Whitnall High School sophomore Anthony Senthavisouk won the 106-pound title at West Allis Central's highly-competitive Stech Invitational wrestling tournament Saturday night.
His team finished tied for eleventh among the 18 squads in the event.
Senthavisouk upset Janesville Craig's previously unbeaten Airk Furseth in the semifinals, then took the title in a dominating 12-2 victory over Franklin's Xianou Xiong. The win was Senthavisouk's 16th of the season against two losses.
The title was the first for Whitnall at the West Allis tourney since 2007, when David Witkiewicz and Jake Noel won their weight classes.
The week didn't start as well as it ended for the diminutive Falcon. His coach, John Quinlan, disclosed that he nearly benched Senthavisouk for the weekend after he failed to make weight for a dual meet Wednesday, then moved up a weight, only to turn in a lackluster losing effort.
"We talked to him about picking up his intensity in the wrestling room, and monitoring his weight rather than allowing it to fluctuate," said Quinlan. "By Thursday, he was back at weight, and focused. That showed on the mat.
"Anthony gave up only three points in the last two matches, he beat a returning state qualifier, and he stayed focused," Quinlan observed. "There's a lot of talent there."
Two other Falcon wrestlers took podium finishes. Co-captain Zach Barnhart, wrestling 12 pounds above his normal weight at 182 pounds, finished fourth.
"Zach wrestled pretty well," Quinlan said. "He got beat on a questionable call in the semifinals, and the wrestler who beat him for third place was probably the best in the weight class. Zach's got nothing to be ashamed of. He went toe-to-toe with some pretty good wrestlers. He was giving up a lot of weight, but that's going to pay off for him in January and February."
Sophomore 220-pounder Ethan Harycki finished fifth, winning three of his five matches. "Ethan continues to be a work in progress," said Quinlan. "He's a second-year wrestler with a lot of potential. Our biggest challenge with him is finding kids his size for him to practice against."
The weekend success improved Harycki's record to 10-3.
The team's eleventh-place finish "was about where we expected to finish," Quinlan said. "Eleven out of our 13 advanced through the preliminaries, and one of those who didn't"--Michael Langenohl--"lost in overtime."
Among Whitnall's other participants, Joe Price, Blake Leslie and Dylan Kellner each won two matches before being eliminated.
- In junior varsity action Saturday, Whitnall's Jordan Reiner, Jared Bessler, Seth Nowak, Josh Rinka and Juan Guzman pinned all three of the opponents each of them faced at a tournament at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. Jon Homontowski also went unbeaten, while Ethan Latus finished with two wins and a loss.
- Falcon wrestlers return to Woodland Conference action Thursday night against Greendale/Thomas More. It's Alumni Night, and past Whitnall wrestlers are urged to attend. "We want all our alumni to come out and be introduced, see some of their old coaches, and get together afterwards to share war stories," said coach Quinlan. "It's amazing how much better those guys are now than when they were back in high school," he chuckled. The event begins at 7:00 pm.