady 15-3

145: Jordan Wentland, R, dec Nathan Meyer 8-3

152: Travis Frederiksen, A, pin Tom Averill :43

160: Travis Whitcomb, A, pin Brian Schlichting 3:31

171: Micah Larson, A, pin Craig Lensing :51

189: Deron Buboltz, A, dec Dan Gadacz 8-7

215: Jacob Kasella, R, pin James Nelson 1:15

285: Dylan Nelson, A, pin Andrew Plumski 4:26