On Dec. 21, the Pekin wrestling team went 3-2 in duals, beating West Burlington/Notre Dame/Danville 39-30, Highland 44-25 and Davis County 48-30, while they lost to Louisa-Muscatine 39-36 and Mount Pleasant 64-8.
Versus West Burlington/Notre Dame/Danville, Elijah Sieren at 126 pounds, Michael Jones at 132 pounds, Mason Juhl at 195 pounds and Tyler Gillum at 106 pounds all received forfeits. Match winners for the Panthers included Cael Baker at 145 pounds, Keaton Baayen at 160 pounds and Jordan Hixson at 182 pounds. Pekin lost matches at 138, 152, 170 and 220 pounds, while forfeiting contests at 113 and 120 pounds.
The Panthers won two matches against Mount Pleasant, good for eight points. Winners for Pekin were Elijah Sieren at 126 pounds in an 18-6 major decision over Tyler Raub and Keaton Baayen also won a major decision, 18-5 over Garrett Boecker.
Louisa-Muscatine slipped by the Panthers 39-36 in an intense dual.
Michael Jones started the match off with a pin over Hayden Cavelage :59 into the second period. The only other victories for Pekin were Keaton Baayen at 160 pounds and Elijah Sieren at 126 pounds, while the Panthers received forfeits at 170, 220 and 106 pounds. Unfortunately, Louisa-Muscatine earned points in five of the last seven matches from forfeits, allowing them to grab the narrow SEISC victory.
Pekin got back to winning with a 44-25 victory over Highland. After forfeiting points at 113 and 120 pounds, the Panthers lost four of thier first five actual matches, digging themselves into a deeper than needed hole. Seven of the remaining eight contests went to Pekin, starting with Hunter Conger at 152, followed by Keaton Baayen at 160, Jordan Hixson at 182 and Mason Juhl at 220 pounds.
The Panthers ended their evening with a dominant 48-30 win over Davis County. After losing the opening match at 138 pounds, Pekin collected points in six straight matches beginning with Cael Baker at 145 pounds. Victories from Keaton Baayen, Kaden Baker, Jordan Hixson and Mason Juhl were joined by a forfeit to Hunter Conger at 152 pounds. The final six matches included two losses for Pekin, two forfeits and two wins by forfeit, leaving the final score 48-30 in favor of the Panthers.
Next up for the Panthers wrestling team is a home match Jan. 4 at 6 p.m.