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14

Feb, 2022

Five Warriors take second at wrestling regionals, seven are headed to sectional competition

Kaden Hooker is on the mend. He’s one of a handful of Waunakee wrestlers headed to individual sectionals who will look to punch their tickets to the WIAA Division 1 State Individual Tournament at the Kohl Center. Five of them were runners-up in their respective weight classes at Saturday’s regional meet, hosted by the Warriors in the Fieldhouse. “Obviously, the guys who took second did a great job. They did what they needed to do to get to the next level,” said Waunakee Head Coach Mark Natzke. “They got into a decent position to go to sectionals and give themselves an opportunity to get to state.” Wrestlers who placed in the top four individually are moving on to sectionals. Returning from injury, Hooker (24-4) finished second at 195, as he pinned Sun Prairie’s Isaiah Horan in 5:19 and then reached the finals, receiving a no contest decision over Horan in the second-place match. However, Hooker defaulted in the finals because of injury. “We did that because he’s just coming back, and he’s improving every week,” said Natzke. “After a week of practice and rehab, he should be closer to full strength.” In the upper weights, Waunakee had a good day, as Jack Schweitzer (33-11) placed second at 220, pinning Madison East’s Angel Tejada in 1:02 and losing 5-2 to Beaver Dam/Wayland Academy’s Nick Ludowese in the first-place match. Natzke said Schweitzer and Ludowese have battled each other four times this season. Natzke said it came down who got a takedown at the right time. As a freshman, wrestling at 285, Jackson Lenzendorf (26-13) took second, as he pinned Watertown’s Aaron Finn in the semifinals in 5:30. In the first-place match, Lenzendorf was pinned by Sauk Prairie’s Nolan Vils. “He just needs to get confidence and belief that he can compete with these guys,” said Natzke. “And he has this year. We’ll just keep working with him.” At 126, Jayden Freie (28-12) also took second for Waunakee, winning by fall in 52 seconds over Sauk Prairie’s Austin Lankey and then by major decision (11-1) over Madison East’s Manuel Gonzalez-Jimenez. In the finals, it was looking good for Freie, with the match at 2-0. With two seconds left in the second period, however, Freie got caught and was pinned. Also taking second for Waunakee was Gabe Guralski (25-13) at 138, as he defeated Middleton’s Elijah Vance by major decision, 14-0, in the semifinals after pinning Watertown’s Owin Walsh in 1;51 in the quarterfinals. Mikel Myadze, of Madison East, got the best of Guralski in the first-place match, scoring a 5-2 decision. Two Waunakee wrestlers placed fourth at regionals, including Coltan Nechvatal (23-15) at 132 and Robert Lofreddo (16-20) at 152. Dane Spencer (8-7) also placed for Waunakee, taking sixth at 145. Beaver Dam-Wayland Academy ended up first in the team standings, racking up 204 points. Watertown was second with 175.5, Middleton (145) placed third and Sun Prairie (140) took fourth. Waunakee was fifth with 125 points, followed by Sauk Prairie (113.5), DeForest (104) and Madison East (103). The Warriors were slated to host team sectionals on Tuesday, Feb. 15, with individual sectionals scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 19, at Sun Prairie 

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