Pekin finishes fourth at own invite
PACKWOOD — Two Pekin wrestlers won individual titles Saturday, helping the Panthers to a fourth-place finish at their annual tournament in Packwood.
Pekin’s Austyn Vogel won the title at 145 pounds, claiming a 11-5 decision against Casey Beaver of Iowa City Regina in the finals match; and Thomas Slaney pinned Regina’s Elliott Halsch in the 195-pound championship for the title. Slaney won his home tournament last season as well, while Vogel had finished third.
As a team, the Panthers scored 134 points and improved on last year’s sixth-place team finish. Albia won Saturday’s tournament with 183.5 points, Washington was runner-up with 173 and Davis County scored 144.5 to finish third.
“Overall, we were pretty pleased,” Pekin head coach Al Chapman said of his wrestlers. “What I’m going to take into next week’s practice is the three teams that beat us were 2A teams, and we were the top 1A team. We can build on that.”
At 220 pounds, Pekin’s Trenton Conger also made the championship round, where he lost to Daniel Gaffey of Regina.
Brandon Baayen (113) and Avery Bennett (126) both finished third individually, while Caleb Sadler (120) and Chase Earnest (132) were fourth. Freshmen Clayton McKim (106) and Michael Hadley (285) as well as senior Tayte Schoff (138) earned fifth-place finishes. Scott Entsminger ended up sixth at 160.
Baayen and McKim, especially, earned the praise of their coach.
“Brandon has only had two practices this season, and you could tell he wasn’t in wrestling shape yet. But I was real pleased with his intensity. He had one of the highest intensities of anyone out there,” Chapman said.
“Clayton is out-weighed by about 20 pounds when he steps out there. He doesn’t care. If I put him out there against a heavyweight he’d be out there ready to go again. If we could have that fire out of everyone, we’d be in real good shape,” the coach added of McKim.
Van Buren finished seventh with 61 points and was led by Curtis Thomas’ runner-up finish at 182 pounds. Jacob Heisel finished third at 132.
For Cardinal, Ryan Cale claimed second palce at 113 pounds and Mike Owings was fourth in the 126-pound class. The Comets finished ninth in the team standings with 42 points.
The Warriors travel to Lone Tree on Thursday, and Cardinal and Pekin will meet up again at Columbus.
Final Team Standings
1. Albia 183.5, 2. Washington 173, 3. Davis County 144.5, 4. Pekin 134, 5. Iowa City Regina 133, 6. Moravia 65, 7. Van Buren 61, 8. WACO 49, 9. Cardinal 42