St. Clair wrestling took a big step toward the top of the Four Rivers Conference Tuesday.
The Bulldogs defeated the defending champions, Union, 48-29 in a tri-meet at St. Clair. The Bulldogs also defeated Owensville, 48-28. Union outscored Owensville, 47-27.
It was St. Clair’s first dual win against the Wildcats in years.
“Every competition holds the same importance, but there is no question that our win over Union was especially gratifying for our seniors who got their first ever dual meet win in our series with them,” St. Clair Head Coach Mel Hughes said.
In one of the key matches of the night, at 195 pounds, St. Clair’s Aaron Herman avenged a 26-second pin loss to Union’s Haiden Meyer just three days prior in the championship match at the Union Tournament. Herman defeated Meyer Tuesday in a 5-1 decision.
“We had many great individual performances during the night but Aaron Herman’s defeat of Union’s Haiden Meyer was likely the highlight of the night for our fans,” Hughes said. “Just days ago, Aaron was defeated by Meyer in the championship match of the Union Tournament. Aaron demonstrated resilience, confidence and composure in his match last night.”
Four of Herman’s five points in the contest were awarded off of penalties committed by Meyer.
“I told him he needed to be prepared for a six-minute battle tonight and he was,” Head Coach Justin Cranmer said. “He just let some emotions get to him and lost, basically the match on penalty points. It was basically 1-1 without penalty points. It’ll be a good experience for him because I think having that first loss, he can really learn from that and hopefully it will motivate him and put him in the right direction.
Another key win for the Bulldogs came in the first match of the night’s final dual, against Union.
The Wildcats bumped their 152-pound wrestler, Christophe Poinsett, up to 160 and into the opening match to avoid St. Clair’s Ryan Herman, a defending state champion.
The decision nearly worked out for the Wildcats as Poinsett was able to keep himself in the match against St. Clair’s Grant Bay into the third period and was working toward a pin attempt when Bay turned the tables and was able to get the pin victory at the 5:09 mark.
“We bumped our 152 to get away from their state champ just to have a better matchup and it almost paid off,” Cranmer said. “We were losing, but in the last couple minutes there in the third period we had (Bay) on his back with a chance to pin him and then got rolled through and pinned ourself, but you at least give yourself a shot and that can be a huge swing. That can be a 12-point swing in a dual.”
Coming into the final three matches, St. Clair held a slight 30-29 advantage.
Bailey Gardner pinned Union’s Jordan Waldman in 39 seconds at 138 and Brandon Lackey McDowell went over the Wildcats’ Daniel Rowedder at 145 by a pin in 1:58 to seal the win.
Ryan Herman closed the match with a forfeit win at 152.
St. Clair also got pin victories against Union from Jason Landing (132 against Joshua Wegescheide, 1:09), Josh Richards (220 against Steven Sanders, 1:00) and Evan Barnes (285 against Connor Ward, 2:33).
Dalton Thompson got the win at 126 for the Bulldogs with a 2-0 decision over Carter Sickmeier.
Union had three wins by forfeit in the dual — Brendan West (113), Megan Klick (126) and David Clark (182).
Dominick Beine picked up five points for the Wildcats with a victory by technical fall against Cody Armistead at 106 pounds. Beine finished the match up 15-0 after 3:10.
Ryder Kuenzel was the lone Union wrestler to get a pin victory against St. Clair, topping Randy Simpson at 170 pounds in 3:09.
St. Clair went 6-3 against the Dutchmen in contested matches.
All six of the Bulldogs’ contested victories came via pin.
Thompson pinned Austin Angell in 1:06 at 120 pounds.
Landing went over Kolby Jahnsen in 3:15 at 132.
Gardner needed just 40 seconds to pin Tighe Bombach at 138.
Aaron Herman got the pin win over Colton Moore at 195 pounds in 3:05.
Richards (220) pinned Dakota Martin in 2:49 and Barnes pinned Bryce Mistler at 285 in 3:57.
Armistead (106) and Ryan Herman (152) each won at their weight via forfeit.
Dustin Jahnsen (145) and Tanner Rector (170) each got pin victories for the Dutchmen.
Jahnsen pinned Trent Balderson in 23 seconds and Rector topped Simpson in 3:21.
Blaine Schoefeld defeated Bay by a 10-2 major decision.
Caden Moss (126) and Caleb Gray (182) were winners by forfeit for Owensville.
A double forfeit occurred at 113 pounds.
Union picked up three victories by pin, two by major decision, one by decision and three by forfeit against the Dutchmen.
The Wildcats’ winners by pin were Sickmeier (120 versus Angell, 1:58), Clark (182 against Gray, 2:53) and Meyer (195 versus Moore, 1:04).
Beine (106), West (113) and Rowedder (152) had no opponents.
Waldman picked up a major decision, 9-0, against Bombach in the 138-pound match and Kuentzel topped Rector 13-4 at 170.
Wegescheide got a 10-9 decision win against Kolby Jahnsen at 132 for the Wildcats.
The Dutchmen got four pin wins against Union.
Moss pinned Klick in 43 seconds at 126, Dustin Jahnsen went over Sarena Monroe in 50 seconds at 145, Schoenfeld pinned Poinsett in 32 seconds at 160 and Martin pinned Sanders in 4:55 of the 220-pound contest.
Owensville’s only other win came by a 7-0 decision as Mistler defeated Ward in the 285-pound clash.