Union’s wrestling Wildcats made their mark at the first big wrestling meet of the season Saturday.
The Wildcats placed sixth among 18 schools in the Ft. Zumwalt North Tournament, scoring 127 points.
“It was a fun day,” Union Head Coach Justin Cranmer said. “We wrestled well and won a lot of matches.”
Union came close to finishing higher in the tournament as less than two points separated fourth through sixth place.
Host Ft. Zumwalt North scored 129.5 points to end fourth while Hannibal was fifth at 128. Union was next, a point behind.
Lindbergh won the team title with 182 points while St. Charles was second at 178. Heyworth, Ill., finished third with 155 points.
Finishing behind Union in the top 10 were Marquette (124.5), Warrenton (99), Rock Bridge (92), and Wentzville Liberty (83).
Union had two individual winners with Haiden Meyer (220) and Ryder Kuenzel (182) both winning their respective weight classes.
Meyer, a two-time state medalist, opened with a 3:29 pin against Rock Bridge’s Jacob Wooden.
In the semifinals, Meyer won a 5-2 decision over Justin Mowry of St. Charles. Mowry was ranked fifth in the preseason Missouriwrestling.com Class 3 rankings. Meyer was fourth at 195.
In the title bout, Meyer pinned Marquette’s Marco Perla, the top-ranked Class 4 wrestler, in 2:21.
“Our best performance from the boys was from Haiden Meyer,” Cranmer said. “He beat the No. 5 ranked wrestler at 220 in the semifinals and pinned the No. 1 ranked wrestler in Class 4 at 220 on the finals.”
Kuenzel, ranked fifth at 170 pounds, won his quarterfinal match over Lindbergh’s Austin Wilkins by a 10-4 decision.
Kuenzel then pinned Garrett Houston of Heyworth in 3:51.
In the title match, Kuenzel posted an 8-5 decision over Treyvon Ward of St. Charles. Ward was fifth at 170 in the preseason Class 3 rankings.
“Ryder Kuenzel won the 182-pound weight class and wrestled well,” Cranmer said. “He cut down on some mistakes that he made earlier in the week and was able to grind out some impressive wins.”
Dominick Beine (106) ended second.
Beine pinned Dontez Maxwell of Hazelwood West in the first round in 1:00. He then lost by a pin in 2:43 to Heyworth in 2:43.
In the final round, Beine pinned St. Charles’ David Thorne in 3:18.
David Clark (195) ended third and opened with a 4:48 pin of Warrenton’s Zach Blackwood.
In the second round, Clark pinned Brock Bell of Heyworth in 3:12. Manuel Ordonez-Webb pinned Clark in the semifinals in 2:34.
Clark bounced back to win a 7-0 decision over Michael Smith of St. Charles in the third-place bout.
“David Clark wrestled great and really has shown improvement in his confidence from last year,” Cranmer said. “He was winning his semifinal match comfortably and got caught in a scramble and pinned, otherwise he had a tremendous tournament.”
Wyatt Davis (126) ended fourth in his weight class.
Davis opened with a 4:32 pin against Darrell Taylor of Hannibal before losing to Marquette’s Ameze Rush by an 11-3 major decision.
In the third-place match, Davis lost by a 4:26 pin to Devin Kulp of Ft. Zumwalt North.
Dylan Stalcup (113) also finished fourth, starting with a 4:14 pin of Bryce Edison of Warrenton.
In the quarterfinals, Stalcup pinned Payton Irvin of St. Charles in 3:47.
During the semifinals, Heyworth’s Levi Neuleib posted a 3:36 pin victory. Evan Diehls of Rock Bridge then pinned Stalcup in 3:00 in the third-place bout.
Two Wildcats, Hunter Garrett (120) and Jacob Nowak (160) finished sixth.
Garrett lost his opener to St. Charles’ Ben Bohr in a 0:47 pin.
After a bye, Garrett won a forfeit over Windsor’s Tyler Perry before losing by a 0:35 pin to Brett Zimmer of Marquette in the fifth-place match.
Nowak was beaten by a 13-0 major decision by Wentzville Liberty’s Trentin Helton in the quarterfinals.
Nowak bounced back to pin Pattonville’s Jaxon Luraschi in 3:46 and Hazelwood West’s Kerry Pinnell in 5:34.
In the fifth-place match, Hannibal’s Trevor Wilson won by a pin in 3:12.
Joshua Wegescheide (138) won one of his three contested matches. He pinned Lindbergh’s Jack Datus in 5:40 between pin losses to Ft. Zumwalt North’s Logan Prinster in 0:38 and Rock Bridge’s Jace Shackleford in 3:23.
Ben Cox (145) pinned St. Francis Borgia Regional’s Garrett Posinski in 2:59 for his lone win. That came between losses to Wentzville Liberty’s Christian Zeik in 0:56 and St. Charles’ Xavian Jackson in 2:36.
Bowen Ward (152) lost both of his contested matches. He was pinned by Nick Thorne of St. Charles in 1:01 and Colt Daily of Hazelwood West in 1:56.