With four individual champions and 10 top-five finishes, the Wayzata wrestling team captured the team title at the Elk River Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 11. The Trojans amassed 175.5 points to beat out 10 other teams including Princeton (156.5), Prior Lake (133), Annandale-Maple Lake (125) and Anoka (121.5).
Junior Cael Swensen continued his impressive season by winning the individual title at 138 pounds. After pinning Prior Lake junior Brendan McGraw in the quarterfinal round, Swensen defeated Albany junior William Mergen with a technical fall and score of 20-5.
In the championship match, Swensen handed Princeton junior Kyle Boeke his first defeat of the season with a 14-4 major decision. Swensen is now 28-1 on the season and the No. 1-ranked wrestler in his weight class in Class 3A. His only loss of the season was against junior Ryan Sokol, who wrestles for Simley, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 2A.
Along with Swensen, freshmen Cal Lonnquist at 113 pounds and Kyler Wong at 126 pounds, give the Trojans a strong lineup in the lower weight classes.
Lonnquist is currently the No. 5-ranked individual in Class 3A at 113 pounds. He improved his record to 26-5 on the season with four relatively easy victories on his way to the individual title at the Elk River Invite.
Lonnquist needed just 53 and 12 seconds to pin his first two opponents, while a third pin came at the 2:36 mark of his semifinal match. Lonnquist then defeated Hutchinson senior Grant Peirce in the championship match with a 13-2 major decision.
Wong is also currently ranked No. 5 in Class 3A at 126 pounds. His path to the individual title at Elk River included a pair of technical fall victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Wong finished off the weekend with an 11-1 major decision over Anoka sophomore Brendan Howes to run his season record to 23-2.
The fourth Trojan to win an individual title at the meet was senior Mac Kukowski at 195 pounds. After receiving a first-round bye, Kukowski recorded a fall at the 2:27 mark of his semifinal match against Rogers senior Evan Braesch. He then earned a 6-3 decision over Fridley junior Josh Franklin in the championship match. Kukowski is now 20-2 on the season and the No. 3-ranked wrestler in his weight class.
Several other Wayzata wrestlers had nice performances at the meet. Freshman Adam Cherne placed third at 132 pounds after a 4-2 decision over Anoka junior Brad Howes.
Freshman Elijah Wald took fourth place at 106 pounds, while senior Jac Carver finished fourth at 285 pounds.
The Trojans got fifth-place finishes from senior Cole Ciardelli at 145 pounds, junior Adam El-Damir at 152 pounds and sophomore Austin Franchino at 220 pounds. Junior Louis Scott finished in sixth place at 120 pounds.
The team will be back in action at the Eastview Lightning Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 18.