Led by three first-place individual finishes, the Pacific Indians wrestled their way to third place in their first tournament of the season.
Pacific scored 229.5 points Friday and Saturday at the Westminster Tournament, finishing behind only Timberland (250 points) and DeSmet (235.5).
Jay Anding (182 pounds), Noah Patton (138) and Callum Sitek (132) were each individual champions for Pacific in the tournament.
The Indians had six other wrestlers place — Camron Steffey (second, 120 pounds), Trevor Graf (third, 145), Trevor Heitsch (third, 220), Ben Brunjes (fourth, 113), Colton Thompson (fifth, 145) and Liam Sitek (sixth, 170).
Colton Thompson was representing the Pacific JV as the team’s second entry in that weight class.
Pacific lost what would have been a difference maker when its 160-pound wrestler, Ben Courtney, was forced out of the tournament with a knee injury Saturday morning. Courtney, like Anding was a runner-up in his weight class at the state finals last season.
“If he’s able to finish, we probably win the tournament,” Pacific Head Coach Rob Schimsa said. “I don’t think he’ll be out long, but he is going to be out for a little bit.”
Callum Sitek defeated St. Clair’s Dalton Thompson in the 132-pound championship by a 9-0 major decision.
“(Like Anding and Patton,) Callum Sitek was also very dominant,” Schimsa said. “He got Thompson from St. Clair, who is a very capable wrestler, in the finals and beat him (by nine).”
Callum Sitek scored a pair of pins in the quarterfinals and semifinals, topping St. Charles West’s Ronald Watson in 1:32 and then Ft. Zumwalt South’s Nicholas Hoven in 1:36.
In the preliminary matches, Callum Sitek pinned Mehlville’s Mirzad Dzinic (1:37), Westminster’s Hayden Turley (2:44), Glendale’s Jordan Sims (5:08), Washington’s Ayden Gaebe (1:32) and Ste. Genevieve’s Jacob Dickens (1:07).
Patton won the 138-pound championship by a 9-8 decision against Ste. Genevieve’s Grant Staffen. It was a rematch of Patton’s only preliminary loss, which Staffen won in another tight battle, 5-4.
Patton bested Timberland’s Evan Wasson in a 13-3 major decision in the semifinals and pinned Ft. Zumwalt South’s Colby Detschemendy in 1:41 of the quarterfinals.
Patton earned two wins by pin in the preliminary rounds, topping James Lovell of St. Charles West in 1:15 and Mark Stump of Westminster in 1:38. He also picked up a 10-1 major decision against Wasson and bested DeSmet’s Ian Warren by a 5-1 decision.
Anding sealed his championship with a 25-10 technical fall against Washington’s Jack Carico. He reached the first-place match with a pin of St. Charles West’s Tristan Hachtel in the semifinals in just 37 seconds and a 24-8 technical fall against St. Clair’s Grant Bay in the quarterfinals.
Anding pinned four opponents in the preliminary matches — Glendale’s Camrin Williams (2:17), DeSmet’s Jack Combs (2:38), Mehlville’s Jacobi Shelton (2:47) and Westminster’s Caelleb Crutcher (1:25). He also bested Timberland’s Jaxtin Steffeny by a 27-12 technical fall.
Zion Thomas of MICDS was the only wrestler to beat Steffey in the tournament, doing so in the 120-pound championship match by pin.
Steffey reached the first-place matchup with pins in the semifinals over Ft. Zumwalt South’s Zachary Godar in 4:53 and in the quarterfinals against Glendale’s Mason Goslee in 4:37.
Steffey ran through the preliminary rounds by pinning three of his four opponents — Valle Catholic’s Isaac Roth (2:40), Godar (3:19) and Timberland’s Ethan Schoonover (1:25). Steffey also won by a 6-0 decision against Washington’s Ben Griffen.
Graf edged Washington’s Louis Obermark for third place at 145 pounds by a 7-6 decision.
Mehlville’s Tristin Wilder advanced to the first-place match by pinning Graf in the semifinals. Graf bested teammate Colton Thompson in the quarterfinals, 9-4.
In the preliminary matches, Graf pinned three opponents —Valle Catholic’s Josh Bieser (3:14), Ft. Zumwalt South’s Michael Baker (1:45) and St. Clair’s Seth Banks (0:50). Graf also defeated Westminster’s Brett St. John by a 12-5 decision and was pinned by Timberland’s Caleb Conedera.
Heitsch, who dropped down to 220 this season after qualifying for the state finals at 285 last winter, won the third-place match by pinning Glendale’s Thonan Rabourn in 5:23.
Heitsch took a 4-2 loss in a tiebreaker against DeSmet’s Jacob Perez in the semifinals. He pinned Washington’s Ryan Gratzer in 1:24 to win his quarterfinal match.
Heitsch’s only preliminary match was a 16-2 major decision win against Rabourn.
Brunjes was pinned by Ste. Genevieve’s Dalton McNeal in the 113-pound third-place match. DeSmet’s Jesse Hahs secured a win by pin against Brunjes in the semifinals.
In the preliminary rounds, Brunjes was swept by McNeal (15-4), Hahs (15-0) and Washington’s Tate Hendricks (13-5).
Colton Thompson came back from his quarterfinal loss against Graf to defeat Ft. Zumwalt South’s Michael Baker in the consolation semifinals in 2:56. He then bested St. Charles West’s Trent Busby by an 11-3 major decision in the fifth-place match.
In the 145-pound preliminary matches, Thompson pinned Busby in 1:39 and Ste. Genevieve’s Kaleb Myracle in 1:31. He also bested Glendale’s Payton Ripper by a 10-1 major decision. Obermark defeated Thompson by pin and Wilder won in an 11-4 decision.
Liam Sitek went 1-3 in preliminary matches at 170 pounds, pinning Mehlville’s Garrett Martin in 1:05. He took a pair of losses by pin against Timberland’s Justin Steffeny and MICDS’ Jack Morris and a 12-11 decision loss to Ste. Genevieve’s Josh Schmidt.
In the 170-pound quarterfinals, Chaminade’s Alex zjart pinned Sitek, who rebounded to pin Westminster’s Isaac Niekamp in 3:13 in the consolation semifinals.
Morris pinned Sitek for the second time in the fifth-place match.
At 160 pounds, Courtney swept his first three preliminary matches before pulling out with the injury. He pinned Kellen Von Hoven of MICDS (0:59), Glendale’s Bryce Clark (3:11) and Washington’s Collin Muller (4:37).
Cory Peterson of DeSmet was credited with a win against Courtney in the final preliminary match due to an injury forfeit and went on to win the division.
Gavin Porter represented the Indians at 126 pounds. He took a trio of losses by pin against Mehlville’s Andrew Hutson, Washington’s Dana Cates and Ft. Zumwalt South’s Benjamin Lindley before pulling out with an injury.