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In Search of a Three-Peat (Tanner Donelan)



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The Garretson wrestling team is young this year.  Full of inexperienced wrestlers, looking to learn from one of the best.  Tanner Donelan is a two-time defending state champion, and he is the leader of the Blue Dragons.

"He's just a down-to-earth, good, humble kid," said Garretson wrestling coach Jay Swatek.  "He's willing to put in the time.  He knows the sacrifice is worth it in the end."

Like most state champion wrestlers, Donelan put in his time before winning.  He lost in his first three trips to the state tournament, including a runner-up finish his freshman year.  But he broke through in 2009, claiming the 130 pound title in Aberdeen.

"It feels good to get it off your back, it's a lot of pressure on you," said Donelan.  "At the end of the year it just feels good to go out that way.  You just gotta get back in the weight room working out for next year and try and do it again."

He did just that last February, claiming the 135 pound championship in Sioux Falls.  Now he has his sights on a third title to close out his high school career.

"Obviously his goal is to win a third time and he wants to end that way," said Swatek.  "He knows there's been a lot of good Garretson wrestlers in the past who've worn that singlet and he wants to have his name up there with them."

"It'd feel good to go out with three," said Donelan.  "It's kinda my big goal this year is to get the third one."

After finishing last season with a 46-1 record, there isn't much more he can do to improve.  Just go out and, like Donelan says...try and do it again.

"I feel wrestling is a very rewarding sport," said Donelan.  "You put all that time in, work hard, and cut all that weight.  To go out there and win it all is very rewarding."

Tanner Donelan would know.  He's already won two titles.  This February, he may end up at the top of the podium again.
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