Nine individual placers, including four champions, helped the St. Thomas Aquinas boys finish second at the Bobcat Classic on Saturday.
The Saints led all Kansas City area schools at the 25-team tournament, which was held at Basehor-Linwood High. The No. 6- ranked team in Class 5A scored 189 points to finish runner-up behind Underwood (Iowa) at the meet.
St. Thomas Aquinas was led by four individual champions – Jordan Habben, Dylan Elmore, Sean Carroll and Pierce Cunningham. Habben, who is ranked No. 2 at 152 pounds, went 5-0 en route to the tournament title. He pinned his first two opponents before winning three by decision (9-7, 10-5 and 6-1). Shawnee Mission East’s Brady Fankhauser finished second at 152.
Elmore is also ranked No. 2 at his weight class. He went 4-0 after an opening round bye. Elmore won by fall in the second round, tech fall (18-3) and tech fall (17-0) before pinning Rossville’s Sam Twombly by fall in the second round in the 160 finals.
At 195, Carroll was given two byes to begin the tournament. In the quarterfinals, he pinned his opponent in the second round before winning by first-round fall in the semifinals. Carroll, who is ranked second in 5A, defeated Glenwood’s CJ Carter by a 3-2 decision in the championship round.
Cunningham also received two byes before the quarterfinals. He won his first match by a 3-2 decision. In the semifinals, Cunningham won by major decision. Cunningham earned the 220 championship by a 5-4 decision over St. James Academy’s Wade Spencer.
The other five individual placers for STA were Tobius Kriner (2nd, 106), Kaden Allen (4th, 126), Dylan Waggerman (6th, 145), Tyler Andrade (8th, 170) and Luke Hancock (4th, 182).
Tonganoxie finished third at the tournament with 175.5 points. The Class 4A No. 2-ranked Chieftains were led by three champions.
Top-ranked Grayson Sonntag won the 138 weight class after going 4-0 at the event. He won his first three matches by fall – all in the first round – before winning the championship match by a 10-3 decision over Stevie Barnes of Underwood.
Tyler Pankey, who is ranked No. 5 at 170, also went 4-0 at the tournament. Pankey pinned all four of his opponents. Three of them were in the first round, with the last coming late in the third round of the title match against Lansing’s Tyler Henson.
At 182, Gabriel Bailey received two byes before pinning his first two opponents. The No. 2-ranked wrestler beat Jack Harvey, who is ranked No. 4, of Baldwin by a 4-1 decision in the championship match.
Mill Valley placed fourth as a team behind four wrestlers placing in the top four of their respective weight classes. Finishing runner-up were Robert Hickman (113) and Dillon Cooper (120). Maddox Cassella (126) and Eddie Hughart (132) placed third.
– story by Jimmy Gillispie