Area high school wrestlers find competition tough at state finals
GRAND RAPIDS — Area wrestlers who took part in the MHSAA Division 4 individual state finals found out how tough the competition is at that level on Saturday.
Wrestling at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, all seven from Westwood, Newberry, Gwinn, Ishpeming and Manistique high schools were eliminated in the minimum two matches.
Five of them had the consolation of knowing they lost to an eventual state champion, runner-up or third-place finisher, though.
One of them, sophomore Brandon Vickstrom of Westwood, lost to the eventual state champion at 285 pounds in his opening match. That was a pin at 54 seconds by Isiah Pasik of New Lothrop.
Three others lost to an eventual state runner-up.
Patriots junior Spencer Harvala opened by being pinned by 215-pound eventual second-place finisher Camden Orr of New Lothrop in 50 seconds, then was pinned by eventual sixth-place finisher Ben Smieska of Leslie in 56 seconds.
Ishpeming sophomore Kyle Hyatt opened by being pinned at 140 by eventual runner-up George Ames of Clinton in 57 seconds.
Manistique junior McKabe Swanson also lost to an eventual runner-up in his opening match, being pinned at 1:39 by Jake Fischer of Beaverton.
Losing to a third-place finisher was Newberry freshman Hayden O’Neil at 125, with a 15-0 loss to Manus Bennett of Marlette.
The two other area participants at the finals lost to a sixth-place finisher.
Gwinn sophomore Colton Berglund, at 285, was pinned by Corbin Hamilton of Ithaca at 48 seconds in his opening match, while Newberry senior Paul Davis was pinned at 171 by Brady Gross of New Lothrop in 1:25.
Two other area qualifiers for the finals didn’t participate for unknown reasons — sophomore Reagan Bowerman of Munising at 130 and junior Travis O’Neil of Newberry at 125.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.