Bobby Striggow capped a perfect season with a State Title in the 195 pound AA weight class Saturday evening at the Xcel Energy Center. He is just the fourth Orono wrestler to make it to the top of the podium in the last 41 years. Finishing the season 47-0, Striggow did not have a single offensive point scored on him all season other than 1-point escapes. The senior was a dominant force on the mat this season with 36 of those wins being earned by fall. In addition, he became the all-time Orono career win/loss leader with a record of 194-69 surpassing the previous record held by Joe Slaughter.
Bobby entered the State Tournament Friday seeded #1. He made quick work of his first opponent Scott West’s Dylan Aslaskon with a fall in 31 seconds. In the quarterfinal round he pinned Brenan Peralta of Thief River Falls in 4:27. A 15-0 technical fall in the semifinal round over Nick Nolan of Watertown-Mayer earned him a second trip in as many years to the State finals Saturday evening. There, Striggow upended Foley’s previously undefeated wrestler Saylor Schmitt 9-2.
According to Head Coach Joe McPherson, “Bobby’s hard work is what got him there – I was along for the ride.” And the Orono wrestling faithful enjoyed the ride as well. Family, friends, and teammates were all in the crowd to cheer him on.
“My goal all season was to just go out and score points and not let anyone hang with me,” Striggow said. “I want to put up as much offense as I can and just keep scoring.” Bobby will now join Orono’s last State Champion, his older brother Jackson and wrestle at the University of Michigan next year.
Four other wrestlers qualified for the State Tournament this year. Freshman Noah Arneson (145), junior Nick Simafranca (160), sophomore Danny Striggow (182), and senior Blaine Bauman (220) gained valuable experience but did not place. The three underclassmen will build on that experience next year to help grow the Orono program.
Attendance for the three day tournament was 54,528.
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