By Brian Jerzak
There is a saying out there that goes, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. For most athletes, second place in the state wrestling tournament would be considered a wildly successful season, and most athletes don't get anywhere near that close to a state championship. After two straight second-place finishes at State - for Lakeville North's Zach Hanson – close no longer counted, and he wouldn't be happy unless he was on top of the podium.
"Winning a state title (last season) was a relief," Hanson said. "There have been no slouches in the state finals in Minnesota. (St. Michael-Albertville's) Cole Becker was a great opponent. We had wrestled earlier in the season, and it was a quadruple overtime match. You couldn't tell which way it would go, but getting that takedown in overtime was the most relieving moment I have felt in a long time. Just to know I had finally done it and proven I could do it. Now this year, I can focus on improving and not worry about results as much as I used to."
Hanson entered his senior season as the hunted, not the hunter.