JUSTIN, Texas — McPherson High’s Austin Eldredge came up short in his bid to win a state wrestling championship last season, taking third at 106 pounds in Class 4A.
Perhaps driven by that, Eldredge has been on a mission to get better as he’s already got a head start on next season.
Competing for the Kansas Gold Team last weekend in the Midsummer Mat Bash, Eldredge roared through the 118-pound division of the exhaustive tournament by winning all 12 of his matches, many of them in dominating fashion.
For that accomplishment, he was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Eldredge, who is beginning his junior year at MHS. “I learned a lot. All-around, this was probably tougher than the (Kansas) state meet. It will give me confidence and maybe a little attitude (heading into next season).”
Eldredge said it also was a learning experience as he gleaned knowledge from the coaches he worked with and also off the mat, he made friends with some of the other top wrestlers in Kansas.
Perhaps the highlight of his week was defeating Michael McAteer of St. Louis 4-2, who was the 11th-ranked wrestler in the country.
Eldredge’s team finished in second place in Pool A. There were 22 teams from around the country that competed in the event.
Here are his results:
1. Def. Devin Gomez of Maize (12-1)
2. Def. Michael McAteer of Team St. Louis (4-2)
3. Def. Ryan Penaflor of Cen Tex United (10-0)
4. Def. Jaxon Carter of Wrestling Factory (15-0)
5. Def. Brandon Smith of South Florida Lightning (7-2)
6. Def. Marcus Thomas of Texas Wrestling Club (fall)
7. Def. Cainan Schaefer of Awesome Possums 1 (15-0)
8. Def. Nick Purcell of DWF Area WC (5-1)
9. Def. Connor Holman of Choctaw (8-2)
10. Won by forfeit
11. Def. Brandon Smith of South Florida Lightning (6-0)
12. Def. Austin Hildebrand of Awesome Possums 2 (fall)