The Watertown-Mayer wrestling team finished fourth out of more than a dozen teams at the Mankato East Cougar Tournament Feb. 1 with a pair of wrestlers making the championship round.
Austin Gabbert placed second in the 126 pound bracket with a 14-2 major decision and a 7-0 decision. His only loss, the first of the season for the No. 5 ranked wrestlers came in a 5-3 decision.
Bryce Burkett also placed second, winning by fall and a 12-2 major decision in the 132 bracket. And just like Gabbert, his lone loss was a two-point defeat in the championship round (8-6).
Four Royals placed third at the tournament – Tanner Hilten (106), Tanner Burmeister (160), Ashton Congdon (182) and Jackson Drahos (195). After a 4-3 ultimate tiebreaker loss, Hilten bounced back with a 6-0 win and a 12-1 major decision. Burmeister won by fall, 14-10 and an injury default to go 3-1 on the day. Congdon also had three wins, earning three pins to take third as well. Drahos placed third with a 3-1 decision.
Patrick Duske placed fourth with a win by fall and a 3-2 win. Jaden Palmer’s fifth place finish gave the Royals three place winners in the 132 bracket (Duske and Burkett). Palmer won by fall and a 9-4 decision with his two losses coming by a combined three points.
Jonah Hamberger (113), Steven Duske (120) and Jonah Blakstad (152) all placed fifth for Watertown-Mayer. Hamberger won by fall and a 9-1 major decision, Steven Duske won by fall and forfeit, Blakstad won by two technical falls (18-3, 16-1).
Aaron Bury (120) placed sixth with a win by fall and Hunter Stein (170) also placed sixth.
The strong finish to the week came after a 44-18 loss to Tri-City United. Hamberger won by a 7-1 decision, Burkett won by an 8-2 decision, Gabbert won by an 18-3 technical fall, Blakstad won by a 5-3 decision and Burmeister won by a 13-4 major decision.
The Royals close out the regular season by hosting Scott West Feb. 6 and travel to Howard-Lake-Waverly-Winsted Feb. 7-8 before the team section tournament next week.