Austin Repp had a 56-2 record this season on his way to becoming the MSHSAA Class 3 state wrestling champion at 170 pounds.
The junior from Pacific High School has even higher goals for himself in the future.
“I’m hoping to go 58-0 next year,” Repp said after winning the state title Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
And what about after high school?
“I’m planning on wrestling in college,” Repp said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to come here to Mizzou. That’s my goal.”
Repp completed his dominating season by defeating Winnetonka’s Casey Bryan (47-5) in the championship match, 1-0.
“It feels good to get where I finally am and where I’ve always wanted to be,” Repp said. “I’ve worked hard to get here. I’ve pretty much been wrestling year-round since fourth grade.”
Repp pinned each of his first three state opponents to reach the finals; Chaminade’s Alec Chrismer in the first round in 1:21, Warrensburg’s Brett Marr in the quarterfinals in 1:31, and Farmington’s Garrison Jones in the semifinals in 2:25.
In the championship match, Repp scored the lone point on a second-period escape.
“It wasn’t any tougher than I thought it would be. I just planned to go out there and wrestle and do what I had to do to win,” Repp said of the title match. “I didn’t want to risk anything. I didn’t try to score too big. I just felt like once I got the lead in the second period, I could ride him out in the third period. That’s what I did to win it.”
Once Repp got the lead, it was pretty much lights out for Bryan.
“I definitely liked Austin’s chances when we took the lead,” said Pacific Head Coach Rob Schimsa. “It was a low-scoring match. I never felt like Austin was in trouble. The other kid really didn’t even come close to scoring. Austin was the aggressor. Once he got away in the second period, he just rode him out the rest of the way. He never had to use his cradle, which is his best move.”
Schimsa said the pressure of a state championship match didn’t get to Repp.
“That’s what makes Austin so tough. He’s never going to get all worked up about anything,” Schimsa said. “He wrestled his four matches at state just like they were any other matches.”
Repp controlled all four of his state matches, just like he did in most of his other matches this season.
Repp’s two losses this season came to wrestlers who also won state championships Saturday, Casey Bartee (45-1) of St. Charles West (Class 2 170) and John Oss (51-0) of Ozark (Class 4 170).
“Austin really took his wrestling up a notch this season. He worked harder in the room. He’s just very solid. He has one of the best cross-face cradles I’ve ever seen from a high school wrestler,” Schimsa said. “His freshman year, his weakness was on his feet, but he’s gotten better at that. He doesn’t get taken down very much. He’s always been tough on top. The big thing we worked on with him this season was not giving up points when he was on bottom.”
Repp, a three-time state qualifier, won his second state medal after placing third at 145 pounds last season.
“The move up to 170 felt good for me. I’ve been eating what I want all season. I didn’t have to cut any weight. I wrestled where I weighed and it just feels good for it to pay off,” Repp said. “This is what I was planning on doing the whole year. I kept working hard the whole season.”
Schimsa was cautiously optimistic about Repp’s chances of winning a state title heading into the season.
“It’s always nerve-racking because there are so many things that can go wrong. You have to stay healthy and you have to work hard at it,” Schimsa said. “Austin really was a 160-pounder. He ate anything we wanted and always weighed in between 166-169. He never had to cut weight.”
Pacific now has won seven individual state wrestling championships by five different wrestlers.
The Indians’ state champions are Roger Toben (1976), Scott Fiedler (three times from 1983-85), Kent Sutterer (1990), Jesse Knott (2007) and Repp (2013).
“Austin now has a chance to be a two-time state champion,” Schimsa said. “A lot of the bigger college programs look for wrestlers who are consistently successful, not just for one season. Austin has done that and has a chance to keep that going next year.”
Repp said he was looking forward to returning to school Tuesday and start focusing on next year’s wrestling season.
“It’s going to be nice going back to school and seeing the reception I’ll get,” he said. “I’m excited about next year’s season. I’m not sure what weight I’ll wrestle. I don’t feel like cutting any weight, unless I have to.”