After a two-year hiatus Western Dubuque was back on top at the Dubuque Invitational, wrestled on Dec. 3 at Hempstead in Dubuque. The Bobcats won the tournament seven years in a row, before Hempstead took two honors in 2014 and 2015.
“In terms of development, we have a lot to work on, but we did a lot of things very well in getting the championship back from Hempstead,” coach Paul Cleary said.
“They have a very nice team as well, and we all look forward to further promotion of the great sport of wrestling at the Dubuque County Clash on Dec. 22.”
WD scored 303 team points to take the title. Hempstead had 267, Iowa-Grant/Highland 184, Clinton 183.5, Lancaster, Wis., 135 and Dubuque Senior 91 in the six-team round-robin tournament.
Highlighting the day were Jacob Close, Nathan Betts, Bradan Birt, Max Lyon, Luke Kluesner and Aaron Costello who all earned individual championships.
Fifth-ranked Close led off his day with a bye at 113 pounds and won his next four matches by fall The quickest was over Hempstead’s Brennan Lechnir in 26 seconds.
Betts wrestled his way to a top finish at 126 pounds with a 5-0 record. He earned two wins by fall, one by major decision, one by forfeit and one via bye.
Fifth-ranked Birt finished first at 132 pounds with what had to be a record number of technical falls for the day. He won his first four matches via technical fall and the last was a forfeit.
Top-ranked Lyon made quick work of all his opponents as he earned four wins by fall and one by forfeit. His quickest pin was a 43-second match with Hempstead’s Steven Blosch. He dispatched all four opponents in 1:07 or less.
Sixth-ranked Kluesner was a force to be reckoned with at 195 pounds as he won all five matches by fall. The fastest was a 51-second win over Hempstead’s Owen Dunne. Four wins were in the first period. His longest match of the day was a win by fall over Lancaster’s Caden Straka in 5:21.
Top-ranked Costello pinned four opponents and received a forfeit at 285 pounds en route to the title. All four of his falls were in the first period. His fastest pin was 1:03 and the longest he was on the mat was 1:45.
Dawson Bierman placed second with a 4-1 record at 106 pounds. He recorded a win by fall, two by decision and one via bye.
Eighth-ranked Elijah Demmer grabbed a second-place finish at 145 pounds with a record of 4-1 including two falls, a major decision and a forfeit.
Ryker Kurimski (138) placed third with a record of 3-2. His wins were via fall, major decision and decision.
Jake Hosch garnered a third-place finish at 160 pounds with a 3-2 day. He recorded two falls and one decision.
Matthew Schemmel grabbed a third-place finish at 220 pounds with three wins by fall.
J.D. Kluesner finished fourth at 120 pounds with a 2-3 record. He earned one win by fall and the other via bye.
Jackson Healey earned a fourth-place finish at 152 pounds with a 3-2 day. He earned one decision and two major decision victories.
Jayden Kelleher finished fourth at 170 pounds. He earned one fall, one major decision and one bye en route to a 3-2 day.
Freddie Hosch placed fourth at 220 pounds with a 2-3 record. Both of his wins were by fall.
Renton Miller placed fifth at 126 pounds for WD with a record of 1-4, his win was via bye.
Dylin Martin placed fifth at 285 pounds with 1-4 record with a win by fall.
Tim Feltes (182) placed sixth after going 0-5.