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Feb, 2024

Warriors win regional title, send 11 to sectionals

After recently winning the Badger Large Conference title, the Waunakee wrestling team ended up as WIAA Division 1 regional champions on Saturday.

The Warriors totaled 234.5 points, with Middleton taking second at the eight-team meet with 180.5 and DeForest finishing third with 162.5.

“It was our goal going in,” said Waunakee head coach Mark Natzke. “We knew what was expected. Our goal was to win as a team and to get as many through to sectionals as we could.”


In all, six Waunakee wrestlers took first in their respective weight divisions, including Jackson Lenzendorf (285), McCoy Smith (215), Gabe Metzler (144), Dane Spencer (138), Payton Schutz (126) and Mason Spear (113). A total of 11 Warriors were able to qualify for sectionals.

A conference champion as well, Lenzendorf (37-5) pinned his way to first place, winning by fall over DeForest’s Dane Schmidtknecht in 1:24 and Baraboo’s John Rogers in 2:31. Smith (26-8) had a little tougher road, pinning both Madison East’s Erik Zarate in 17 seconds and Baraboo’s Avery Hanusa in 2:41 and then pulling out a 3-1 sudden victory in the finals over Madison Memorial’s Brock Weiler.

Metzler (29-6), after receiving a first-round bye, pinned Kelly Chen in 1:43. In the finals, Metzler won by injury default over Baraboo’s Nolan Owen.

Meanwhile, Spencer (29-12) avenged a loss to DeForest’s Lucas Evans at the conference meet in the first-place match at regionals, taking a 7-3 decision.

“That was extra motivation for him,” said Natzke.


In his other matches, Spencer won by technical all in the quarterfinals, downing Baraboo’s Nolan Cavazos 20-4 in 5:49. Next, Spencer pinned Madison East’s Malyki Dean at the 5:31 mark.

Down 7-3 in his first-place match at 126 pounds, Schutz (20-15) rallied for an 8-7 victory.

“In the third period, Payton got a double leg and ended up tossing the kid to his back to go up by one and then he rode the kid out the last 40 seconds,” said Natzke.

Spear also won his division at 113, netting pins over Madison West’s Stone Cathcart-Helmer in 1:43 and DeForest’s Alex Busch in 1:00.

Others who are moving on include Brett Farrell (106, second), Connor Cutsinger (120, third), Quinn Pfeiffer (150, third), Harrison May (157, fourth) and Collin Uebersetzig (165, fourth).

As a team, Waunakee is heading to WIAA Division 1 team sectionals at West Salem/Bangor, where the Warriors will take on Holmen. The other side of the bracket finds Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln facing Middleton. The winners will then battle for the right to go to team state.

“I think each week we’ve been putting together better performances, going from conference to regional and hopefully, team sectionals,” said Natzke.

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