By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
ST PETER —
The Saints didn’t have to go marching in on Saturday because they were already at their home gymnasium. St. Peter performed well, however, winning pair of dual meets to capture the championship of its own wrestling triangular.
The Saints defeated Mankato West 63-9 and downed Le Sueur-Henderson 64-9. LSH slipped past West 40-39. The meet featured a handful of marquee matches including two by LSH’s No. 1-ranked Austin Anderly.
The sophomore Anderly, who has yet to qualify for a state high school meet, entered the season ranked first in Class A at 106 pounds. He lived up to his reputation Saturday by decisioning Joey More of St. Peter 8-4 and pinning Charlie Dundas of West in 4:43. Dundas is one of West’s top wrestlers and More went into the match with a 13-3 record.
Le Sueur-Henderson head coach Scott Wilson said Anderly earned the No. 1 ranking not because of what he’s done at the high school level but because of what he accomplished this past offseason. Anderly won both the Greco-Roman and Freestyle state tournaments and traveled with the Minnesota team that wrestled throughout the country over the summer.
“I learned a lot,” Anderly said. “I got to wrestle against great competition and it helped me mature both mentally and physically.”
Wilson agrees: “Up until this year, Austin was what you would call a wreckless wrestler. You could see he was extremely talented but he wasn’t disciplined enough to channel that talent.
“Now that’s all gone. He’s focused and learned how to manage a match. He’s a completely different wrestler.”
Before the rankings came out Anderly’s goal was to simply qualify for the state tournament. Now that he’s No. 1 he wants to win it all.
“I want to show everybody that the ratings are right. There’s a lot of pressure that goes with that but that’s fine. At the end of the year I want to have the gold medal around my neck.”
Another marquee bout occurred in the opening St. Peter-West dual. That’s where the Saints’ unranked Dylan Connor jumped up to 195 pounds to take on Class AA’s fourth-ranked Tyler Jakes. Connor, who gave up about 20 pounds in the bout, ended up sticking Jakes in 4:59.
“I’m in the process of dropping down to 170 and it looks like (Jakes is) on the way to dropping to 182,” Connor said. “I thought it would be a good match for me at this point in the season.
“Now, if I don’t make to 170, I can stay at 182 and know I’m capable of beating Jakes in the section meet. I’ll have confidence either way.”
In the More vs. Dundas match, More earned an 8-4 decision. The Saints’ Kyle Bosacker also had a good day at 160 pounds, earning a 10-4 decision over Xavier Dahlgren and pinning LSH’s John Klein in 1:52.
St. Peter came away from the triangular with three wrestlers who had two falls apiece. They were Shaun Timmerman (113-120), Collin Thompson (132) and Connor (182-195).
Le Sueur-Henderson’s only double-winner was Anderly.
West was led by Jake Russell and Connor Wanderscheid. Russell pinned both of his opponents at heavyweight while Wanderscheid won a pair of decisions at 182.
West (3-7) wrestles again Thursday at Class AAA’s sixth-ranked Albert Lea.