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Power takes first, Packers take seventh at Mankato East wrestling invite

MANKATO – Austin ‘s Erick Power took first place as the Packer wrestling team placed seventh out of nine teams at the Mankato East wrestling invite Saturday.

Power picked up two first period pins to win the championship at 120-pounds, including a pin over Ricardo Fletcher of Mankato East in the finals. Fletcher had beaten Power numerous times over the past three seasons, while Power had just one previous win in the matchup.

“Erick dispatched an old nemesis in short fashion as he quickly took Fletcher down to his back. Fletcher fought off, and then Erick stacked him right back up for the fall,” Austin head coach Bill Kinney said. “That match was a much needed confidence booster for Erick as we approach the post season.”

Austin’s Brennan Russell took second at 126 as he lost a 1-0 decision to Waterville-Elysian-Morristown’s Aaron Sweeney, who is ranked No. 10 at 132 in Class ‘AA.’

Russell picked up a pin and a 12-6 win to get to the finals.

“Brennen is wrestling very well right now, and Saturday was no exception,” Kinney said. “In the final, I thought Brennen completely outwrestled the higher-ranked Sweeney. Sweeney was holding on for dear life throughout the match fending off Brennen’s offense both in the neutral and top positions. Unfortunately, Sweeney wasn’t required to do much more than hold on, and he escaped with a win.”

Austin’s Devon Felten took third at 113, Brandon Cotter took fifth at 138, Riley Grinstead took fifth at 145, Mitch Tebay took fifth at 170, Tyler Peterson took fifth at 182, Connor Eads took sixth at 106, Joe Kamp took sixth at 152 and Michael Gaines took sixth at 160.

The Packers will host their final home dual against Owatonna on senior night Thursday at 7 p.m.