Boonville wrestlers Brant Whitaker and Charlie Pumel showed little signs of rust during the Marshall Invitational Tournament on Saturday.
While having last wrestled back on December 18th at Eldon, Whitaker and Pumel went about business as usual at Marshall by placing first in their respective weight classes.
As a team, Boonville finished fifth overall out of 17 teams with 95 points. Mexico captured first in the tournament with 158.5 points while Gallatin finished second at 144, Lebanon third at 137.5, Brookfield fourth at 136, Boonville fifth at 95, Hickman sixth at 94.5, Southern Boone seventh at 89, Father Tolton eighth at 84.5, Marshall ninth at 72.5, Richmond 10th at 65, North Callaway 11th at 63.5, Hallsville 12th at 45.5, Carrollton 13th at 45, Gallatin’s JV 14th at 6, Wright City 15th at 5, Marshall’s JV 16th at 3 and Hallsville’s JV 17th at 0.
Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Christian Stock said the format for this tournament changed a bit since last season. “It was double elimination,” Stock said. “I didn’t know how I was going to like this format because it resembled a traditional bracket like districts. I think it was an eye opener for some of the boys but that was good for them. This is kind of a throwback kind of tournament. We had two wrestlers get knocked out in the first two rounds. Both of them are going to go to districts so this was a reality check. I always talk about how we use the season to prepare us for the championship portion of the season. They now know what it is like to face elimination. Eric Bundy and Lance Marshall are both in their sophomore year of wrestling and have never competed in this type of bracket. Dustyn Taylor won one of the three matches he wrestled today and got knocked off in the consolation semifinal round. The rest of the wrestlers that competed placed in the top five.”
Along with Whitaker placing first at 152 and Pumel winning his bracket at 160, the Pirates also had a second place finish in Peyton Hahn at 195, a fourth place finish in Dalton Williams at 285 and a fifth place finish in Travis Dell at 170.
Whitaker, 21-1 on the season, won all three matches by falls by pinning Elijah Martinez of Brookfield in the quarterfinal round in 48 seconds, Blayne Wieberg of Mexico in 53 seconds and Chet Cunningham of North Callaway in 5:14.
Stock said Whitaker had a great day. “Brant wrestled three solid matches,” Stock said. “He continues to dominate his opponents. He really looked solid today. He is setting himself up for a strong finish to the season and that is exactly what I expect from him.”
Pumel is also setting himself up for some hardware come February after winning all three matches by pins. While improving to 19-2 on the season, Pumel won his first match in the quarterfinal round against Cameron Cornman of Hickman in 3:40. Then, after pinning Derek Liebhart of Brookfield in 1:59 in the semifinal round, Pumel came back and won by a fall over Tom Crouse of Gallatin in 3:40.
“Charlie had one of the best days of wrestling that I have seen him wrestle in his career,” Stock said. “He dominated every single match he wrestled. Charlie has always been a grinder but today he was really a tactician. This is a big of a change for him but I like it. He is setting himself up for a strong finish to the season as well.”
As for Hahn, the freshman wrestler had only one setback on the day while losing in the championship match against Montgomery Mills of Father Tolton by fall in 3:12.
As for his other matches, Hahn won by a fall over Caden Brown of Lebanon in the quarterfinal round in 3:21 and then came back with a third period pin in the semifinal round against Ryker Plymell of Richmond in 4:30.
Stock said Hahn, who improved to 16-5 on the season, wrestled a solid group of matches but just came up short in the last match. “Peyton has impressed me all season with the poise that he has on the mat as a freshman,” Stock said. “In the final match of the day he got the lead with a takedown. In the second period, Mills got a reversal and a cradle against Peyton and came back with a fall. All in all, Peyton had a good day. He is building his craft on the mat with every single match he wrestles.”
As for Williams, the senior grappler finished 1-2 in the tournament with a 5-3 decision in the quarterfinal round against Donald Grueneberg of Wright City. Meanwhile, after losing in the semifinals by fall against Brooks Baker of Brookfield in 3:38, Williams dropped his next match as well by fall against Maverick Sadler of Mexico in 4:45.
Stock said Williams had a tough bracket but still ended up getting fourth. “He lost in the semifinals to the eventual champion from Brookfield,” Stock said. “He had his chances in the third place match against Sadler of Mexico but just came up short. I think Dalton is making some big gains and hopefully that pays off at the end of the season. This tournament is where Dalton started an upswing in his season last year. I think he is making that same move right now again.”
As for Dell, he had an uphill battle after dropping his first match against Jacob Jackman of Brookfield by fall in 1:10. Then, after receiving a bye in the consolation round, Dell came back to win by a fall against Owen Kiso of Marshall in the consolation semifinals in 2:26. Meanwhile, in the fifth place match, Dell won by a tech fall over Tragan Cox of Carrollton 18-1.
“Travis took a loss right out of the gate and then came back and won out with two falls and a tech fall,” Stock said. “Overall, Travis wrestled well today.”
In other weight classes, Eric Bundy and Dustyn Taylor each finished 1-2 at 138 and 182, respectively. Lance Marshall was 0-2 in the 145 pound weight class.
“All in all, I thought the team had a good day,” Stock said. “I would like to have seen more wins from several of the guys but I am happy with what we did.”