Kinnick wins own wrestling tourney
By DAVE ORNAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 11, 2014
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan – Dustin Wilson looked far less than pleased. He’d just closed his final home wrestling meet a titlist and his Nile C. Kinnick team won its annual invitational tournament for the first time on his father and coach Gary Wilson’s watch.
It was how the younger Wilson captured his 168-pound championship, which while clinching the tournament title for the Red Devils was won by a razor-thin margin, 11-10 over Riku Osawa of St. Mary’s International.
“I’ve wrestled for four years and I’ve never given up a six-point lead before,” said Wilson, who led Osawa 6-0 before the latter rallied to tie the 168 final 8-8. It remained nip and tuck until Wilson scored a late three-point throw and held off Osawa’s comeback attempt.
“I’m happy with the gold, but giving up those points … I’ll take the W, though,” Wilson said.
Wilson’s was one of six titles won by the Red Devils, who scored 84 team points to outdistance Osawa’s Titans, who had 62.
It was the first time since before Kadena and Kubasaki of Okinawa began attending the tournament starting in 2002 that somebody other than St. Mary’s, Kadena, Kubasaki or Shonan Military Academy won the event.
“Granted, this is different with Kubasaki and Kadena not here,” Gary Wilson said. “We’ve gotten some seconds and thirds, but we’ve never won this even in my (Far East tournament) gold-medal years.”
He wasn’t expecting to win the tournament with brothers, Branden and Brady Yoder out injured and when several backups were eliminated early. And with the team title came an emotional moment, as he coached his son for the last time in a Kinnick home sports event.
“It’s our last time to open the Kinnick mats this year and he graduates, so this is pretty special,” Gary Wilson said. “Great match to watch, too. I’m happy they have each other to work against. I’m expecting a couple more good matches from them later this year.”
The two meet again in a tri-dual on Saturday at Zama American.
On mats elsewhere, E.J. King, which normally participates in the Kinnick tournament, wrestled its DODDS Korea counterparts in a five-way dual tournament at Daegu.
Seoul American won all four of its dual meets to come out on top. But with so many weight classes empty, many of the 10 dual meets came and went quickly. E.J. King brought just three wrestlers and Humphreys had only four. And all but two of the duals were won by wide margins.
Sweeps were the order of day Saturday on the Japan and Korea hardwood.
Daegu’s boys and girls capped three-game broomings by downing E.J. King and Taejon Christian International, Seoul American’s boys and girls beat Osan American at home, Yokota’s teams finished off a road sweep of Matthew C. Perry and Zama American’s girls completed its two-game road trip at Robert D. Edgren with an overtime win.
The only series that didn’t hold to that form was Zama-Edgren boys. The Trojans rebounded from a 54-45 loss on Friday with a 51-42 victory Saturday in which they held the Eagles to 12 second-half points.
Nile C. Kinnick's Dustin Wilson gets the upper hand on Ian Thompson of Christian Academy Japan in the 168-pound semifinal during Saturday's Kinnick Individual Tournament at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. Wilson pinned Thompson in 1 minute, 7 seconds, then went on to win first place with a tight 11-10 decision over Riku Osawa of St. Mary's International. Kinnick won six first place spots and the team title for the first time on coach Gary Wilson's 12-season watch.
DAVE ORNAUER/STARS AND STRIPES