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25

Dec, 2019

Waunakee wrestlers beat Sauk, place fifth at Badger State Invite

Heading into their winter break, the Waunakee wrestling team has a pair of big tournaments: the Badger State Invitational and the Bi-State Classic. Before the Warriors could compete in Saturday’s Badger State Invitational at the Alliant Energy Center, though, they had to get past the Eagles of Sauk Prairie in a Badger North dual on Friday night.

Waunakee 54,

Sauk Prairie 21

 

Braysen Ellis got the Warriors off to a good start at 145, winning the night’s opening match 3-0 to give Waunakee a lead they’d never allow the Eagles to take back.

After a trio of forfeits and a Kaden Hooker pin at 160, Waunakee’s lead stood at 27-0 when Sauk Prairie made their move in an attempt to close the gap.

The Eagles secured wins at 195, 220 and 106 in addition to taking a win by forfeit at 285, meaning Waunakee’s lead – once 27 points – was down to six. The rest of the match, however, belonged to the Warriors.

Wanakee won all five of the remaining matches, including a pair of pins by Kolby Heinz at 120 and Gabe Guralski at 132. Sam Lorenz capped the match with a 7-3 victory to give Waunakee a win with a final score of 54-21.

“It felt good beating Sauk, especially at Sauk,” said Heinz, whose pin was the fastest of the night at 54 seconds. “Getting a pin there to help the team was really nice.”

Waunakee then made the trip to the Alliant Energy Center Saturday morning for the Badger State Invitational.

Badger State Invitational

With a smaller lineup of only 10 wrestlers, the Warriors still managed to place highly; out of 22 teams, Waunakee took fifth, scoring a total of 167.5 points. Fennimore took the top spot overall, posting 243.5 points.

“With only 10 wrestlers, I felt pretty good about it,” said Heinz of placing fifth as a team. “I feel like if we had our full lineup, we would have done even better.”

Heinz was one of two Waunakee wrestlers to win his weight bracket. Both Heinz at 120 and Berhett Statz at 152 both went a perfect 4-0 on the day to earn their spots atop the podium.

“Working my way through the bracket, pinning or tech-falling everyone felt really good,” added Heinz, who recorded a team-high three pins on the day.

Joining Heinz and Statz in a championship match was Dan Ford. Ford fell to Mineral Point’s Nolan Springer – a 2019 state qualifier – to take second place at 170.

A pair of Waunakee wrestlers – Lorenz at 138 and Hooker at 160 – won their third-place matches. Lorenz defeated his Fennimore opponent Alex Birchman – a three-time state qualifier – 7-1, while Hooker bested his opponent from Baldwin-Woodville with a pin.

Other Warrior wrestlers placing highly included Ellis in sixth place at 145, Jayden Freie in seventh at 106 and Jack Schweitzer in seventh at 195.

The Warriors now have a week to prepare for the upcoming Bi-State Classic in La Crosse this weekend. Waunakee’s wrestlers have their sights set high for the two-day tournament featuring over 70 teams from around Wisconsin and Minnesota.

“The last two years, we took fourth,” said Heinz. “This year, we’re looking to place top three and bring home a trophy.”

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