MT. VERNON - The Mt. Vernon Middle School wrestling team got the 2005 season off to a roaring start, winning its first two tournaments of the year.

On Friday, Jan. 14, the Mustangs traveled to Baker City and captured the title at the Baker Invitational Tournament, scoring 148 points.

"We wrestled in 37 matches at the tournament and won 27 of them," Mustangs' coach Pete Piazza said. "Of those, 14 wins were by pin."

The host Baker team placed second with 100 points, followed by La Grande with 87 and Joseph came in fourth at 66.

Earning first-place finishes for the Mustangs were Tyler Hyde at 100 pounds, Isaac Whitman at 122, Zane Murray at 195 and Donnie Speakman at 220.

Finishing second were Zack Gagnon (105), Nathan Delano (122), Ethan Kowing (145), Jessie Wise (155) and Riley Pettyjohn (195).

The Mustangs' next outing was Friday, Jan. 21, at the Pine Eagle Invitational in Halfway.

There were also seven teams entered in this tournament and once again, Mt. Vernon Middle School came out on top with 151 points.

Union finished second with 127, followed by Baker at 119 and Pine Eagle with 80.

Gagnon captured the 105-pound championship and Murray was the winner at 195.

The Mustangs dominated the 122-pound weight class, with Whitman finishing first, Dustin Lippert second and Delano placing third.

Speakman came in second at 220 pounds.

Finishing third were Hyde (100), Kowing (145), Jimmy Cook (175) and Pettyjohn at 195.

The Mustangs wrestled 54 matches at Pine Eagle and won 30 of them, including 19 by pin. Out of the 20 wrestlers who competed at the tournament, 10 brought home medals and 14 finished either first, second, third or fourth.

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