Pacific made it back-to-back Four Rivers Conference wrestling titles with a dual meet victory Thursday over Union.
The Indians completed an unbeaten run through the league with a 43-22 win over the Wildcats at Pacific High School.
“We’re happy to be conference champions, but just like I told the kids, we can’t be satisfied. We can’t be satisfied for being good. We have to work to be great,” said Pacific Head Coach Rob Schimsa. “Some of our kids take that to heart and put in the extra work and some of them are just skating by, and we have to fix that. It’s getting toward the end of the year and some of our kids will move on, and some of them won’t.”
Owensville finished with one conference loss and Union suffered two league losses to place third.
“We gave ourselves a chance with the guys that we got. Our guys are working hard and getting better. I think we’re getting ready to peak for districts,” said Union Head Coach Justin Cranmer. “We’re ready for districts. Our lineup has shrunk over the last month. The nine or 10 guys we have are ready.”
Pacific won five of the eight contested matches and nine of the 14 overall.
The best matchup of the night was the 182-pound bout between Pacific’s Austin Repp and Union’s Dalton Kuenzel.
Repp, who moved up a weight class for the meet, is the defending Class 3 state champion at 170 pounds and unbeaten on the season. Kuenzel entered the match with just one loss, which came against Repp.
Repp (50-0) pinned Kuenzel (35-2) in 4:38 to remain unbeaten.
“Austin had another really good match. Kuenzel is ranked No. 1 in the state at 182 and Austin is No. 1 at 170. Austin handled him pretty well. He’s on another level,” Schimsa said. “The only person I think can beat Austin is Austin. He’s a smart wrestler and doesn’t make mistakes very often. He’s trying to get to 58 wins, which would be a perfect season in the state of Missouri, 58-0. He owns a lot of our single-season and career records. Hopefully he can get on top of the podium at state for the second time. He’s a great asset to any program. We’re lucky we have him.”
Cranmer reflected on the match.
“Repp is hard to beat. He’s a heck of a wrestler. He’s hard to even score on,” Cranmer said. “When Dalton gets down, he gets down. It’s harder for him to wrestle. He gets pretty emotional. It stinks that he got cradled and pinned. That’s Repp’s move. He’s going to cradle you and pin you.
“Repp will be at 170 for the district tournament. Dalton has a good shot at winning the state title. He’s going to have to get through (Kyle) Summers (Washington) again. We didn’t get to wrestle the kid from Neosho at Branson. We’ll probably run into him at state.”
Pacific’s other winners in contested matches were:
• Lane Smith (138) won in sudden death overtime over Dalton Fennessey, 4-2;
• Danny Nickelson (145) won by decision over Shane Foster, 14-9;
• James Spencer (152) won by decision over Devin Mainard, 2-1; and
• Dalton Voyles (170) won by major decision over Dylan Ahern, 13-3.
Josh Franek (120), Zain Mathena (126), Tyler Greer (160) and Jarrett Harrison (195) each won by forfeit.
“It was a total team effort,” Schimsa said. “We had to move some people around to get better matchups and make it a better dual.”
Union’s winners in contested matches were:
• Chandler Adkins (106) won by major decision over Jai Lewis, 18-8;
• Tyler Pace (132) pinned Brandon Turner in 3:05; and
• Joe Lasky (220) pinned over Jamie Myers in 1:11.
Josh Clark (113) won by forfeit. Both teams were open at 285.
“If we win the overtime match at 138, that’s a six-point swing. And we had him on his back at 145 and ended up with a loss. Those were two big matches,” Cranmer said. “I was proud of Chandler for winning at 106. That was big. Dylan had a good match at 170 against Voyles. That’s going to help him for seeding at the district tournament. Tyler Pace is coming on. He won’t be seeded in the top four at districts, but he’s going to upset some kids and qualify for state. Joe Lasky is an animal. He’s very physical. He wrestled well.”