Gladstone blows away U.P. Championships competition

Munising’s Zach McGowan, right, grapples with Gladstone’s Vadym Torvinen at the Upper Peninsula Championships wrestlng meet Saturday at Marquette Senior High School. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

MARQUETTE — Gladstone wiped the floor during the finals of the Upper Peninsula Championships held at Marquette Senior High School on Saturday evening.

The Braves finished with 250.5 points, 94 ahead of runner-up Marquette’s 156.5. Officials believed it was the biggest margin of victory in U.P. high school wrestling history.

Gladstone head coach Dan Seronko was proud of his team’s accomplishments.

“I was exceptionally happy with our kids,” Seronko said. “They wrestled hard, but they’re a young crew and wrestled like veterans. I’m always more about performance over wins, but my guys were above and beyond.”

The Braves had five wrestlers win their weight classes, including Vadym Torvinen at 119 pounds, Cole Hansen at 130, Adam Brue at 135, Alex Chouinard at 152 and Austin DeMeuse at 171.

With a second-place finish at home, Marquette head coach Tony Gentz was happy with his own team.

“It was a full team effort,” he said. “We had 12 of our 13 guys score points. It was a tight battle in the standings to keep up with the other teams, and without our full team effort we wouldn’t have accomplished this.”

In what Gentz thought was “the match of the night,” Manistique’s Tanner Gonzalez defeated Redman Beau Caster at 160.

Gonzalez was called early in the match for stalling, than with 0.2 of a second left it was ruled that he had stepped too far backward and was assessed a stalling penalty.

“That call is never handed down with that much time left, but I was more upset with the first call,” Manistique head coach Gary Bowman said. “We expect coming here and not letting the refs decide, and we had to do it on the mat.”

Gonzalez did just that and responded with an overtime win to defeat Caster.

Marqeutte also had a runner-up in Joe Lagrou at 103.

Westwood finished third with 148.5 points, highlighted by Nathan Brewer winning the 103 class. Seven others placed top-4, led by Wyatt Carlson at 112 and Wyatt Makosky at 135 taking seconds.

Westwood head coach Dan Carlson said his team’s accomplishments push his wrestlers ahead for later meets.

“Finishing top-3 was our goal, it’s big for our program,” he said. “We have young kids, and we have to keep continuing to get better. Next year I think we can place even higher.”

Negaunee’s Mike Pizziola defeated Gwinn’s Ryan Johnson at 285 as the Miners finished 15th.

Gwinn also had a runner-up in Kevin Roberts at 189.

Newberry’s Cameron Symonds was a champion at 140 and Adam Hildebrant a runner-up at 171.

From Munising, Zach McGowan was runner-up at 119.

With teams preparing for the final month of the season, Gentz said the U.P. Championships were a good tuner-upper.

“To get so many talented teams together at this time of the year can really do a lot for your team,” Gentz said. “We know what we’re going to be up against.

“We’re working on a lot of technique, and we need to maintain our conditioning. Every team is focusing on their year-end goals, and we’re looking at districts and beyond.”

Ray Bressette can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. His email address is