Seven national top-10 team finishes
ST. PAUL, MINN. — Eight Central College wrestlers were placewinners in the 19-team Brute Auggie Open at Augsburg College Saturday.
No team scores were kept.
Central sent a partial squad and TJ Peretti (senior, Auburn, Wash., Mountainview HS) was the lone Dutch placewinner in the top bracket, the Gold bracket. He won two of four matches and finished sixth at 149 pounds.
“TJ had a solid day,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “He fought through some tough matches, won a close one in overtime then lost in overtime. It can be a long day but he persevered and showed big improvement since his match Thursday night (at Coe).”
Van Kley also cited freshman Mike O’Connor (Lockport, Ill., St. Rita HS), who won the consolation side of the 149-pound Gold bracket with a 2-1 mark, including two falls.
“Mike had a really good day,” Van Kley said. “He wrestled up a weight class and lost to the best kid in the tournament in the first round, then came back and had two big pins. I was really proud of him.”
Most of the less-experienced wrestlers were placed in the Silver and Bronze brackets.
Freshmen Zach Moss (freshman, Winterset) and Dustin Thiebault (Billerica, Mass., Shawsheen Tech HS) were second in the Silver Pool at 174 and 184 pounds, respectively. Moss was 3-1 and Thiebault was 2-1.
“Zach is getting better each week,” Van Kley said. “He did a good job of attacking from all positions and being aggressive.”
Also in the Silver bracket, Jake Hergott (Lincoln, Neb., Southeast HS) was fourth at 125 pounds with a 3-1 record while Jaime Miranda (freshman, Aberdeen, Wash.) and Trent Baker (sophomore, Sloan, Westwood HS) were third and fifth, respectively at 285. They were each 3-1.
Van Kley said Baker took a long road to his first tournament.
“His first two years he was sidelined by injury, so this was his first opportunity in three years to compete,” he said. “I’m really proud of his effort today and over the last three years. We’re excited to see him compete and do well.”
In the Bronze bracket, Ryan Vandall (freshman, Phoenix, Ariz., Moon Valley HS) took second at 157 pounds with a 3-1 record. Mitch Hunt (freshman, Lincoln, Neb., North Star HS) was fourth at 141 pounds with a 1-2 mark.
“It was a decent day, especially for a lot of the younger guys,” Van Kley said. “It’s fun to see them grow and develop. They’ve got an exciting future.”
The Dutch are off until Thursday, Dec. 5, when they make their home season debut, taking on Knox (Ill.) and Augustana (Ill.), starting at 6:30 p.m. in P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.