By ANDREA VARGO
Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted seventh grader Pat Salonek took third place at the 1998 Northland Youth Wrestling Association (NYWA) state tournament in Rochester, Minn. at the Mayo Civic Center, March 28-29.
He was among approximately 950 wrestlers, kindergarten through eighth grade from all over the state of Minnesota who competed.
Salonek won first place at Lester Prairie, March 14, to qualify for the regionals at Lakeville, March 21. At Lakeville, he took first place again to qualify for the state tournament in Rochester.
At Rochester, wrestling in a 16-man bracket in the 80 pound weight class, Salonek won by a pin to a wrestler from Adrian, Minn. Next, he beat a New London-Spicer wrestler 12-0. Salonek suffered a loss in his third match to an Albert Lea wrestler, who eventually won the state championship.
The second day, following a parade of champions, Salonek wrestled against an independent wrestler and won with yet another pin. In his last match of the tournament, Salonek defeated a wrestler from Alexandria 10-0.
Salonek finished the season with a 26-5 record, 17 wins were on pins.
Salonek is the son of Pat and Jessie Salonek of Waverly.