After winning a state wrestling championship last year as a junior, Pacific’s Austin Repp made it his goal to have a perfect 58-0 senior season.
Repp capped a remarkable high school career by winning his second straight state title in Class 3 at 170 pounds Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
In Saturday’s title match, Repp pinned Neosho’s Kyle Hostetter with his cradle move in 1:46.
Because high school wrestlers in Missouri are not permitted to compete in more than 50 matches during the regular season, a 58-0 season is the absolute best record possible.
Repp is the first wrestler in the history of the state to have a 58-0 record, according to MSHSAA Communications Director Jason West.
“I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” said Repp, who was 56-2 last season. “Since my sophomore year, I wanted to be undefeated.”
As was the case last season at the state meet, Repp had a business-like attitude, not showing much emotion after winning the state crown.
“I’ve always been that way. I’m excited, even though I don’t show it,” Repp said. “My dad tells me before every match to be smart. I just had to make sure to wrestle smart and not get in bad positions.”
The numbers for Repp are staggering.
In all eight of his combined district and state matches, Repp registered first-period pins. He spent a total of 4:42 on the mat in his four matches at state. His longest match at state was in the finals, which lasted 1:46.
When asked if he had many matches during the season that went into the third period, the humble Repp said, “no, not really.”
To be specific, Repp had just four matches go the distance this season. His closest match was an 8-3 win over Union’s Dalton Kuenzel, who won the 182-pound title in Class 3. He gave up just two takedowns and one reversal all season.
“Austin had as dominant of a season as I’ve seen,” said Pacific Head Coach Rob Schimsa. “The pressure of the state meet doesn’t seem to get to him.”
Repp completed his high school career with a 203-15 overall record, ending with 78 consecutive victories, and had 155 career pins. He’s a four-time state qualifier and a three-time state medalist, placing third during his sophomore season.
In his first three matches at this year’s state meet, Repp pinned Warrensburg’s Ben Richner in 54 seconds, Lebanon’s Adrian Palmer in 1:31 and Kearney’s Dalton Lewis in 41 seconds.
Pacific now has won eight individual state wrestling championships by five different wrestlers. Repp joins Scott Fiedler as the school’s only multiple state champion.
The Indians’ state champions are Roger Toben (1976), Fiedler (three times from 1983-85), Kent Sutterer (1990), Jesse Knott (2007) and Repp (2013-14).
“Austin wasn’t far away from being a three-time state champion. He lost in overtime in the quarterfinals (145 pounds) his sophomore year in a match he was winning to a kid who lost in overtime in the finals,” Schimsa said. “Austin is such a good kid. Everyone likes him. He’s respectful. He holds a 4.06 cumulative grade-point average.”
Repp won the state crown on Saturday with his best move, the cradle.
“That’s what I’ve been doing since I started wrestling. I haven’t won as many matches that way this year because I decided I needed to change it up since everyone knows it’s coming,” Repp said.
“He’s known for that move,” Schimsa said. “But he’s good enough that he can win with other moves.”
So did Repp see himself having this dominant of a career?
“My freshman year, I remember me and Jeff Miller (an all-state wrestler at Pacific last season) talking about how our seasons were going to go. We both thought it would be nice to go over .500 that season,” Repp said. “I wanted to win state every year, but unfortunately, fell short of that.”
Just minutes after winning his state championship match, Repp was seen in the back area of Mizzou Arena talking to Hostetter, his finals opponent, and giving him a few pointers.
“We were just talking. He’s a real nice kid,” Repp said. “I talk to pretty much everyone I wrestle, if they’ll talk to me. I just like to talk about wrestling and the kind of season everyone is having.”
Schimsa said Repp easily could be a wrestling coach.
“If that’s something Austin wanted to do, he could do it. He has good wrestling knowledge and deals well with others,” Schimsa said. “He’s just a special kid. It was a pleasure to have him in our program. Kids like Austin don’t come around very often.”
Repp said he does plan to wrestle in college.
“I haven’t decided where I’m wrestling next year, but I am going to do it,” he said.
Is a Division I school a possibility?
“I’m still deciding what I want to do,” Repp said. “I have different options at each level.”