Osakis' Colton Waldvogel had dealt with some injuries throughout the course of his wrestling career that never really let him show how high his ceiling was on the mat until he was an upperclassmen.
Early in his career, it was an elbow injury. Then a broken hand.
He put that behind him as a junior to make his first state tournament appearance in 2017. Now as a senior, he finished his career by proving himself as one of the top wrestlers in his weight class as he wrapped up his career with a fourth-place finish at 170 pounds in the Class A state tournament this past weekend in St. Paul.
Waldvogel dropped a 3-1 decision to Wabasso-Red Rock Central's Nick Altermatt (35-2) in the third-place match.
"Little disappointed," Waldvogel said of that ending. "My goal was third place or better. Fourth is just one off. It kind of sucks, but it happens."
Waldvogel and Altermatt had never met before, so Waldvogel did not know exactly what to expect out of him. Altermatt led 2-0 after the first period. Waldvogel got an escape in the second period for a point, but he could not get many good shots on a long and athletic Altermatt.
"He's just a good kid," Waldvogel said. "He was the two seed, I was a one seed. We were the only people with one loss coming into the tournament, so I knew he was going to be tough. He just was too defensive, and I couldn't get anything on him."
Waldvogel finished his tournament with a 3-2 record and fell just short of making the championship match after falling 3-2 to WCA-A-B-E's Levi Larkin (38-8) in the semifinals.
Waldvogel dominated his opening match on Friday by taking care of Royalton-Upsala's Lyle Zimmerman (21-11) by major decision (14-2). Waldvogel then took care of Tyler Jacobson (24-11) of New Richland with a pin in 2:50.
"It's kind of bittersweet," Waldvogel said on his tournament as a whole. "Last match, taking fourth and losing, but it was still fun."
Waldvogel finished his senior year with a 37-3 record overall. He was appreciative of the season he and fellow senior teammate Gage Zieske had. Both of them had just one loss entering the state tournament and enjoyed one final run all the way through the placing rounds on Saturday night in front of a big crowd at the Xcel Energy Center.
"Gage and I both had our one loss before the tournament at the same place," Waldvogel said. "He would always tell me, 'If I win, you're going to win.' That's how it went all year until today. It was fun. We got pretty close doing this."