Washington had 11 medalists and notched a third-place team finish at the Gateway Athletic Conference Wrestling Tournament last Friday and Saturday at Ft. Zumwalt East High School.
Holt won the conference tournament, which featured every GAC team, with 209 points.
Timberland finished second with 192.5 points. Washington was third with 155 points.
Francis Howell Central placed fourth with 141 points followed by Ft. Zumwalt West (136.5), Francis Howell (136), Troy (115), Ft. Zumwalt South (92), St. Charles West (76), Francis Howell North (68), Ft. Zumwalt North (60), Ft. Zumwalt East (47), Warrenton (28.5), St. Charles (17) and Winfield (9).
“We proved that we can wrestle with anyone. I was very impressed with that,” said Washington Head Coach Josh Ohm. “Even though we didn’t win all of those close matches, we definitely were in them. With work, I think we can close that gap by February.”
Washington sent eight wrestlers to the semifinals, but no one reached the finals of their respective weight classes.
Finishing in third place were Cole Hamai, Spencer Baird, Caleb Summers and Matt Pecka.
Hamai (138) went 4-1 in the tournament, improving to 38-3 on the season. He lost to Howell’s Connor Flynn in the semifinals, but bounced back with wins over Troy’s Kyle Hamilton and Holt’s Brendan Bickert in the third-place match.
Baird (152) went 4-1 overall, improving to 34-6 on the season. He lost to Holt’s Clayton Ream in the semifinals, but came back to defeat Ft. Zumwalt West’s Rourke Penn and Howell’s Jacob Behr in the third-place match.
Summers (160) went 4-1 overall, improving to 34-5 on the season. He lost by a 5-4 decision to St. Charles West’s Casey Bartee in the semifinals, but bounced back to defeat Holt’s Cee Monsvais and Howell North’s Jeremiah Reed in the third-place match.
Pecka (285) went 3-1 overall, improving to 26-11. He lost by a 1-0 decision to Ft. Zumwalt West’s Briar Rice in the semifinals, but came back with wins over Ft. Zumwalt South’s Christian Hundley and Howell’s Corey Fleming in the third-place match.
Washington’s fourth-place finishers were Parker Neptune and Kyle Summers.
Neptune (113) went 2-2 in the tournament, moving to 31-8 on the season. He reached the semifinals and lost to Timberland’s Aaron Beckmann in the third-place match.
Summers (170) went 3-2 in the event, moving to 12-5 overall. He lost in the final seconds of his semifinal match by a 6-3 decision and dropped the third-place match 3-1 to Troy’s Tim Hoffman.
The Blue Jays’ fifth-place finishers were Jared Rennick, Jacob Kliethermes and Logan Baird.
Rennick (182) went 2-2 in the tourney, moving to 32-8 overall. He defeated Troy’s Dustin Heisse in the fifth-place match.
Kliethermes (220) went 3-2 in the event, improving to 18-16 overall. He defeated St. Charles West’s Alex Breck in the fifth-place match.
Baird (192) went 2-2 in the tourney, moving to 30-10 overall. He lost in the semifinals, but came back to eventually defeat St. Charles West’s Andelson Perez in the fifth-place match.
Also reaching the semifinals at 126 was Nicholas Solter, who withdrew from there after becoming ill, and settled for sixth place.
Washington’s Cody Summers (132) advanced to the final round and also placed sixth.
Also wrestling for the Blue Jays were Cody Gardner (120) and Luke Knight (145).
“We are not concerned with our record, just finding the best competition out there and getting better,” Ohm said. “Even though we took third place, we beat a lot of tough teams and still have not been beaten in a dual or outscored in a meet by a Class 3 team this year.”