The Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran wrestling team cruised to two easy wins last Thursday, Jan. 17, at a home triangular, and then finished in fifth place at the eighth-team Hutchinson Invitational on Saturday.
The two wins, which came against Tri City United and Rockford, boosted the Royals season duals record to 9-1. They opened the night with a 64-12 win over Tri City United, which boosted their conference record to 4-0 in the Minnesota River Conference, before closing the night with a 79-0 win over Rockford.
In the win over TCU, the Royals jumped out to a 30-0 lead, thanks in part to two forfeit wins for Jackson Sweeney and Colin Flynn to open the night, followed by three straight pins. Adam Traen got a pin at 120, Matt Elsenpeter got one at 126 and Aaron Sweeney had another at 132.
TCU finally got on the board with a pin at 138, but Joe Reinert’s 5-3 decision at 145 got the Royals back on track. Jon Vouk followed with a 14-3 major decision at 152 before TCU got another pin at 160 to cut the deficit to 37-12.
However, that was the final point that TCU scored in the match. Logan Cooper won a thrilling 6-5 decision with an escape as time ran out at 170 pounds, while Austin Torres followed with a pin at 182 pounds. Nick Burns and Jon Ernst won by forfeit at 195 and 220 pounds, respectively, and at heavyweight, Davion Franklin withstood a strong challenge from his TCU opponent to finally win by fall with 16 seconds left in the match.
The Royals later shut out Rockford, 79-0, but didn’t have to work too hard in the process. The Royals took a 36-0 lead with forfeit wins from Jackson Sweeney, Braydon Snow, Traen, Elsenpeter, Aaron Sweeney and Jobe in the first six matches.
At 145 pounds, Reinert followed with a major decision, and Vouk got a pin at 152. At 160, Bryce Kallenbach won a major decision, Cooper won by forfeit at 170, and Torres won by fall at 182.
Burns (195) and Franklin (heavyweight) both won by forfeit, while Ernst picked up a first-period pin at 220 pounds.
The Royals finished in fifth place at the invite, scoring 152.5 points. Jackson County Central won the meet with 202.5 points, with Prior Lake (199) taking second, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (162) taking third and Hutchinson (159) taking fourth.
The Royals had three individual champions on the day. Jackson Sweeney took first place at 106 pounds, Elsenpeter won at 126 pounds and Torres won at 182 pounds.
At 106, Sweeney barely escaped the first round on his way to the title. He won a 3-1 overtime decision before winning by a 16-0 technical fall in the second round and an 11-3 major decision in the finals.
At 126, Elsenpeter got a bye in the first round before winning by fall in the semifinals. He won a 13-2 major decision in the finals.
At 182 pounds, Torres earned a pin in just 39 seconds in the first round and advanced to the finals with a 9-1 major decision in the semifinals. He won a 16-7 major decision in the finals.
At 132 pounds, Aaron Sweeney finished in second place for Watertown-Mayer. He won his first-round match by fall, survived a 2-0 overtime win in the semifinals, but was beaten 8-1 in the finals.
Finishing in third place for the Royals were Joe Reinert at 145 pounds, Logan Cooper at 170 pounds and Davion Franklin at 285 pounds.
Reinert had a bye, lost in the semifinals, but rallied to win by pin and a 6-3 decision to come away with third place. Cooper won a 7-0 decision in the first round before falling in the semis, but he responded with a pin to advance to the third-place match, where he won by default. At heavyweight, Franklin won by fall in the first round before losing in the semis. He came back with a pin in his next two matches to finish third.
WMML will return to action on Friday, Jan. 25, when they face off in a battle that should determine the Minnesota River Conference championship. The Royals take on Scott West in Jordan at 7 p.m. They’ll also be in action on Tuesday, Jan. 29, for a triangular at Dassel-Cokato. The royals will wrestle Princeton at 6:30 p.m. And DC at 8 p.m.
Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]