Returning from the Christmas break, the Union wrestling Wildcats competed Saturday in the Fred Ross Invitational at Lafayette High School.

“There were some good schools at this tournament that we normally don’t wrestle so it was good for some of my better wrestlers to be pushed and get some quality matches,” Union Head Coach Justin Cranmer said.

The Wildcats placed 10th in the team standings, tying Parkway South with 68 points.

Seckman was the winner with 213.5 points with Lebanon (210.5), Lafayette (194), Rockwood Summit (134) and Lindbergh (128) rounding out the top 10.

Also finishing in front of Union were Nixa (112), Fox (95.5), HIllsboro (88) and McCluer North (75.5).

A total of 21 teams competed.

Haiden Meyer (220) won three of his four matches and reached the title match.

In the opener, Meyer earned a 5-1 decision over Lebanon’s Joe Berry. He then pinned Martez Wilson of Hazelwood East in 0:41.

In the semifinals, Meyer earned a 3-1 win over Parkway South’s Ty Osby.

“Haiden Meyer was pushed in his semifinal match and wrestled well to get a 3-1 win over a tough Parkway South wrestler,” Cranmer said.

In a matchup of top-ranked Missouriwrestling.com wrestlers in their respective classes, Lafayette’s Austin Wegener won in the title match over Meyer, 6-0.

“He was not able to secure a takedown in the finals and just could not get anything going,” Cranmer said. 

Cranmer noted the performances of David Clark (195) and Ryder Kuenzel (170). Both placed fourth.

“David Clark and Ryder Kuenzel had some good matches and were really pushed,” Cranmer said. “They are both kids who need to experience some adversity too to learn what to improve on because they are not getting any better by just beating average kids.” 

Clark went 2-3 in the meet with wins over Evan O’Connell (pin in 1:55) and Desmond Howell of Poplar Bluff (pin in 1:20).

The losses were to Seckman’s Blake Fritz (two 5-0 decisions) and Lebanon’s Landen Smith (5-1 decision).

Kuenzel won one match, a 10-2 major decision over Dalton Rawlins of Kirkwood. The losses were to Seckman’s Jermey Ashlock (16-1 technical fall in 5:22 and 16-1 technical fall in 5:45) and McCluer North’s Ibrahim Ameer (10-4 decision).

Sam Inman (106) won three matches and finished sixth.

Inman beat McCluer North’s JaSean Jones by an 11-0 major decision, Kaiden Scallet of Hillsboro by a 14-6 major decision and Alexander Doehring of Lafayette by a 4-0 decision.

The losses were a 5:45 pin by Hazelwood East’s Ethan Rodgers and a pair of pins to Seckman’s Blake Jost (1:50 and 2:53).

“Sam Inman had some quality matches and continued to make improvements,” Cranmer said.

Union’s other wrestlers were Gabe Hoekel (132), Luke Siddens (182) and Connor Ward (285).

Hoekel beat Jack Stiles of Mehlville, 8-7, and Dylan Carter of Nixa, 8-5, to finish eighth.

Ward won three times to finish seventh, pinning Taylor Cheek of Nixa in 3:28, Larry Booker of McCluer North in 1:32 and edging Cheek again in sudden victory 4-2.

Siddens lost all three of his matches, finishing 14th.

Girls

The meet also had a girls division and Sarena Monroe (143) was Union’s top performer, reaching the championship match.

“Sarena Monroe wrestled well to get to the finals at 143 then tweaked her knee in the first period and wasn’t the same,” Cranmer said. “She is our top girl and has the best shot at qualifying for the state tournament.”

Monroe pinned her way to the title match starting with a 53-second win over Hillsboro’s Grace Johnson. She then finished Michaela Hill of Eureka in 3:29 and Celicity Wright of Normandy in 45 seconds.

In the title match, Christa’nae Wright of Normandy pinned Monroe in 4:17.

Nylah Scott (126) won one match, by forfeit, over Eureka’s Makayla Mickles. She also was beaten in a 12-1 major decision by Lindbergh’s Cat Jacques and a 2:20 pin against Rockwood Summit’s Addie Wilhelm.

Scott finished 10th.

Kylee Mobley (121) lost both of her matches, a 1:39 pin against McCluer North’s Paige Folkner and a 1:31 pin against St. Clair’s Emma Davis.

Union scored 28 points to tie Fox for 16th in the team standings. Lebanon was the overall winner at 183 with Lafayette (141), McCluer North (115), Rockwood Summit (63), Lindbergh (61) and Normandy (61) rounding out the top five.

St. Clair finished eighth with 47 points.