Northland Wrestling to host Big Cat Youth Open Saturday

The Big Cat Open is moving to a new location. After being held at Lincoln High School for most of the previous 25 years, the event is moving to Northland Community & Technical College for year 26.

The 26th Annual Big Cat Open will be held Saturday, March 17 in the Northland Gym. The event is open to all youth wrestlers in pre-K through grade six. Wrestlers will compete in four-man brackets, with trophies awarded to the top-four finishers in each bracket.

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J Robinson and Saint Thomas Academy Host New Youth Wrestling Tournament Preceding MNUSA State Tournament

Proceeds from tournament for PreK- 8th graders will benefit United Heroes League

MINNEAPOLIS/MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn – J Robinson, founder of JROB Intensive Wrestling Camps and three-time NCAA National Champion wrestling coach, and all-boys, college-preparatory Saint Thomas Academy, are partnering to host the inaugural J Robinson Wrestling Classic on Sunday, March 4, the final tournament before the MNUSA State Youth Wrestling Tournament, March 9-11, in Rochester, Minn. The tournament is open to boys and girls in PreK through 8th grades, with all proceeds benefitting Minnesota-based United Heroes League (UHL), a charity that makes it financially possible for children in military families to participate in and experience athletic competition.

Robinson, a former Army Ranger and Vietnam veteran, and Saint Thomas Academy see the tournament as an opportunity to contribute to the growth of wrestling in Minnesota and encourage athletes to further their athletic potential. “Providing young wrestlers with access to great tournaments is the best way to help them stay involved in the sport long-term,” Robinson said. “The success of our sport depends on it, and I am honored to partner with such a respected school as Saint Thomas Academy to help grow the sport of wrestling.”

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Ripplinger, Lloyd, Glazier, Cassioppi among champs at JJ Classic

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Ryan Ripplinger, a two-time state champion, came to Rochester with unfinished business. Last year he failed to reach the finals of the finals of the InterMat JJ Classic in Rochester, losing in the semifinals by a point and placing third. Two months later, he dropped two matches at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament to place fifth.

This year at the JJ Classic he left no doubt, cruising to the title at 126 pounds on Saturday. After picking up two technical falls and a fall to reach the quarterfinals, Ripplinger shut out two-time undefeated state champion Hunter Burnett (Pipestone, Minn.) 6-0 in the semifinals. He carried the momentum to his finals match, pinning Reid Ballantyne (Stillwater, Minn.), a returning JJ Classic champion and undefeated state champion. Ripplinger was named Outstanding Wrestler of the event. Continue reading at