It was a banner weekend for the Washington High School wrestling team last Friday and Saturday at the Class 3 District 1 Tournament at the Farmington Civic Center.
The Blue Jays captured the district championship, crowned three individual champions and qualified 10 for the state tournament Thursday through Friday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
The 10 state qualifiers is the most in the school’s history.
“We’re wrestling with a lot of confidence. This is the right time of year to be doing that. We know that we have put the work in to get us here, so as long as we believe in ourselves, we can achieve our goals,” said Washington Head Coach Josh Ohm. “We didn’t wrestle this season to win a district title. We wrestled this year to have our school’s first state champion and to bring home the first team trophy. Until we get those things accomplished, we won’t be satisfied.”
Washington won the district title with a team score of 205.5 points.
Farmington finished second with 177.5 followed by Webster Groves (127.5), Pacific (117.5), De Soto (112.5), Union (107.5), Rockwood Summit (83.5), Sikeston (83.5), Hillsboro (74), Windsor (56), Poplar Bluff (54), Festus (45), Cape Central (39), St. Mary’s (34) and North County (18).
The top four finishers in each weight class qualified for the state tournament.
“As a team, it was a great experience to knock off such a powerful Farmington team and have such a contribution from the team,” said Ohm. “It wasn’t just a few guys who got this done for us, it was an entire team effort. When I say that, I really mean it. Every athlete contributed team points, which allowed us to separate from the others in the meet.
Washington’s individual champions were Cole Hamai, Spencer Baird and Caleb Summers.
Also qualifying for state were Parker Neptune, Cody Gardner, Nicholas Solter, Cody Summers, Kyle Summers, Logan Baird and Matt Pecka.
Hamai (138) went 4-0 in the tournament, improving to 49-3 on the season. He won a 13-5 major decision over Union’s Alex Gaebe in the finals.
Hamai will open the state meet against Willard’s Connar Loderhose (40-9).
“Cole did exactly what he was supposed to do and what we expect of him. He went out there and scored in the bonus in every match to help his team win a team title,” Ohm said. “He had another great meet and he continues to set records for us. He now holds school records for most wins in a season by a freshman, sophomore and junior. He also set the single season wins record as well. He will be the first to have 50 wins in school history this weekend.”
Baird (152) posted a 3-0 district record, improving to 44-7 overall. He won an 8-1 decision over Pacific’s Dalton Voyles in the finals.
Baird meets Kearney’s Jaxton Bingham (23-22) in the state opener.
“This was a great thing for Spencer. No one would have ever believed it, he had never won an individual title until Saturday. He has always just been a hard worker that finishes near the top, but never gets the championship,” Ohm said. “The best thing about Spencer is that he has said all along that he will win his last two meets and he really believes that. He is halfway there. We are excited to see him finish it off this weekend.”
Summers (160) went 4-0 in the tourney, moving to 45-8 on the season. He had an eye-opening 7-5 win over Rockwood Summit’s Ian McIntosh (36-2) in the finals.
Summers takes on Hillcrest’s Jesse Kerr (33-15) at state.
“Caleb went through another extremely tough bracket. He was really tested in the semifinals to a kid who had only one loss and that was in the first meet of the year over 45 matches ago,” Ohm said. “McIntosh is as good as they come in Class 3, but we believed in Caleb and so did he. He kept the match close and when a scoring opportunity appeared, he attacked and got the five. It was so great to see that if you put the time in and do things right, it will eventually pay off. He is seeing that now.”
Gardner (120) finished second with a 3-1 record, improving to 22-6 overall. He lost an 11-7 decision to Webster Groves’ Tyler Lawson in the finals.
Gardner wrestles Republic’s Tanner (Willis) Edgen (36-15) at state.
Solter (126) placed second with a 2-1 record, moving to 41-6 on the season. He lost a 12-4 major decision to De Soto’s Dalton Adams in the finals.
Solter meets Ft. Zumwalt North’s Eric Byers (23-9) in the state opener.
Kyle Summers (170) finished second with a 2-1 record, improving to 21-9 overall. He lost a 7-4 decision to Pacific’s Austin Repp in the finals.
Summers takes on Westminster’s Brink Thompson (23-23) in the state opener.
Neptune (113) finished third with a 3-1 mark, moving to 42-11 overall. He pinned De Soto’s Cody Dedear in the third-place match.
Neptune wrestles Helias’ Dylan Linsenbardt (44-8) at state.
Logan Baird (195) was third with a 3-1 record, moving to 38-13 on the season. He won by injury default over Hillsboro’s Joshua Mayberry in the third-place contest.
Baird takes on Staley’s Daltan Sweet (48-5) at the state meet.
Cody Summers (132) placed fourth with a 3-2 record, improving to 34-19. He lost a 5-1 decision to Farmington’s Brenden Briese in the third-place match.
Summers wrestles Kearney’s Blake Clevenger (39-9) at state.
Pecka (285) was fourth with a 4-2 record, moving to 34-17. He lost to Cape Central’s Chris Bryant in the third-place match.
Pecka meets McCluer’s Xavier Jenkins (27-3) at state.
Also competing for Washington were:
• Izeck Elbert (145) 2-2 to finish 7-14;
• Jeremy Monehan (182) 2-2 to end 23-16;
• Jacob Kliethermes (220) 1-2 to go 23-23.
The Blue Jays were open at 106.