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ISSUE 115 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 3/15/2002

Morf wrestles his way to nationals

By Stefanie Graen
Staff Writer


Friday, March 15, 2002

Alex Morf '03 spent his first semester in Lancaster, England, training for his return to St. Olaf wrestling with a local Judo club. Although he missed preseason, he was still able to have a successful wrestling season. Along with Gabe Koepp 05 and Shad Bauer 02, Morf was named all-conference, placing second at 149 lbs. Besides the first-place finishers, four wildcards were also picked to travel to nationals, Morf being one of them. After a year of ups and downs for the team, including Morfs absence first semester, making it to nationals for the second year in a row was quite an accomplishment. The tournament was held March 1-2 in Wilkes Barre, Penn. Morfs first match was against the number three seed in the nation from John Carroll College in Ohio. It was a pretty tough draw, but I got a big upset winning 2-0, says Morf.

In the quarterfinals, he then got pinned by the number six seed from Brockport College. After this match he went on to the consolation bracket where he wrestled the number eight seed from SUNY-Oswego. His opponent would go on to be an all-American. Morf said, I led throughout most of the match, but gave up a take-down in the last few seconds of the match to lose. It was kind of a heartbreaking way to end the year, being so close to my goal and just missing out, but it was a good experience overall. Coach Kenneth Pratt believes that despite the outcome of nationals, Morf is easily one of the top wrestlers in the country. He should have been all-American. He also spoke about Morfs leadership capabilities and the numerous awards he received after the season from his teammates. It shows you what the team thinks of him. Alex is definitely one of the leaders, both vocally and how he performs in practices. Both Coach Pratt and Morf are excited for next years season, confident in the abilities of the underclassmen. Morf said, We have an incredibly tough group of underclassmen, who, although they took a few lumps this year, will be exciting to keep an eye on the next couple years. As for his personal hopes, he said, The good news is I still have another year to become all-American.





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