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Feb, 2023

Spear, Guralski win conference titles for sixth-place Warriors

Mason Spear was looking for a promotion. His Waunakee wrestling teammates had the same idea.

At Saturday’s Badger Conference Tournament, the Warriors took sixth as a team, as Spear and Gabe Guralski – both of whom are coming on strong – emerged as champions in their respective weight classes.

Seven Warriors placed.


“One of the nicest things that we did as a team was that every individual that placed, finished higher than their initial seed for the tournament,” said Mark Natzke, head coach for Waunakee. “I was very happy with our overall performance as a team. We had some great individual performances on the day, and we came out and competed in every single match that we wrestled on the day. We are starting to wrestle our best matches at the time when it counts the most in February.”

Spear made the biggest jump.

“At 106 pounds Mason Spear was the lowest seed of the tournament to win an individual title,” said Natzke. “Mason has really started to put together some of his best matches. His biggest match of the day was his semifinal match when he wrestled the returning conference champ at 106 pounds. Mason started the match out right scoring the first points of the match and got himself a lead. Once he had the lead, he wrestled a very smart and controlling match to keep the lead and advance to the finals.”

It was a dominating performance for Spear in the championship match.

“In the finals he was able to score early and often picking up nearfall points in bunches before finally picking up the pin to win the Badger Conference championship at 106 pounds,” said Natzke.

Guralski took home the title at 138 pounds for Waunakee’s second individual title for the day. It was his first conference championship.

“Gabe was dominant all day not surrendering a single point in any of his matches that he wrestled on the day,” said Natzke. “He took control early in every match and got the lead early and continued to score points throughout the match to pick up the victories. Gabe has started to make a name for himself and is letting everyone know that he will be a force to recon within the next couple of weeks.”

Colton Nechvatal came to compete, as well.


“At 132 pounds, Colton Nechvatal put together a great tournament,” said Natzke. “He was very dominant in his wins throughout the day. His only setback of the day was his quarterfinal match where he lost to the kid from Monroe, but he came back on a mission and wrestled the same kid for third place. Once there he controlled the entire match and never got himself in trouble and avenged his earlier loss in the tournament to finish in third place.”


Dane Spencer pulled off one of the big surprises of the tournament.

“At 145 pounds Dane Spencer had an excellent tournament, starting with an upset in his quarterfinal match, picking up a reversal at the end of the third period to send the match into overtime where he was able to get the takedown to seal the victory,” said Natzke. “Dane showed in this match that he was never going to quit and continued to fight back until he got the victory. Then, in his consolation semifinal match, he was able to avenge an earlier loss in the year over the kid from Beaver Dam to advance to the third place, where he came up short and settled in fourth place.”

Jack Schweitzer also bounced back from disappointment.

“At 195 pounds, Jack Schweitzer finished in tihrd place picking up three pins and a forfeit win on the day,” said Natzke. “He dropped his semifinal match but rebounded after that loss to finish the day on a high note. Jack is starting to get himself ready for a run in the postseason going out in his matches attacking and looking to score early and going after the pin to pick up the victories.”

Other highlights for Waunakee included McCoy Smith’s fifth-place finish at 182 pounds and Jackson Lenzendorf finishing fourth at 285.

“McCoy picked up two pins and a forfeit win in his final match to pick up his three wins on the day,” said Natzke. “He then dropped a close consolation semifinal match where he had the lead and let it slip away late in the match. McCoy showed out with his mentality of the day continuing to battle to the end in every single match no matter the score and carried that to a fifth-place finish.”


Lenzendorf might have the hardest road of any Waunakee wrestler at conference.

“Wrestling in one of the toughest weights in the tournament he advanced to the semifinals before losing but then rebounded that with a pin in his wrestleback match to get into the third-place match, where he was pinned to finish in fourth place,” said Natzke. “Jackson was dominant in his three victories on the day picking up two quick first period pins and in his wrestleback battling in a close match before he was able to get the third period pin. Jackson has wrestled some of the toughest competition in the past few weeks, but he has used that to his advantage to prepare himself for a run in the postseason.”

The postseason starts on Saturday, as the Warriors head to DeForest for WIAA Division 1 regional competition.

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