Preparing for the first tournament of the season, the Union wrestling Wildcats swept both dual meets in the home opener Wednesday.
The Wildcats (2-1) topped Ladue, 45-34, and beat Parkway Central, 57-12.
Union heads to the Ft. Zumwalt North Tournament Saturday.
“We wrestled aggressive and had great effort and attitude in both duals,” Union Head Coach Justin Cranmer said.
Starting at 138, Union managed to win eight of the 14 matches to edge Ladue in the meet, 45-34.
The meet started at 138 and Union’s winners were:
• 138 — Ben Cox pinned Sam Gallemore in 1:27;
• 145 — James D’Onofrio pinned Boran Li in 5:21;
• 182 — Luke Siddens edged Patrick Kovalak, 8-5;
• 120 — Carter Sickmeier pinned Calvin Cioba in 1:04;
• 132 — Joshua Wegescheide pinned Sebastian McGregor in 2:39; and
• Blaine Apperson (195), Steven Sanders (220) and Tyler Rock (285) were unopposed.
“The varsity dual against Ladue came down to the last match because we started at 138 and it was 39-35 before 132 wrestled,” Cranmer said. “Wegescheide controlled the entire match and eventually secured the fall for the win in the dual.”
Ladue’s winners were:
• 152 — Jack Madden pinned Christophe Poinsett in 5:52;
• 160 — Aiden Morley won a 9-0 major decision over Jacob Nowak;
• 170 — Jacob Orsay pinned Ryder Kuenzel in 1:29;
• 106 — Jake Mann pinned Dominick Beine in 1:03; and
• Manar Fajors (113) and Eli Prager (126) were unopposed.
Union dominated the Colts in the other dual meet, 57-12.
This meet started at 145 and Union’s winners were:
• 152 — Poinsett pinned Umar Yuldoshev in 0:38;
• 160 — Nowak won a 7-3 decision over Aaron Ginsparg;
• 170 — Kuenzel pinned Kaleb Duncan in 0:21;
• 285 — Rock pinned Tariq Ahmad in 0:22;
• 138 — Cox pinned Alec Gamache in 0:13; and
• Siddens (182), Apperson (195), Sanders (220), Sickmeier (120) and Wegescheide (132) were unopposed.
Parkway Central’s winners were:
• 145 — John Kim pinned D’Onofrio in 4:26; and
• 106 — Chyngyz Kalybek pinned Beine in 1:20.
Both teams were open at 113 and 126.
“We have a lot of young guys in the lineup this year who have really improved since last year,” Cranmer said. “Most of the lower weights have limited varsity experience before this year with the exception of Carter Sickmeier who is a returning state qualifier. Our lineup is solid from 170 up with Kuenzel, Clark, Meyer, Rock and Sanders and that is where we will have to get wins from in duals to be able to win as a team.”
Cranmer said there were plenty of positives for his team.
“It was good to see our wrestlers attempting leg attacks and hitting their moves on the whistle,” Cranmer said. “I really think that the Wrestling Mindset program we have been doing has helped the wrestlers focus and prepare themselves mentally. We have started from scratch this year to create pre- and post-match routines. They have a post match reflection that they do for every match where they evaluate if they were being aggressive and moving forward and making several good quality attacks.”
Cranmer said the wrestlers have learned to use every inch of space on the mat.
“Never quitting and wrestling hard throughout the match and near the out of bounds line is another key component of the match that they evaluate,” Cranmer said. “They are learning to never judge a match on whether they win or lose, but to focus on what they can control.”