Demon wrestlers take fourth at Mepo tourney
MEDIAPOLIS — The Washington wrestling team took fourth place on Saturday at a Mediapolis tournament that featured some very tough competition.
“It probably is the toughest tournament we’ll wrestle at this year,” Demon head coach Brent Van Weelden said.
Host Mediapolis, ranked third in Class 2A, scored 280.5 points and rolled to the tournament title by over 100 points. Fort Madison took second place with 179.5 points, and Blue Valley North (Kan.) was third with 145 points. The Demons, who were wrestling shorthanded, finished fourth with 108 points.
“We didn’t have Mitchell Hora or Tanner Knupp in the lineup. We didn’t have Aaron Kempf or Kyle Collier in the lineup,” Van Weelden said. “Two of them were taking ACTs and two of them were a little banged up. So we were four guys short in the varsity lineup, and I think that made a little bit of a difference in the team standings.”
Washington didn’t crown an individual champion at the tournament, but had three runners-up. Junior 113-pounder Fletcher Green, junior 120-pounder Tristan Pohren and sophomore 170-pounder Brad Skubal each lost to ranked opponents in the finals.
“We lost to some good kids,” Van Weelden said.
Green, who is ranked fifth in Class 2A, lost a 6-4 decision to Fort Madison’s Bryce Meyer, who is ranked third in Class 3A. Pohren lost a 5-3 decision to ninth-ranked Chase Seaney of Fort Madison. And Skubal lost a 9-1 major decision to second-ranked Adam Drain of Mediapolis.
Washington sophomore Joe Smith took third place at 182 pounds. Sophomore 106-pounder Michael Witt, sophomore 152-pounder Alex Gonzalez and junior 160-pounder Austin Latcham each placed fourth.
Van Weelden said that the stiff competition at the tournament showed his team what it needs to work on.
“We knew we need to get better on our feet,” he said. “A lot of those matches came down to who could take the other guy down, and we didn’t win a lot of those situations. We’ve got a lot of improvement to make in the next couple of months to beat guys we’re not supposed to beat.”
The Demons will host their first home dual meet of the season on Thursday when Keokuk comes to Washington.