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Mighty Mustangs: Munising High School wrestlers win Division 4 team district crown to advance to regional tourney

Westwood’s Sam Gilles, left, wrestles Munising’s Colin Murdock during the championship meet between the schools of the MHSAA Division 4 team district tournament at Ishpeming High School on Wednesday night. (Journal photo by Jess Makela)

Up next: For Divison 4 wrestlers, individual district tournament to be held at Munising High School on Saturday

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ISHPEMING — The Munising Mustangs have built up a talented wrestling program the past few years and that was on display Wednesday in the MHSAA Division 4 team district championship match.

The Mustangs moved on to regionals after taking down Westwood 54-26. Munising earned all nine of its wins via pins against the Patriots with three of them coming in the first period.

“We won the (prematch) toss and that really helped us out,” Mustangs head coach Bob Miles said. “We matched up pretty evenly against them, but once we were able to control those key matches, things rolled our way. All of the guys did well from top to bottom.”

Munising High School's Zach McGowan, top, wrestles Westwood High School's Brandon Perry on Wednesday night at Ishpeming High School. (Journal photo by Jess Makela)

Westwood earned wins in five matches with Tyler Lindholm picking up a victory at 112 pounds and Cedric Nora notching one at 135. The other three victories came by way of forfeit.

After the Patriots earlier defeated Ishpeming 63-18, they just couldn’t keep up with the Mustangs.

“We’re a young team and we were just happy to be in there with a team like that,” Westwood head coach Dan Carlson said. “We lost the toss and they got all the matchups they wanted and then things started to go their way.

“We needed a couple of upsets to be able to defeat them, but we just couldn’t get them. Munising is just really tough.”

In the Westwood-Ishpeming match, the Pats won 11 of 14 matches. Kurt Anderson at 215, Amanda Argall at 125, Brandon Perry at 130 and Jackson Vidlund at 171 each won by pin for the Patriots, while Joe DeRocha notched a victory at 103. The remaining six wins were forfeits.

“We had a better matchup against Ishpeming,” Carlson said.

Ishpeming’s three victories came from Justin Karnack at 152 and Ryan Kemp at 160, each getting a pin, and Daren Giuchin picking up a forfeit at 145.

“We were missing a few guys and that’s been the story for us all year,” Hematites head coach Tim Hares said. “It’s one of those things where I’d get three guys back, and then I’d lose two. That’s just how things go, though.

“I’m looking forward to the individuals tournament Saturday (at Munising) and I think we can get a few guys through to state. We’ve got some solid guys in Giuchin, Karnack and Kemp.”

Munising will host its own team regional on Wednesday with opponents coming from other Upper Peninsula-hosted districts.

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.