GARDENDALE, AL — Pace kicked off its 2021-22 season over the weekend with a short trip over the border to compete in Alabama’s two-day Gardendale Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
The Patriots took nine wrestlers to the IBT-formatted event and placed ninth overall in a 17-team field otherwise filled with Alabama teams, with 105 points. Host Gardendale out-distanced Oak Mountain, 203-160, for the team title.
Four Pace wrestlers in the group brought home podium-finish weekends.
Leading the charge for the Patriots was Atticus Waters, who finished third at 160. After two early pins over the hosts’ Chris Donaldson and McAdory’s Dominique Morrissette, Waters lost by fall in the quarters to eventual champ Melton Powe of Gardendale (1:57). Waters would bounced back in the consis, with three pins in a combined total of 1:56 over Pelham’s Tanner McCarthy (:19), Shelby County’s Xander Shook (1:00) and Jasper’s Allen Jones (:37), plus a 7-2 win for third over McAdory’s CJ Mickle.
Alex Mendez (106), Aidan Bryan (195) and Hale Wood (220) each were fourth in their respective weights.
Mendez was a semifinalist at 106, falling in sudden victory, 9-7, to eventual runnerup Nick Sykes of Shelby County, but assuring his place finish with an 8-0 major in the consi semis.
Wood, too, reached the semis at 220, where he lost by fall (:46) to Oak Mountain’s Nathan Besch, the eventual runnerup, but rallied with a 9-0 major in the consi semis to secure a top-four spot.
Like Waters, Bryan’s front-side run ended in the quarters by pin, as he lost to Jasper’s Cole Carter (1:57), the eventual runnerup, requiring three consi-side wins, including a 53-second pin in the third match, to make top-four.
Pace returns to competition, per Trackwrestling but not schedule submitted, on Tuesday with duals at WS Neal HS in Brewton, AL.
Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.