A full day of hard fought competition ended with first, second and third place finishes for three Perry matmen.
Senior Zachary Thompson (120) recorded the team’s lone first place finish, junior Kaleb Olejniczak (126) finished second and senior Zach Stewart (138) placed third.
Fifteen teams partook at Perry’s Varsity Invitational on Jan. 13, with the host team placing 11th overall.
“The top three finishers are great models of how to work hard and focus during practice, “ coach Mark Weber said. “I hope that the young wrestlers on the team are paying attention to the focus and attention to detail that those three (and a few others in the room) model every day.”
Thompson, who was also named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament by every coach, started his afternoon with a first round bye.
The fourth ranked Bluejay earned an 18-5 Major Decision victory over Woodward-Granger’s Ryan Munoz. He then outscored Carlisle’s Carter Logue 21-6 for a Technical Fall win.
In the championship round Thompson and Drake Dolittle of Webster City duked it out for the full three periods with the Bluejay coming up on top with a 3-1 decision victory.
Third ranked Olejniczak also received a first round bye before making quick work of Eagle Grove’s Gabriel Rolon with a pinfall win six seconds before the end of the first period.
In the semifinals he recorded a 15-4 MD over Danny Nordquist of Panorama. He then went toe-to-toe with Des Moines East’s Brock Espalin and fell short in a 6-3 decision.
Stewart, who ranks third in the state in his weight class, started his day with a bye before needing 80 seconds in the second period to pin Cade Costlow of Van Meter.
The victory was short lived as Stewart went down 2-1 the following period in a long drawn out match versus Easton Graff of Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
That didn’t deter Stewart who the following match recorded a pinfall win at 2:41 over Eagle Grove’s Dawson Lalor.
In his third place match he quickly earned multiple points and finished off Panorama’s Noah Kirtley with an 18-3 TF.
Stewart also picked up his 100th and 101st career win and according to Perry school’s former superintendent Lynn Ubben, he will be honored at home on Jan. 18, before the home duals.
Perry’s final top eight finish of the day belonged to Justin Stammer who finished in sixth place in his 145 pound weight class.
Overall Webster City took first place, Panorama was second, SB-L placed third, Logan-Magnolia was fourth, and Van Meter was fifth.
DSM-East was sixth, W-G finished seventh, Dowling Catholic took eighth, Carlisle was ninth, and West Marshall finished 10th.
Rounding out the final four places 12th-15th, was Carroll, then Eagle Grove, followed by Saydel and South Hamilton rounded out the field.
Other Perry participants:
Riece Graham (106), Jacob Nelson (132), Erick Funez (160), Cole Snyder (170), Jonathan Silva (182), Cori Alamina (195), and Alexander Tapia (220).
“All of our wrestlers are certainly fighting hard, but some are still missing an extra boost of confidence when they step out on the mat, “ Weber said. “Many know the moves they need, but executing them in competition is just as important. We will keep working on our mindset and putting in focused time and effort. Those two together with sacrifice will get them to where they want to be.”