The Tomahawk wrestling team will have to ‘settle’ for a first-place tie in the GNC after Saturday’s runner-up finish in the GNC Meet at Tomahawk. The Hatchets had knocked off Rhinelander in a Jan. 21 dual meet to put themselves in the driver’s seat for an outright title, but the Hodags turned it up on Saturday to surge past all entrants. Tomahawk’s second-place finish secured a co-championship.
“We did not wrestle well,” THS coach Bob Garrou said. “I was a little disappointed. We lost to 12 kids that we had beat throughout the year. I don’t know if I burnt them out. I may have overworked them last week. And Rhinelander wrestled really well.
“All-in-all, we still tied for the conference championship in a year where I didn’t feel we had a very good chance to do it.”
The Hatchets locked down individual titles with Brady Anderson (126, 9-1 GNC record, 2 pins), Kaleb Kaminski (195, 10-0, 2 p) and Dane Borchardt (285, 10-0, 4 p).
Morgan Waye (106, 6-2, 1 p), Wyatt Wenninger (132, 8-2, 3 p) and Quinton Wallenfang (170, 9-1, 3 p) placed second, while Jacob Matti (160, 6-4, 2 p), Zach Stefanich (182, 6-3, 2 p) and Ches Olson (220, 7-2) finished third. Matt Turkiewicz (145, 5-5, 1 p) ranked fourth, and Blake Carstensen (138, 3-7, 1 p) and Bryce Bishop (152, 3-7) rated fifth.
“Brady wrestled extremely well,” Garrou said. “He was aggressive and beat some very good kids. He’s progressed nicely for a sophomore. Dane and Kaleb are just really good. They’re in the top echelon in the state. Kaleb is now at ‘82 and has been in a lot of tough matches this year. Dane will be down to 220, and is now trying to run to another state title. It’s not going to be easy. He’s not sneaking up on anyone this year.
“Now it matters. Saturday is the first time it does all year. If you don’t wrestle well, you’re done, because in D2 and D3 if you’re not in the top two, your season is over.”
Tomahawk will be in Mosinee for Saturday’s WIAA regional meet.
Team scores- Rhinelander 452, Tomahawk 358, Antigo 316, Medford Area 280, Lakeland 269, Mosinee 68.