FORT?DODGE - Going into Saturday's 39th annual Don Miller Invitational Tournament at Fort Dodge, Coach Jared Pickett and the Emmetsburg E-Hawk wrestlers were a bit short handed. With some nagging injuries nd several younger wrestlers participating in a JV tournament in Spencer, the E-Hawks took just seven wrestlers to Fort Dodge.
But those seven wrestlers captured three championships, a pair of runner-up finishes, a third place and a sixth place finish to give Emmetsburg fourth place overall in the team race.
To cap off the strong day, Emmetsburg's Andrew Wellik was also honored with the Tim Ascherl Outstanding Wrestler award, which is voted on by the coaches of the 10 teams wrestling in the tournament.
OUTSTANDING WRESTLER - Emmetsburg’s Andrew Wellik was selected as the winner of the Tim Ascherl Outstanding Wrestler Award at Saturday’s Don Miller Invitational in Fort Dodge. Wellik is pictured accepting the award from namesake Tim Ascherl. -- Dan Voigt photo
Wellik, the E-Hawks' 182 pounder, pinned his way through the tournament, staring with a 3:42 Technical Fall win by fall over Dustin Swindler of Clarinda in the quarterfinals. Wellik then wrestled Sam Cook of Fort Dodge in the semi-finals and earned a :34 win by fall. Meeting Dylan Fielder of Webster City in the finals, Wellik earned his championship with a 4:46 win by fall.
Austin McCartan, wrestling at 195 pounds, started his day with a :54 win by fall Jose Acebedo of Storm Lake. In the semi-finals, McCartan earned a 10-1 Major Decision victory over Gustavo Gasca of Webster City to meet Riley Prescott of Fort Dodge in the finals, where the E-Hawk scored a 3:13 win by fall to claim the championship.
The E-Hawks' third individual championship came at 220 pounds, as Taylor Wegner scored a :40 win by fall over Lance Barber of Nevada in the quarterfinal round and then earned a 3:42 win by fall over James Muschenheim of Council Bluffs Lewis Central to earn a finals berth. For the championship, Wegner wasted no time in putting Hunter Girling of Bondurant-Farrarr on his back to claim a :59 win by fall for the 220 pound championship.
Emmetsburg got a pair of second place finishes from Brady Bailey and Nick Schany. Brady Bailey opened the quarterfinals with a 1:09 win by fall over Jacob Herduin of Newton. In the semi-finals, Bailey earned an 8-6 decision over Alex Oswald of Webster City to move into the championship match, where he met Tucker Ksaisek of Bondurant-Farrar, but would be edged in a 2-1 decision to settle for the second place finish at 152 pounds.
At 170 pounds, Nick Schany tallied a 1:59 win by fall over Tyler Heinrich of Bondurant-Farrarr in the quarter finals and then defeated Drake Swedlund of Sioux City East in a 15-3 Major Decision in the semi-finals. For the championship match, Schany was paired with Duke Egli of Fort Dodge and wrestled hard, only to be edged 3-4 to settle for the runner-up medal.
The E-Hawks got a third placed finish from Dillon VanOosbree, wrestling at 106 pounds. The freshman drew a quarter-final bye to advance to the semi-finals, where he was pinned by Erik Birnbaum of Fort Dodge in 3:02 of the match. Moving to the consolation championship, Van Oosbree wrestled Larry Vore of Sioux City East and earned a 12-11 decision victory to capture the third place finish.
Rounding out Emmetsburg's efforts on Saturday was Caige Elbert at 138 pounds. Elbert opened the day being pinned in 3:39 of his quarterfinal match with Jonah Egli of Fort Dodge. Elbert then wrestled Juan Morales of Storm Lake in the first round of consolation matches and earned a 1:34 win by fall. Meeting Price Pope of Nevada in the consolation semi finals, Elbert earned a 4-0 decision victory over Pope to set up the match against Casey Coon of Sioux City East who pinned Elbert in 3:50 to give Elbert a sith place finish.
The E-Hawks will now take a well-deserved break until the new year when they will resume action on the mat.