In the 41 years of the New Richmond Invitational, rarely has the Tiger wrestling team performed so well.

The Tigers won individual championships in seven of the 14 weight classes to earn the team title for the 2010 NRI.

The Tigers finished the tournament with 260.5 team points. Clear Lake ended up in second place, with 237 points.

Winning individual titles for the Tigers were Aaron Daul, Abe Anderson, Charlie Gartner, Cody Chouinard, Grant Nelson, Jorden Aufderhar and Joel Neumann.

"It was an awesome day for the kids," said Tiger coach Mark Neumann. "It was fun to see a young bunch step up. We had a bunch of kids who were riding the fence who started to live up to their abilities."

The ability to perform under pressure paid off handsomely for the Tigers. They won seven of their eight championship matches. In four of those wins, the Tigers trailed and had to come from behind to get the win.

Several of the Tigers who won titles weren't the top seed in their weight class. The most unlikely champion was Daul, who started the day with a 2-8 record. Daul recently moved down to 125 pounds, which made all the difference. Daul pinned Spooner's Dakota Hammond in the finals.

"He's where he can use his athleticism," Neumann said. "He's got a lot of ability."

Anderson was the top seed and wrestled well until reaching the finals. He had to come back late in the match, winning 7-5 in overtime.

Gartner was another Tiger who had to come from behind in his championship match. He faced James Shafer of Clear Lake, who had a 21-5 record. Gartner got a takedown late in the third period to win 5-4.

Chouinard has been wrestling with a great deal of confidence lately and he powered through the 160-pound bracket. He defeated St. Croix Central's Cody Nyhagen in the finals 7-2.

Nelson's day was the most nerve-wracking of the Tiger champions. Four of his wins were painfully close, including his 4-3 win in the title match against St. Croix Central's Marcus Malecek. Nelson trailed with 20 seconds left in the match when he was able to shoot in and get the winning takedown.

"A lack of aggressiveness has been his problem all year," Neumann said. "It was nice to see him attack the kid, shoot in for the takedown and finish it."

Aufderhar needed pins in his last two matches to get out of serious trouble. He trailed in the semifinals 8-2 before getting a pin. In the finals he was behind Clear Lake's Garret Paulson 5-0. Aufderhar then hit a roll and put Paulson to his back, getting the pin.

Joel Neumann was the Tigers most dominating wrestler on Saturday. He pinned all five of his opponents to raise his season record to 23-3.

The only Tiger who didn't win in the finals was Cole Rebhan at 145 pounds. Rebhan had quite a day to that point, pinning his first four opponents.

Dual success

The NRI championship capped a huge week for the Tigers. Two nights earlier, they stung Somerset with a 45-20 win in a Middle Border Conference match.

"That was the first time all year we had consistent efforts in every class, win or lose," Coach Neumann said.

The Tigers won most of the matches that were expected to be close, especially in the early going. Pins by Tanner Turany and Jake Gillis and a decision by Gartner put the Tigers ahead 15-0. Somerset never recovered.

Jason Johnson and Daul also came up with wins in matches that were being viewed as tossups heading into the night.

Neumann said some of the Tigers' best efforts came in losses. He said Aufderhar put up a great fight in the 189-pound match and credited Oliver Swanson for not getting pinned by a vastly more experienced 103-pound opponent.