St. John’s celebrates banner year on the wrestling mat
The St. John’s wrestling team earned its sixth Southwest Preparatory Conference in seven years this season, continuing to reign atop the league.
Ken Matsunaga (106-pound class), Wyatt Cyprow (120), Thomas Grannen (126), Oliver Magdol (132), Sebastian Jimenez (145), Michael Daichman (152), Thomas Chang (160) and Roman Lewis (285) all won SPC gold medals as the Mavericks scored 258 points.
Episcopal brought runner-up honors back to Houston with 142 points, highlighted by championships from Lane McCool (113), Duncan Lamme (138) and Jack Podsednick (195).
The Knights challenged St. John’s in a few brackets but could not keep pace with a squad that checked all the boxes this year on an ambitious list of goals.
“We had to prove ourselves at the SPC level, but now we expect to win SPC,” St. John’s coach Alan Paul said. “It’s also about the state and national level.”
By the time their season was complete, the Mavericks held a No. 1 ranking according to Wrestling Texas, as well as the Texas Prep State Championship.
More significantly, they achieved their first Texas State Duals Championship title and their first National Prep All-Americans.
St. John’s finished as Texas duals runner-up three consecutive years, intent on breaking that streak in January. The Mavericks defeated Dallas St. Mark’s, Episcopal School of Dallas, St. Thomas and McKinney Christian to reach the tournament final.
Daichman, Chang, Malcolm Sturgis, Lewis, Matsunaga and Grannen all won their matches in a 43-30 victory against Dallas Bishop Lynch. A key match was Fernelius’ stunning reversal for a pin, when it seemed six points were headed the other way.
“It means a lot that we’ve achieved everything we can achieve in Texas,” Fernelius said before nationals. “This puts us on notice at the national level.”
St. John’s finally reached the nation’s elite eight in two brackets as Fernelius and fellow senior Lewis earned All-American status.
Fernelius took fifth in the 220 bracket Feb. 22-23 at Lehigh University, winning four of six matches including two pins. Lewis had similar success in the 285 division, finishing seventh. Jimenez picked up two wins in the 138 bracket.
It put an exclamation point on a stellar season for St. John’s.
SPC WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Top four in each class)
Ken Matsunaga, 1st, 106
Ishan Shah, 2nd, 113
Wyatt Cyprow, 1st, 120
Thomas Grannen, 1st, 126
Oliver Magdol, 1st, 132
Bobby Hlavinka, 2nd, 138
Sebastian Jimenez, 1st, 145
Michael Daichman, 1st, 152
Thomas Chang, 1st, 160
John Perdue, 3rd, 170
Jack Curtin, 3rd, 182
Malcolm Sturgis, 2nd, 195
Harrison Fernelius, 2nd, 220
Roman Lewis, 1st, 285
Davis Bell, 3rd, 106
Lane McCool, 1st, 113
Gregory Ross, 2nd, 120
Will Adkins, 4th, 126
Duncan Lamme, 1st, 138
Paul McGarry, 2nd, 160
Quinn Charlton, 4th, 170
Christian Husted, 4th, 182
Jack Podsednik, 1st, 195
James Ogunrin, 3rd, 220
Patrick Bayouth, 2nd, 285
John Richards, 4th, 106