Packer wrestlers drop home finale

Published 8:20 pm Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Austin wrestling team had two seniors compete in Ove Berven Gym for the last time as the Packers fell to Mankato West (8-7 overall, 5-4 Big Nine) 58-24 Thursday.

Austin senior Eli Marks won his final home match with a second period pin of West’s Matthew Pipes at 285-pounds and Austin senior Josh Belden picked up a second-period pin against West’s Rhett Wiebers at 160-pounds.

Austin’s Lathan Wilson manuevers against Mankato West’s Gannon Rosenfeld at 138 pounds Thrusday night in Ove Berven Gym. Eric Johnson/

Belden trailed his match 4-1 after the first period, but he took control early in the second period.

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“It really felt like a must win. You never want to lose your last match at home,” Belden said. “I went out there with a lot of fire and I made myself proud. I was really happy with the result.”

While the seniors were wrestling at home for the last time, the Packers (0-13 overall, 0-9 Big Nine) had a lot of younger wrestlers in the lineup as well on Thursday.

“We had a few matches with those young kids where I felt they could’ve gone either way,” Austin head coach Jacob Nelson said. “We need to continue to work on not getting pinned. They’re learning and they’re young. As long as they’re still learning from their matches, we’ll count that as a win.”

Austin eighth grader Tommy Fritz picked up a first period pin to beat West’s Buck Wiebers at 132 pounds. Fritz has made a big impact for the Packer wrestling team this season.

“It’s been a great experience working with other high level wrestlers,” Fritz said. “They’ve been teaching me all year. They’ve made me work harder and taught me not to give up.”

Austin’s Sam Oelfke gains control over Mankato West’s Evan Ehmke at 126 pounds Thursday night in Ove Berven Gym. Eric Johnson/

Belden said he thinks Austin’s up and coming wrestlers are capable of some big things.

“I see a lot of potential,” Belden said. “We have a lot of young guys and they’re going out there and giving upper classmen a run for their money. I think we’ll have a good program in the future.”


106: Brody Koberoski (MW) won by forfeit

113: Damian Riewe (MW) won by forfeit

120: (A) Sean Donovan (A) won by forfeit

126: Evan Ehmke (MW) 13-5 dec. over Sam Oelfke

132: Tommy Fritz (A) pinned Buck Weibers (MW) (1:23)

138: Gannon Rosenfeld (MW) pinned Lathan Wilson (A) (2:37)

145: Lander McMichael (MW) pinned Brenan Winkels (A) (3:00)

152: Josh Allen (MW) pinned Nelson LeBarron (A) (1:56)

160: Josh Belden (A) pinned Rhett Wiebers (MW) (3:27)

170: Wyatt Block (MW) won by forfeit

182: Caleb Meger (MW) pinned Angel Aguilera Lemus (A) (3:28)

195: Avery Miller (MW) pinned Jordan Derry (A) (:43)

220: Mason Theissen (MW) won by forfeit

285: Eli Marks (A) pinned Matthew Pipes (MW) (3:25)