Gaels win home duals

Vinnie Harvey fuels himself with the disappointment of his state wrestling tournament last year.

Harvey, who went 1-2 inside Wells Fargo Arena as a 10th-grader, has focused his complete attention on never experiencing that feeling again.

So far, the top-ranked 220-pound St. Edmond junior is a perfect 21-0, including five victories in helping lead the Gaels to a duals title at their own tournament Saturday inside the SEHS gym.

Harvey went 39-7 last season as a sophomore, but was knocked out following back-to-back defeats at state.

“I feel like I am at my best right now mentally,” Harvey said. “I am just trying to visualize each match before I go out there and be mentally strong.

“I don’t want to experience losing like I did last year again.”

Harvey had little trouble on the afternoon, scoring a victory over No. 10 Kevin Tlach of West Hancock in a featured bout. The win was another over a rated grappler this year, as the Gael has also toppled No. 2 Mitch Gambrill of Clarion-Goldfield and eighth-ranked Tayler Wegner from Emmetsburg.

“I was able to really attack and get after it (against Tlach),” Harvey said. “Being the top-ranked wrestler, I don’t really think about it like I am No. 1; I just want to go out there and wrestle my best and earn the victory.”

Along with Harvey, Ryan Szalat, No. 4 Kaden McClintock, fourth-rated Teddie Harvey, and freshmen Nick Johnson and Chase Craven each went undefeated on the day.

Jimmy Averill and Dillon Nelson both posted 4-1 records, while Eddie Harvey and Matt Stumpf went 3-2. Caelan Burbank and Colten Lastine finished 2-3.

“I’m happy with all the mat time we got (Saturday), especially for the younger guys like Nick and Chase,” SEHS head coach Tanner Utley said. “I thought both (Johnson and Craven) wrestled some of their best out there.

“Jimmy and Dillon each had really good days, as did Eddie and Matt. Overall, it was a good performance from us.”

St. Edmond and Boone entered the final round of duals with 4-0 records, meaning the title would be determined from the pairing. The Gaels earned a fall right off the bat from Teddie Harvey, but Boone – a Class 3A program – responded with back-to-back victories.

Nelson and Vinnie Harvey earned wins to make it 15-11, but Boone’s Cory Irwin scored a fall at heavyweight, pushing the Toreadors back on top. From there, the Gaels scored triumphs at five of the remaining seven weights, including pins by Szalat, McClintock, Stumpf and Craven.

Stumpf and Craven’s falls came at nearly the same time, as St. Edmond put an exclamation point on the meet.

“It was good to have Boone down here because they brought out plenty of intensity in our team,” said Utley, who invited the Toreadors after Clarion-Goldfield opted out. “They are a 3A school and had a complete lineup. They forced us to wrestle some of our best to earn the victory.”

The Gaels will hit the mats three times next week, heading to Mason City Newman on Tuesday, Humboldt on Thursday and the Coon Rapids-Bayard dual tournament Saturday.

Boone ended up as the runner-up, followed by a tie between Prairie Valley and West Hancock – who each finished 2-3. AGWSR and Roland-Story went 1-4.