Whitnall High School wrestlers weren't expected to be in the hunt for the Woodland Conference dual meets title going into the last meet of the season, so it was an even longer shot that they'd hand Wauwatosa its first defeat.
Wednesday night's contest at Wauwatosa West went according to form, unfortunately for the Falcons, as Tosa secured the title and an undefeated conference season, downing Whitnall 48-14.
The loss left Whitnall tied with Pewaukee and South Milwaukee for the runner-up spot. Overall, the Falcons ended the dual meet season with 21 wins and 12 losses.
Wauwatosa, comprised of athletes from the district's East and West High Schools, won the first seven matches and essentially put the contest away before Falcon co-captain Zach Barnhart put his team on the board with a 10-8 decision. Whitnall sophomore Ethan Harycki, at a 65-pound weight disadvantage in the 285-pound class, scored the Falcons' lone pin of the night, and Anthony Senthavisouk accounted for the rest of the team's points with a technical fall.
Salvaging pride in the losing effort, four Whitnall wrestlers--Michael Langenohl, Kevin Seyedin, Blake Leslie and Dylan Kellner--went the full six minutes but lost decisions to Tosa wrestlers who were ranked among the top 15 in their respective weight classes.
"We lost the coin toss and it went downhill from there," said a disappointed Whitnall coach John Quinlan at the end of the night. "Congratulations to them," he added. "They showed why they're undefeated in the conference."
The coin toss effectively determined if and where Whitnall would forfeit matches, which wound up being at 180 and 220 pounds. Beyond that, "a number of things would have had to go our way that didn't," said Quinlan. "When it comes right down to it, they've got a real solid team."
That overall strength is likely to carry over to Saturday's Woodland Conference tournament at Pewaukee, Quinlan predicted. "Wauwatosa will be the team to beat. It could be between Tosa and Pewaukee, and South Milwaukee is a better tournament than dual meet team. If we're going to have a shot, we'll need two or three guys to pull upsets and get into the finals," he said.
- In Saturday's junior varsity tournament at Whitefish Bay, Whitnall's Jordan Reiner took the 106-pound championship. He's unbeaten in all five of the jayvee tourneys Whitnall has entered. Among the other five Whitnall participants Saturday, Jared Besler and Seth Nowak finished third, Ethan Latus fourth, Nathan Dellavar sixth and Bill Meng eighth.
- The runner-up spot in the Woodland Conference shows that there's parity at the top: All three second-place teams lost to Wauwatosa, and each of the teams' other losses were to each other. Whitnall lost to Pewaukee, Pewaukee lost to South Milwaukee, and South Milwaukee lost to Whitnall.