The Mound Westonka wrestling squad placed fourth at the tough Hibbing Duals tourney on Jan. 4 and 5. The White Hawks faced host Hibbing in first-round action, and pulled out an exciting, come from behind 41-39 victory.
“It was a fun win for the kids, and we needed our big guys to step up to get the win,” said head coach Todd Munsterteiger.
The White Hawks reeled off four straight pins to seal the victory, capped off by senior Erik Hannigan’s fall at 195 pounds. The victory put the White Hawks in the winner’s pool, and they faced three formidable squads, a tough task with three open weights.
“We have some guys out and we’re not down to our tournament weights yet, so we really had to battle to have a chance to win,” commented assistant coach Eric Rodelius.
Eventual tourney champion Centennial was their first test, and despite the loss, they gave the champs the closet dual they would have with a score of 39-33.
“We did just about everything possible to win that one, we were just one man short,” added Munsterteiger.
The White Hawks dropped the next dual 44-30 to a tough Bemidji squad, but nearly ended the day with an upset of runner-up Chisago Lakes, falling just short by a 36-35 score.
“Overall I think we competed pretty well, now we just need to get better technically and keep the effort up,” noted assistant coach Jake Saatzer.
Named to the all-tournament team were Sam Bennyhoff, Ryan Reid, Ben Rogers and Bryan Tierney. Rogers also picked up the Most Pins Award, pinning all four of opponents over the weekend.
The JV squad also fared well, earning a third place finish in the individual tourney. Chris Prescott, Noah Byers, Kwin Retterath and Taylor Schmid were all finalists, and Schmid came home with the 170 pound championship.
“It was a good tournament for our JV kids, and fun to see them place high,” said freshmen coach John Wardlow.
The White Hawks will host Willmar and Waconia in a triangular on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 5:00 p.m., and will travel to Minnetonka on Friday, January 11 for an individual tourney.
First round action will begin at 5:30.