WILLIAMSBURG — Three Bluejay wrestlers captured first place in their weight class and two others finished as runner-up Saturday during Perry’s annual visit to the Raider Invitational.
The hosts won the event with 217 team points, with Grinnell second at 130. Perry placed third with 127 points, with Mount Pleasant (117), Davenport West (83) and Pella (56) completing the six-team field.
The highlight of the tournament came at 132 pounds, where 10th-ranked Perry senior Kade VanKirk pinned all five of his opponents en route to being crowned a champion at the event for the fourth consecutive season.
VanKirk (22-3) used 12 minutes and three seconds to tally his five pinfall victories. He now has 14 pins, five decisions, a major decision and two forfeits in his victory column after not beginning his season until January due to an injury.
Joining his fellow senior atop the podium was Eli Saemisch at 170 pounds. Saemisch, now 35-8, won a prep tourney for the first time thanks to four victories by pin and one by decision.
Joining Saemisch in claiming a tourney win for the first time in his career was Zach Stewart (13-11 at 138 pounds). The sophomore recorded two falls and claimed two decisions to earn his inaugural invite title.
Mana Martinez (9-10) and Jacob Thompson (22-8) also reached the finals, with Martinez second at 106 and Thompson second at 145. The former was 2-1 with both wins by decision, with the latter 4-1 with two falls, a major decision and a decision.
Adan Medina (18-19) was third at 182 with a pair of pinfall victories, with Fernando Catalan (13-26) finishing fourth at 120 with a win by decision.
Four Bluejays — Troy Jahnke (17-24 a 152), Tanner Darr (12-28 at 160), Alonzo Zarate (11-23 at 195) and Tyler Soll (11-28 at 285) — finished fifth at the invite. Jahnke was 2-3 with a pin and a victory in sudden death while Zarate was 2-3 with a pair of decisions. Darr and Soll were each 1-4, with the former winning by fall and the latter by injury default.
Perry left the 106, 126 and 220-pound weight classes open.
Perry will join Boone in Adel Tuesday and Greene County at Ballard Thursday before hosting the Raccoon River Conference tournament Saturday. Action on both Tuesday and Thursday begins at 5:30 p.m., with the RRC tourney to start at 10 a.m.