By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
A senior dominated lineup from 145 pounds on up helped carry Rochester John Marshall to a 62-11 Big Nine Conference wrestling win over Mankato East on Thursday.
The more experienced Rockets picked up seven pins in the one-sided win at the East gym. JM led 10-5 after three bouts and then won 10 straight matches to clinch the win.
“They definitely wrestled like the more experienced team tonight,” East coach Jon Dierks said. “It’s obvious we still have a lot of work to do.”
The Cougars’ first win came at 120 pounds where senior Walker Pearson earned a 20-4 technical fall in 4:54 over Jesse Hanson. It was East’s only win until heavyweight.
“I’m still trying to get my conditioning up,“ said Pearson, who transferred to the East program from Maple River this year. “I thought I wrestled pretty well, but I know I can do better.”
The biggest win for JM may have come at 145 pounds. That’s where Nathan Evan stuck Cole Mosher in 3:13 to give his team a 34-5 lead. Mosher is considered one of East’s better wrestlers.
The 160- and 170-pound bouts were both close, but JM won both. At 160, Gaberal Penny decisioned Cody Lorentz 7-5. At 170, Timmy Vanderwiel defeated Nick Makovsky 7-4.
The Cougars’ second and final win came at heavyweight where freshman Logan Swanson rolled Nathaniel Johnson to his back in the second period and delivered a fall in 2:17.
“He was big, but I’ve wrestled bigger,” Swanson said. ”When I go out to the mat, I just say I’m going to wrestle the best I can and focus on the things I know how to do.”
East drops to 2-5, 0-1 in the Big Nine. The Cougars wrestle again Thursday at Austin.