Packers best West

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 17, 1999

Though his unbeaten wrestling team trailed 29-24 with two matches remaining, Coach Bill Kinney refused to sweat bullets.

Friday, December 17, 1999

Though his unbeaten wrestling team trailed 29-24 with two matches remaining, Coach Bill Kinney refused to sweat bullets.

Email newsletter signup

"I was remarkably calm going into the 189-pound match," Kinney said. "I knew we didn’t need extra points and knowing the guys we had wrestling made for a calm situation."

Kinney’s quiet confidence proved to be the perfect demeanor in the Packers’ 34-29 victory.

Chad Mentel and heavyweight Brian E. Heimer simply needed a pair of three-point decisions to pull out the match against previously unbeaten Mankato West, the ninth-rated team in the state’s Class AAA rankings.

But Mentel, who earned a major decision, and Heimer, who pinned his man, did more than simply win. They picked up 10 points and put an exclamation point on the Packers’ take-notice victory.

The win came before a highly-charged crowd in Ove Berven Gym, where Austin (8-0, 2-0 in the Big Nine) is establishing itself as a force in the Big Nine. T.J. Parlin and Spencer Wolner pinned their opponents at 103 and 112 pounds, respectively, inciting the loud crowd.

Pins by Matt Adwell at 130 and Joe Cunningham at 135 gave Austin a 24-8 lead. After a lull in the middle weights, Austin reasserted itself late.

The win will likely vault the Packers into the state’s top 10 rankings, while bumping West out.

But rankings and records are not foremost in the Packers’ minds. Austin, Kinney said, is "focusing on the task at hand" for each and every match.

Next up for the Packers is Saturday’s Faribualt Invite, an eight-team meet featuring Ellsworth, Wis., the meet’s two-time defending champ, and state-ranked Totino Grace and Northfield.

The invite features team scoring, but does not feature team duals. Wrestlers compete in individual brackets for each weight class. The set-up insures Austin will head into the Christmas break unbeaten.

"It’ll be a very merry Christmas to be undefeated this deep into the season," said Kinney, who noted one upcoming dual meet that is on his mind.

"We’ve got Owatonna after Christmas (Jan. 6 in Austin)," Kinney said. "It may be for the conference championship."

Owatonna is ranked No. 2 in the state.

Austin 34, Mankato West 29

103 – T. J. Parlin (A) pinned Tim Buzick (MW), 3:59

112 – Spencer Wolner (A) pinned Patrik Hoffman (MW), 0:31

119 – Mitch Hanson (MW) dec. Scott Miller (A), 6-1

125 – Victor Solis (MW) technical fall over Tony Delhanty (A), 25-11

130 – Matt Adwell (A) pinned Wes Graff (MW), 3:49

135 – Joe Cunningham (A) pinned Paul Durbahn (MW), 1:36

140 – Jake Lawrence (MW) pinned Drew Oesterle (A), 3:11

145 – Paul Sheldon (MW) decisioned Mike Cunningham (A), 7-4

(Mankato West penalized 1 team point for unsportsmanlike conduct after 145-pound match.)

152 – Jon Kozitza (MW) pinned Derek Hyland (A), 1:05

160 – Brandon Adkins (MW) technical fall over Willie Clennon (A), 15-0

171 – Tim Wussow (MW) decisioned Todd Krupicka (A), 14-7

189 – Chad Mentel (A) major dec. Jim Baker (MW), 10-1

275 – Brian E. Heimer (A) pinned Brady Krusemark (MW), 5:52