Wrestling three times in two days, the Union Wildcats found a way to win all three home meets.
Union defeated Four Rivers Conference foes Sullivan (54-21) and St. James (48-23) on Tuesday and knocked off Affton (42-36) Wednesday.
“We are finding a way to win dual meets with the wrestlers that we have,” Union Head Coach Justin Cranmer said. “Our numbers are down in the program right now but the kids that we have are working hard and winning enough matches to win dual meets. I am proud of the kids who are dedicated to this sport and this team because they have a bright future.”
The Wildcats and Pacific are two of the teams in the star-studded 48th Annual MICDS Eric Lewis Invitational Friday and Saturday.
A total of 19 schools are in that event. Wrestling begins at 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. A total of six mats will be used in the large McDonald Athletic Center.
Cranmer has announced nine wrestlers, Dawson Sickmeier (106), Josh Clark (113), Tyler Pace (132), Dujuan Bryant (138), Lukis Ladyman (145), Devin Mainard (160), Dylan Ahern (170), Dalton Kuenzel (182) and Joe Lasky (220) will compete for Union in the event.
Union swept Four Rivers Conference opponents Sullivan and St. James Tuesday night in Union.
The Wildcats defeated Sullivan, 54-21, and St. James, 48-23.
“We have been improving as a team every time we wrestle,” Cranmer said. “This is still a young team this year and they have made some mistakes but learned from them and gotten better. Against St. James and Sullivan we wrestled well enough to get the dual meet wins.”
• 120 — Clark won a 10-5 decision over Sullivan’s Kale Dudley;
• 126 — Sullivan’s Andrew Thoms was unopposed;
• 132 — Pace earned a 10-5 decision against Sullivan’s Ryan Eastman;
• 138 — Union’s Dalton Fennessey pinned Sullivan’s Cory Gargus in 1:08;
• 145 — Union’s Shane Foster pinned Sullivan’s Chris Schreit in 1:10;
• 152 — Ladyman pinned Sullivan’s Brent Schoonveld in 2:45;
• 160 — Sullivan’s Toby Key edged Devin Mainard, 5-3;
• 170 — Ahern pinned Sullivan’s Dalton Ward in 2:33;
• 182 — Kuenzel was unopposed;
• 195 — Union’s Dawson Mainard was unopposed;
• 220 — Sullivan’s Nick Frye was unopposed;
• 285 — Sullivan’s Ryan Ivie was unopposed;
• 106 — Sickmeier pinned Sullivan’s Jacob Dixon in 2:44; and
• 113 — Union’s Chandler Adkins pinned Sullivan’s Leland Wall in 0:57.
Against St. James, there were seven contested matches with Union winning three.
Kuenzel (195), Ahern (170) and Ladyman (152) were Union’s winners. Kuenzel pinned Logan Disser in 2:25. Ahern pinned Theon Hope in 1:10 and Ladyman pinned Cameron Orlando in 2:57.
“Kuenzel has really stepped up into a leadership role and we can always count on him for six team points in a dual whether he is wrestling Washington or St. James,” Cranmer said. “He is consistent.”
St. James won four contested matches.
Daniel McCarthy (132) edged Pace, 5-2. Daniel Davis (138) shut out Fennessey, 12-0. Seth Thompson (145) pinned Foster in 1:25. Taylor Busche (160) earned an 11-3 major decision over Devin Mainard.
Union’s forfeit winners were Clark (113), Adkins (120), Dawson Mainard (182), Lasky (285) and Sickmeier (106).
Logan Bullock (220) was unopposed for St. James.
Both teams were open at 126.
“I told them before we wrestled St. James and Sullivan that we had to win these duals to give ourselves a chance to get back into the conference championship race,” Cranmer said. “If Pacific beats Owensville next week then it will set up yet another conference championship dual meet between Union and Pacific. It may be for a three-way tie, but at least we have a chance now.”
Making a little more out of its wins, the Wildcats edged Affton in home dual meet action Wednesday, 42-36.
Union pulled maximum points from each win while two of Affton’s wins were by decisions. That was the difference in the event.
Six of the Union wins were by pins.
Kuenzel (182) pinned Garry McGee in 1:27. Sickmeier (106) pinned Drewan Carter in 1:15. Clark (113) pinned Brayton Tucker in one minute.
Pace (132) pinned Eddie Ngo in 58 seconds. Fennessey (138) pinned Ethan Clark in 2:28. Ahern (170) pinned Adrian Skinner-Ward in 4:46, which broke a tie and gave Union the win.
“Against Affton we did just enough to get the win,” Cranmer said. “The dual meet was tied going into the last match of the night at 170 and Ahern stepped in and got the pin in the second period for the win on senior night. It was a great win for him and the team to improve our record to 7-3 in regular season duals, 13-6 overall.”
Dawson Mainard (195) was unopposed.
Union’s two losers by decisions were Adkins (120), who lost 8-1, and Foster (145), who lost 12-8.
Pinned were Ladyman (152) and Devin Mainard (160).
Affton won by forfeit at 220, 285 and 126.