Four Hannibal wrestlers were unbeaten tournament champions Saturday as the Pirates went 4-1 in duals at University City.
The Hannibal wrestling team headed to University City for a dual tournament Saturday in hopes of building some confidence in its final tuneup before the Class 3 District 2 Tournament.
Consider that accomplished.
Four Hannibal wrestlers finished as unbeaten tournament champions. Freshman Tyler Leonard (126), junior Chase Kirby (220) and seniors Kaleb Greening (145) and Austin Carroll (170) each finished 5-0 to dominate their respective weight classes.
As a team, Hannibal defeated Fort Zumwalt East 50-29, Parkway North 66-12, St. Mary's 66-18 and University City 51-16, falling only to St. Charles by a result of 57-23.
“We were pretty pleased with how our guys wrestled this weekend,” Hannibal coach Derek Greening said. “Four of our five duals were against district opponents so it was good to get a look at those matchups. There were a ton of forfeits this weekend so some records were a little inflated due to that. However, in the matches we wrestled, we definitely improved in all phases.”
Leonard, who improved to 44-3, earned his fifth tourney title this season. He pinned St. Charles' Jordan Medina and University City's Jalen Mckee and also secured a 5-1 decision over Zumwalt East's Shakboz Hasanov.
The freshman standout beat two opponents he was facing for the fourth time this winter.
“To continue to beat kids that many times really says a lot about Tyler,” Derek Greening said. “They know what he is going to do but cannot stop him. Tyler is hard to keep down and he is an absolute hammer on top. He has been very consistent in all positions all year.”
Kaleb Greening had the upper hand against three district opponents in a trio of different ways. The senior pinned St. Charles' Alex Habermehl, won by technical fall 16-0 against Zumwalt East's Sean Wachter and earned an 11-3 major decision over University City's Peter Zhang.
“Kaleb had a great tournament,” coach Greening said. “He was very physical and intense in his matches, which really helped his outcomes. Three of his matches were against district opponents so it definitely boosts his confidence going into districts against those kids.”
Kirby continued his strong finish to the regular season as he pinned University City's Dariaun Pointer in 3 minutes, 44 seconds before recording a first-period win by pin fall against Jacob Benshoff of St. Mary's.
Carroll dominated for a 15-0 technical fall over St. Charles' Treyvon Ward and pinned Noel Notheis of St. Mary's in 1 minute, 47 seconds.
Gavin Morawitz, Jameson White, Tyler Wilson and Sean Carroll each went 4-1 on the day for Hannibal. Lyndon Otten and Bailie Rethorn each finished 3-2, while Eli Williams recorded a pair of victories.
Hannibal hosts its district tournament beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday at Korf Gymnasium. It will conclude Saturday. The top four grapplers in each weight class move on to the state championships in Columbia later this month.