Three Washington wrestlers were among the medalists in the Gateway Athletic Conference Tournament Friday and Saturday at Lindenwood University.
The Blue Jays placed 13th in the tournament with 61 points.
Francis Howell won the conference title with 214 points. Timberland (154), Ft. Zumwalt South (145), Ft. Zumwalt North (140.5) and Holt (122.5) each finished in the top five.
Other participants included St. Charles (111), Francis Howell Central (107.5), Ft. Zumwalt West (80), Francis Howell North (77), Wentzville Liberty (76.5), Troy (70), St. Charles West (69), Ft. Zumwalt East (47), Winfield (38.5), Warrenton (30.5) and Orchard Farm (7).
“(It) was a very up and down weekend for us,” Head Coach Josh Ohm said. “I think some of our younger guys are really starting to turn a corner and figure some things out, know what it takes to compete. So that is definitely a positive. We are more concerned with that than any score or result on the mat. Unfortunately, I think some others on the team have not figured that out yet and have quite a bit of work to do as we approach districts next month.”
Michael Boehlein, wrestling at 195 pounds, was the top performer of the tournament for the Blue Jays, going 3-1 to finish third in the division.
Boehlein pinned Francis Howell North’s Luke Rohlfing in 3:01 in the quarterfinal round. His only loss came by pin in the semifinals to eventual champion Jack Flynn from Francis Howell. Flynn is unbeaten on the season.
Bouncing back from the loss, Boehlein defeated Zumwalt West’s Ulysses Ross by a 7-3 decision and then pinned St. Charles’ Dahvonte Henry in 3:53 of the third-place match.
Washington’s 106-pounder, Tate Hendricks, had a similar run in the tournament, but finished fourth after losing an 11-1 major decision to Francis Howell’s JT Roberts in the third-place match.
In a previous meeting in the tournament’s quarterfinals, Hendricks had defeated Roberts by a 4-2 decision.
Hendricks was then pinned by Timberland’s Brandon Khoury in the semifinals and won a 10-4 decision over Troy’s Myles Flanagan in the consolation semifinal.
Dana Cates earned a fifth-place medal for the Blue Jays at 138 pounds.
Christian Zeik, representing Wentzville Liberty, scored a quick pin on Cates in the quarterfinals.
However, Cates scored back-to-back pin victories in the wrestleback against Isaac Larson (Ft. Zumwalt West, 2:54) and Tommy Truong (St. Charles, 4:56) to reach the consolation semifinals.
There, Cates suffered another loss by pin, this time to Timberland’s Johnny Paneitz.
That put Cates into the fifth-place match with Francis Howell’s Robert Saunders, which Cates won by a 17-15 decision.
“Individually, I was very proud of our three medalists,” Ohm said. “Dana continues to improve each time he steps on the mat. I thought Tate wrestled a great match on Friday and then wasn’t as sharp on Saturday. Once Tate puts together a complete tournament, he will be a big problem for any 106 pounder in the state and we are excited and confident that it will happen. Michael also did a great job. He was the fourth seed and took third on the weekend. Michael has made huge strides since last season. Last season he went 0-2 on the first night on this conference meet and this year he finished with a win and picked up 3rd place. That is the type of progress we are working so hard for and it feels good to see that it is possible.”
While he didn’t take home a medal, Chris Griesenauer earned seven points for Washington in the 160-pound weight class. He was the only other Blue Jay to pick up more than one contested win at the tournament.
Griesenauer pinned Colby Davidson (Windsor, 2:57) in the first round and Brandon Keeling (Ft. Zumwalt North, 4:39) in the second consolation round. He was eliminated in the third consolation round by a 5-0 decision that went to Ft. Zumwalt West’s Trey Durbin.
Tommy Kelpe (126), James Johnson (132), Louis Obermark (145) and Collin Muller (182) each scored one contested victory in the tournament. Muller’s win counted for four points toward the team total. The other three each counted for three points.
Mia Reed (113), Ben Griffen (120), Tyler Ramsey (152), Cory Hardesty (170), Andrew Inman (220) and Logan Kuhn (285) each competed for Washington at the tournament, but did not record any team points.