After a dominant run through the Four Rivers Conference and Class 3 District 1, the Pacific wrestling Indians continued to pick up hardware at the MSHSAA Championships.
Paced by a pair of runner-up finishes, the Indians scored 52 points to finish ninth at the Class 3 state meet which ended Saturday in Columbia.
“Overall, it was not a bad weekend,” Pacific Head Coach Rob Schimsa said. “I’m a little disappointed. Going in, I thought we could have had five medals and we ended with two.”
Pacific, the FRC and district champion, had two medalists in Juniors Ben Courtney (152) and James Anding (170). Both finished second in their respective classes.
While Courtney and Anding were the only two on the medal stand, six of Pacific’s nine wrestlers scored the 52 team points.
Kearney won the state title with 161 points while Neosho was second at 158.5 points. Platte County (110.5), Smithville (102) and Belton (85.5) rounded out the top five.
Rolla was sixth at 79.5 points. Grain Valley (73) and Windsor (56) also finished above Pacific.
Rockwood Summit was 10th behind Pacific with 51 points.
“They both had good tournaments,” Schimsa said of his two state runners-up. “Both lost to quality kids from Belton in the finals, so nothing to be ashamed of there.”
While Courtney and Anding each finished on the podium, it very easily could have been five Pacific wrestlers receiving medals. Freshman Callum Sitek (120), junior Noah Patton (126) and senior Gage Kassing (132) made the bubble matches, losing one win short of the medal rounds.
Senior Jakob Balleydier (113) won one match.
Sophomore Vincent Boyen (106), senior Chase Keleman (220) and junior Trevor Heitsch (285) lost their first two matches Thursday.
Courtney, a state qualifier last year at 138, had each of his matches last the limit at the state meet.
He opened with a 10-4 decision over Webb City’s Kade Hicks and then beat Caleb Knobel of Ft. Zumwalt South, 9-2.
In the semifinals, Courtney edged Smithville’s Nick Bollinger, the third-place finisher, 2-1.
In the title bout, Belton’s Joe Biondo, sixth at 145 last season, defeated Courtney for the title, 6-2.
Courtney finished with a record of 46-5.
Anding, one of Pacific’s two district champions, improved upon last year’s sixth-place finish at 160 pounds, fighting his way to the title bout.
In the first round, Anding pinned Treyvon Ward of St. Charles at the end of the first period.
In the quarterfinals, Anding earned a 5-3 decision over Harrisonville’s Braden Danner.
Taking on Matthew Witthar of Kearney in the semifinals, Anding eked out the win, 3-2. Witthar placed fourth.
Robert Weber of Belton rolled through the tournament, needing just 1:47 to go through his first three bouts (he had one medical forfeit). Anding lasted longer than anyone else but was pinned in 1:45.
Anding ended the season at 36-2.
“I know Jay wanted to do better, but that Weber’s a heck of a wrestler,” Schimsa said.
Sitek, who won a district title in his freshman season, opened with an 8-4 win over Republic’s Michael Taylor.
In the quarterfinals, Trent Starr of Grain Valley, the runner-up, pinned Sitek in 3:24.
Sitek edged Gabriel Sekou of University City in the wrestlebacks, 5-4, but lost a 9-0 major decision to Evan Winder of Helias in the bubble bout. Winder placed sixth.
Sitek went 42-6 this season.
“Sitek, our freshman, had a little bit of a disappointing state tournament,” Schimsa said. “I thought he could have done better, but any time you’re a freshman at the state tournament, it kind of gets to you, but he’s got a bright future.”
Patton opened with a 3:49 pin against Helias’ Randy Salaz, but then lost in overtime to Hannibal’s Tyler Leonard, 8-3. Leonard finished sixth.
Patton knocked out Wyatt Haynes of Wentzville Liberty, 5-2, but lost to Rolla’s Zach Fennell in the bubble match, 2-1. Fennell ended third.
Patton ended the season at 43-7.
Kassing pinned Hannibal’s Tyler Wilson in 1:41 to open the meet. In the semifinals, eventual state champion Trenton Young of Neosho edged Kassing, 3-1. It was Young’s closest match in the tournament.
Kassing came back to edge Smithville’s Blake Ackerman, a fifth-place medalist last year at 113, 12-10.
In the bubble match, Zack Carr of Helias defeated Kassing in overtime, 5-4. Carr ended fifth.
Kassing finished with a 38-8 record.
“I thought there were about six or seven kids in that weight class that could finish just about anywhere,” Schimsa said of the Class 3 132-pound bracket. “It just came down to whoever put on the best tournament.”
Balleydier wedged a 10-6 decision over William Chrisman’s Kash Ocobock between losses to Wentzville Liberty’s Cameron Steinhoff (11-4) and St. Charles’ Ben Bohr (13-3). Bohr placed fifth.
Balleydier ended the season at 35-12.
Boyen was pinned by JT Rourke of Smithville in 1:37 and lost an 11-2 major decision to Carthage’s Dagan Sappington. Rourke finished fifth.
Boyen finished the season at 35-12.
Keleman lost a 16-0 technical fall in 4:57 to fifth-place wrestler Zane Persinger of Neosho. He then was pinned by St. Charles’ Justin Mowry in 3:30.
Keleman finished at 14-9 this season.
Heitsch lost by a 5:21 pin to Jonathan York of University City in the opening round. Grain Valley’s Donovan McBride then edged Heitsch in overtime during the wrestleback, 3-2.
Heitsch concluded the season at 29-21.