The Mound Westonka White Hawks wrestlers competed in the Wright County Conference Championships on Friday, Feb. 1, at Delano High School. The conference tourney was an individual format, where the top two wrestlers in each weight class earned all-conference, while third place finishers received honorable mention.
The White Hawks entered eight wrestlers in the tournament, placing six in the top three and earning a fifth place finish overall.
“I thought we wrestled the best tournament of the year, with six guys wrestling at or above their seeds;” said head coach Todd Munsterteiger.
Winning conference championships were Sam Bennyhoff, Tyler Hebig and Bryan Tierney; while Ben Rogers was a runner-up. Drake Heath and Ryder Schmidt both pulled off upsets in their third-place matches to earn their honorable mention status.
Hebig claimed his fourth All-Conference Award, while Bennyhoff, Rogers and Tierney picked up their second straight. Winning the championship was especially sweet for Bennyhoff, who avenged one of his only losses during the season in the championship match.
“Sam looked awesome in beating the New London-Spicer kid, and looks poised to make a deep run in the post-season,” said assistant coach Eric Rodelius.
On Saturday, Feb. 2, the White Hawks traveled to Rogers for the Rogers Royal Rumble Dual Tournament. Because of injuries and match count issues, the White Hawks were down several wrestlers and filled in with JV kids.
The White Hawks had an impressive opening round win over Minnehaha Academy/De La Salle by the score of 59-9, then dropped the next two duals to Eagan 56-21 and host Rogers 35-18 to finish fourth.
“It was fun for the JV kids to get some varsity matches and wins,” added Munsterteiger.
The White Hawks also had freshman Ryan Reid competing at the state Ninth Grade League tourney in Champlin Park on Saturday, Feb. 2. Reid was making his second trip to State, and was back for another shot after placing eighth last season.
Reid started out the day on a roll, winning his first three matches to reach the semi-finals. After a tough loss in the semis, Reid lost his final match to place fourth overall.
“Ryan made a nice run, and it will be a valuable experience for him,” said freshmen coach John Wardlow.
The White Hawks will host the annual Leopold/Haglund Memorial tourney this Friday, Feb. 8, with wrestling starting at 5 p.m.