Led by the Herman brothers, who both went undefeated Friday and Saturday, the St. Clair Bulldogs wrestled their way to eighth place at the Westminster Tournament.
Ryan Herman was the individual champion at 195 pounds and Aaron Herman won the 285-pound weight class.
St. Clair scored 140.5 points. Timberland won the event with 250 points. DeSmet was the runner up at 229.5. Other teams in the top 10 included Pacific (229.5), Ft. Zumwalt South (217), Washington (206), Ste. Genevieve (167.5), St. Charles West (143), Mehlville (132.5) and Glendale (108).
“With only seven wrestlers on the mat at Westminster our guys had some great results,” St. Clair Head Coach Mel Hughes said. “Of the seven wrestlers sent to the tournament that was primarily Class 3 and Class 4 teams, five placed and three were tournament championship finalists. As a team we finished eighth of 13 teams, only three points out of seventh.”
Dalton Thompson also made the championship match for the Bulldogs at 132 pounds, finishing second.
St. Clair had three other wrestlers place in the tournament — Trenton Balderson (fifth, 152 pounds), Grant Bay (sixth, 182) and Colin Thacker (seventh, 160).
Ryan Herman swept the preliminary rounds with four wins by pin. In bracket matches, he racked up two more pins and a technical fall en route to the championship.
In the 195-pound championship match, Herman pinned Ibrahima Sy of Mehlville in 1:43. He pinned Ft. Zumwalt South’s Alex Dmac in 1:36 of the semifinal round and notched a 17-1 technical fall victory against St. Charles West’s Alex Timme in the quarterfinals.
Of Ryan Herman’s preliminary match opponents, he pinned Glendale’s Jack Hewitt in 1:19, Washington’s Cory Hardesty in 1:21, Westminster’s TJ Mulholland in 21 seconds and Ste. Genevieve’s Ty Brown in 1:21.
Aaron Herman had a similar path to success at 285 pounds, pinning all four preliminary opponents and then notching two more pins in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
In the 285-pound championship match, Herman went to sudden victory against DeSmet’s Jacobi Jackson before scoring a takedown to win, 3-1.
Aaron Herman pinned Timberland’s Chase McCoy in 1:02 of the semifinal match and Washington’s Gavin Holtmeyer in 1:07 of the quarterfinals. In the preliminary matches, he topped Glendale’s Javen Letterman (0:37), Chaminade’s Jake Ortiz (1:30), Ste. Genevieve’s Christian Hale (0:52) and Ft. Zumwalt South’s Jacob Adams (2:40).
Thompson raced through the preliminary matches with four wins by pin and a major decision. A medical forfeit advanced him into the semifinals where he picked up a 7-1 decision victory against Ste. Genevieve’s Jacob Dickens.
Pacific’s Callum Sitek was the only wrestler to get the better of Thompson, winning by a 9-0 major decision in the championship match.
Ft. Zumwalt South’s Nicholas Hoven was the only preliminary opponent not to be pinned by Thompson, instead losing 10-1. Thompson pinned St. Charles West’s Ronald Watson (1:14), Ste. Genevieve’s Nathan Selby (4:26), Timberland’s Ian Burke (0:18) and DeSmet’s Spenser Daly (1:15).
“Perhaps the most impressive part of the weekend, aside from our three finalists and two champions, was our pin totals,” Hughes said. “St. Clair finished with 22 pins on the day, in front of teams that were nearly full. Our ability to score bonus points by winning matches by pin kept us competitive in this very tough field.”
Balderson earned fifth place by last defeating Valle Catholic’s Peyton Tucker by pin in 1:32. He also pinned Westminster’s Kirk Briden in the consolation semifinals in 1:04.
Ste. Genevieve’s Nicholas Genovesse went on to win the individual championship at 152 pounds after pinning Balderson in the third round of the quarterfinals.
Balderson went 0-3 in the preliminary matches with pin losses to Glendale’s Tanner Rust and Ste. Genevieve’s Noah Ogden and a 7-1 decision loss against Timberland’s Nick Nedved.
At 182 pounds, Ft. Zumwalt South’s Isaiah Edmonds picked up a 10-6 decision victory against Bay in the fifth-place match.
Bay reached the consolation final with a pin in 1:34 over Glendale’s Camrin Williams. Pacific’s Jay Anding, the eventual winner of the weight class, defeated Bay by technical fall in the quarterfinals.
In the preliminary rounds, Bay scored two wins, both by pin, topping Valle Catholic’s Collin Grass in 3:37 and Glendale’s Colman Ebisch in 4:21.
Tristan Hachtel of St. Charles West was the only opponent to pin Bay in the tournament. Washington’s Jack Carico scored a preliminary win against Bay by way of a 13-0 major decision and Edmonds also defeated Bay in the prelims by a score of 16-9.
Thacker had no opponent in the seventh-place match after a double injury forfeit in the other half of the consolation bracket. Washington’s Collin Muller pinned Thacker in the consolation semifinals and likewise won the fifth-place match without an opponent.
Top-seeded Cory Peterson of DeSmet scored a pin against Thacker in the quarterfinals.
In the preliminary rounds, Thacker scored one victory, pinning Ste. Genevieve’s Andrew Wolk in 1:08.
Trevor Hachtel of St. Charles West and Timberland’s Jonny Paneitz both pinned Thacker in the preliminary rounds. Mehlville’s Brody Valleroy defeated Thacker by a 14-2 major decision and Ft. Zumwalt South’s Brandon Vogt won against Thacker by a 7-1 score.
Seth Banks was the only other St. Clair representative in the tournament. He was swept at 14 pounds with pin losses to Timberland’s Caleb Conedera, Westminster’s Brett St. John, Ft. Zumwalt South’s Michael Baker, Valle Catholic’s Josh Bieser and Pacific’s Trevor Graf.