Kuenzel, Lasky Lead Union to 12th in Class 3 Standings - The Missourian: Sports

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Kuenzel, Lasky Lead Union to 12th in Class 3 Standings

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Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 11:45 am

With one state champion (Dalton Kuenzel) and a sixth-place finisher (Joe Lasky), it was a year for the record books in the Union High School wrestling program.

The Wildcats scored 42 points to place 12th in Class 3 an the MSHSAA Wrestling Championships, which concluded Saturday night at the Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

“I thought we wrestled great at the state tournament,” Union Head Coach Justin Cranmer said. “If you would have told me before the season started that we would have a state champion and another medalist at the end of the year I would have been a very happy coach.”

Kuenzel hopes this year’s state run can help to inspire younger wrestlers.

“I think this is going to be a confidence booster for all of the younger kids coming up,” Kuenzel said. “It shows that no matter where you start, you can always finish higher than where you began.”

Lasky said the program is on solid ground.

“We had a great team last year,” Lasky said. “We graduated a lot of good seniors. We came back this year and brought in good freshmen. We’re definitely a program on the rise. We’ve got a lot of young kids coming up. We have solid freshmen and sophomores.”

Both Kuenzel and Lasky are scheduled to wrestle in the senior national tournament in Virginia Beach, Va., March 27-30. Kuenzel will compete in the East-West All-Star Meet in Edwardsville, Ill., March 24.

Union had four qualified wrestlers and three who actually competed. Two of those three ended on the podium.

Kuenzel (182) is Union’s second state champion. Mat Machelett won the Class 3A heavyweight title in 1992, edging Neosho’s Russell Lewis, 5-3, to claim the crown.

“Dalton could not have wrestled any better at the state meet,” Cranmer said. “He scored the maximum amount of team points allowed at the state tournament because he pinned all four of his opponents.”

The last Union wrestler to compete in a title match was Jimmy Barnhart (215), who finished second in Class 2 at his weight class in 2009.

This season, Kuenzel capped off a 46-2 season Saturday night with his fourth pin in a row, a 3:05 win over Winnetonka’s Markel Fluker.

Near the midway point of the match, Kunezel trailed 3-0 when he found an opening and quickly put Fluker on his back for the victory.

To reach the finals, Kuenzel:

• Pinned Branson’s Christian Robertson in 2:11;

• Pinned Grain Valley’s Joey Sodano in 0:45; and

• Pinned Willard’s Hunter Yeargan in 5:20.

In the semifinal match, Kuenzel was involved in a close match until he found an opening and earned the pin.

A story on Kuenzel can be found elsewhere in this section.

Lasky (220) finished off a comeback season, earning a state medal by finishing sixth. It was a far better ending for Lasky than last year’s state tournament, when he was knocked out with a broken ankle.

“Last year, I broke my ankle,” Lasky said. “This year, I was pretty excited. My goal the whole season was to medal here. I got through and made it.”

Cranmer credited Lasky for picking up key wins to make the podium.

“Joe wrestled amazing at both the district and state tournament,” Cranmer said. “He beat a very tough kid from Staley first round. He lost to the eventual state champion from Hannibal in the quarterfinals but bounced back and won two tough matches to get to the medal rounds.”

After starting the season at 285, Lasky trimmed down to his fighting weight in the 220-pound weight class and recorded a 32-10 season.

“I wrestled at 220 last year, so I ended up cutting back down,” Lasky said. “I started the season at 250. I had to cut weight over all of Christmas break. It was terrible, but it was definitely worth it to be on the podium with some hardware around my neck.”

In his state opener, Lasky pinned Staley’s Logan Shinneman in 5:52.

But, in the quarterfinals, Lasky dropped an 8-0 decision to Hannibal’s Kyle Muehring, the eventual state champion.

Going into the wrestleback bracket, Lasky then pinned Chaminade’s Craman Mays in 2:23 and earned a 6-4 decision over Marshfield’s Micah Ragsdale to reach the medal rounds.

In the fourth-round wrestlebacks Saturday morning, Neosho’s Ben Elledge edged Lasky, 6-5. Elledge placed fourth.

Kearney’s Tyler Horton pinned Lasky in the fifth-place bout in 1:43.

“I’ve only been wrestling for two years,” Lasky said. “I was lucky I was able to get here with my coach helping after only wrestling for two years.”

Lasky is a three-sport standout with the Wildcats.

“I love wrestling for Union,” Lasky said. “I also do football and track. I love the town and all of the people in it.”

Lasky indicated he’s looking for the opportunity to play football in college, but would consider an offer

Two Union freshmen also got to experience the state meet.

Freshman Dylan Ahern (170) went 1-2 in the state meet to finish the season at 26-20.

“Dylan Ahern also wrestled well,” Cranmer said. “He won a match in the first round of wrestlebacks and I think he learned a lot from the experience and is even more hungry to win a state medal next year.”

Ahern opened with a 12-4 major decision setback against Dalton Lewis of Kearney, who wound up taking sixth.

Ahern knocked out Hannibal’s Austin Hawes, 13-8.

The meet finished for Ahern in a 33-second pin against Ft. Zumwalt North’s Levi Kessels, the third-place finisher in the weight class.

Union’s other freshman, Dawson Sickmeier (106) officially forfeited his two state matches to Willard’s Nikolas Chavez and Ladue’s Justin Espinosa.

Sickmeier (30-16) suffered a concussion in the third-place bout of the district tournament the previous Saturday in Farmington and was not cleared to compete at the state meet.

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Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

%Washington vs. TBA    4 p.m.

%Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff    5:30 p.m.

%St. Clair vs. TBA    TBA

%Sullivan Shootout

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL