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13

Feb, 2019

Seven Warrior wrestlers earn Regional championships

Seven champions. Thirteen wrestlers out of 13 advancing to Sectionals. Not bad day for the Waunakee wrestling team.

While hosting their WIAA Regional on Saturday, the Warriors took the top spot, guaranteeing them a spot at Team Sectionals on Tuesday, as well as a spot for each of the 13 wrestlers who competed at the Individual Sectional meet on Feb. 16.

WIAA Regional

 

“When you’re favored to win on paper, you’ve got to go out and back it up,” said Waunakee’s Head Coach Mark Natzke. “I think they all did that.”

With their seven individual champions, Waunakee scored 256.5 points to take the top spot at their Regional, topping second-place Sauk Prairie by 39.5 points.

Undefeated wrestlers on the day included Kolby Heinz at 106, Nick Schweitzer at 113, Berhett Statz at 126, Ty Miller at 145, Colton Grindle at 170, Zach Marek at 182 and Reed Ryan at 220.

“Kolby Heinz was probably one of the surprises; he was the four seed coming in. It was a surprise based on seed; I don’t think it was a surprise too much to us…” Natzke said. “It was going to come down to who put together the best matches on the day; I think Kolby did. He wrestled smart; he wrestled for a full six minutes. When he does that, he can be just as good as anybody.”

Two more wrestlers – Sam Lorenz at 120 and Braysen Ellis at 132 – lost just once en route to finishing in second place.

Coming in third place for the Warriors were Kyle Wilcox at 138 and Kaden Hooker at 152, while Tristan Scott at 160 and Daniel Ford at 195 came in fourth.

“Kyle Wilcox was the five seed and ends up taking third,” added Natzke. “He didn’t have the record going in to get a seed, but that’s why they wrestle the matches.”

With the top four wrestlers at each weight class advancing onto Individual Sectionals, it meant all 13 Waunakee wrestlers would move on to compete for a shot at the State meet. By winning their Regional, it also meant the team advanced onto the Team Sectional, which was scheduled to be held on Tuesday against Holmen in a rematch of last year’s Team Sectional.

“Last year, we went up and wrestled them; they were a real dominant team,” Natzke said. “We’ve improved ourselves this year, and I think we’ve closed the gap. It’s going to be a dogfight. It’s going to come down to who shows up and who puts together the best matches all the way up and down. It’s going to take a full team effort. As long as we do that, I like where we’re at; we’re going to give them all they can handle… I like our chances of coming out on top.”

As has been the trend for this winter sports season, the Team Sectional was postponed due to weather, re-scheduled for Wednesday. The results of this meet were not available for this week’s edition.

The Warriors will stay focused for their Individual Sectional meet, which will take place on Saturday at Verona.

“Whoever has the best day is going to make it to State; you’re at the point now where you can throw away the records and the rankings…” said Natzke. “They’re not going to get you there. You’ve got to wrestle the matches and you’ve got to show up.”

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