Five Bluejays stand on podium at Ames Invitational

Perry wrestlers, from left, Eli Saemisch, Jacob Thompson, Kade VanKirk, Zach Thompson and Kaleb Olejniczak pose with the medals they won after placing at the Medenhall Invitational in Ames Saturday. Photo courtesy Carol VanKirk.

AMES — The Perry wrestling team competed in the always-tough Mendenhall Invite Saturday, with a quintet of Bluejays earning spots on the final podium.

The 17-team field included a wide range of Class 3A schools as well as others with strong traditions. West Des Moines Valley claimed the top team spot with 211 points, with Cedar Rapids Prairie and CR Kennedy second and third, at 174 and 149, respectively, while Indianola was fourth at 133.5 and Omaha Skutt Catholic fifth at 132. Perry finished in the 11th team spot with 64.5 points despite leaving the 126 and 220-pound weight classes open.

Zach Thompson was 3-2 to finish fourth at 113 pounds, with his victories coming by a pin, a decision and a major decision. A pin and two wins by decision helped Kade VanKirk (132) finished 3-2 and claim fourth place, with Eli Saemisch was fourth at 170 with a 3-2 mark that included one pin and two wins by decision.

Kaleb Olejniczak was 3-2 in finishing fifth at 106, with the freshman winning by technical fall, pinfall and injury default while Jacob Thompson scored a decision and a major decision in standing sixth at 145 with a 2-3 mark.

Dalton Humpal was 1-2 for Perry at 182 but did not reach the podium.

Fernando Catalan (120), Gage Welch (138), Troy Jahnke (152), Tanner Darr (160), Alonzo Zarate (195) and Tyler Soll (285) were also in action for Perry but each was eliminated after suffering two losses before securing a victory.

Perry will join Winterset for a triangular at Creston Thursday before hosting their annual tournament Saturday. The Jays will then entertain Carlisle and Des Moines Lincoln Jan. 21.

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