ST. ANSGAR — The Perry wrestlers experienced a round-trip of over 320 miles Saturday by participating in the St. Ansgar Dual Tournament.
Fifth-year Perry head coach Trevor Kittleson was a standout grappler for the Saints and has used his connections to give the Bluejay matmen a chance to compete against some schools they might not otherwise see.
The Jays finished 1-3 as a team, falling to Clear Lake, 42-30, Des Moines Lincoln, 50-26, and to Austin (Minn.) 43-32 while posting a 55-12 win over Northwood-Kensett.
“Each dual we lost was a battle to the end,” Kittleson noted. “As I have said before and will continue to stress: wins and losses will take care of themselves as long as the effort is there. As long as there is effort we can learn and get better.:
Perry was hampered with five varsity starters missing all or part of the action, but Kittleson pointed to many positives the team can take from their long trip north.
“I thought we wrestled aggressively and the overall effort was definitely there,” he said. “I really like this tournament early in the season because everybody gets four matches and the competition is good. It really brings out what we are doing well and what we need to work on as a team and individually early in the season.”
Four Bluejays went 4-0 at the tourney to raise their individual marks to 6-0 on the season: Kaleb Olejniczak (106 pounds), Zachary Thompson (113), Gisaveri Niyibizi (126) and Eli Saemisch (182).
Ivan Garcia (160) was 2-1 to improve to 3-1 overall, with Adan Medina (170 pounds, 2-2, 4-2) while Zach Stewart (who wrestled at several weights) finishing 2-1 to move to 3-2.
Several wrestlers competed at different weights depending upon the opponent as Kittleson juggled his lineup to both avoid forfeits and to test his grapplers against more evenly-matched opponents.
Olejniczak won with a pin in 3 minutes, 40 seconds over Nate Kahoe (DML), by a 16-5 major decision against Gavid Brady (AUS) and by a 16-4 major decision against Bryan Hillyer (CL). He also received a forfeit.
Thompson scored a 20-5 technical fall (4:20) over Jackson Hamlin (CL), pinned Jalin Davis (NK) in 2:53 and Matthew Nelson (AUS) in 37 seconds while defeating Ryan Munoz (DML) with an 11-2 major decision.
Niyibizi pinned Aaron Canchola (CL) in 2:17 at 120 and Zach Farrand (AUS) in 20 ticks at 126 while posting a 21-4 (2:58) tech fall over Nick Adams (DML). Like Olejncizak, he, too, received a forfeit from Northwood-Kensett.
Saemisch stayed perfect by pinning Kade Hambly (CL) in 1:13 and Gavin Paulson (NK) in 29 seconds while sticking Jackson Hample (AUS) in 1:02, all at 182. He faced Adolphe Simon (DML) at 170, winning by fall in 1:23.
In junior varsity action from St. Ansgar, Mana Martinez and Bryan Catalan placed first, with Austin Benshoof, Juan Campos, Alex Castenada, Kade Kilmer, Quinn Helmers, Cesar Ramirez, Luke Holtorf and Emilio Gonzalez all placed second.
Perry returns to action Friday and Saturday in the two-day Council Bluffs extravaganza. The Bluejay JV will not make the trip, but will be in action at the Saydel JV Invitational Friday.
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