In a tournament that paralleled the dual meets season, Whitnall High School wrestlers finished fourth in the Woodland Conference tournament at Pewaukee Saturday. Wauwatosa, undefeated in conference dual meets, won the tournament. The three teams that tied for second in the conference duals season--Pewaukee, South Milwaukee and Whitnall--finished second, third and fourth respectively at the tourney.
Two Falcon wrestlers, 170-pound senior co-captain Zach Barnhart and 106-pound sophomore Anthony Senthavisouk, won conference championships. Barnhart avenged a season-opening loss to Pewaukee's Kyle Knutson, pinning him in the second period, then went on to defeat South Milwaukee's Josh Wilkowski 2-1 in double overtime.
Senthavisouk, ranked second in the state in his weight class, needed to wrestle only twice to take the crown. Following a pair of byes, Senthavisouk beat Greendale's Jared Rosen, 11-7, and then pinned Pius's Mike Correa-Volkman in the final.
Two other Falcon wrestlers also earned podium finishes. Sophomore 152-pounder Ryan Olson won three matches en route to a third place finish. Nick Monty, also a sophomore, won three matches at 138 and took a third place medal. The match he didn't win, a 7-3 loss to Pewaukee's Trevor Greene, had co-head coach Craig Austin applauding.
"Nick wrestled tough," said Austin. "He lost, but that may have been his best match all year. He showed aggressiveness, he wrestled really, really well. His technique is getting better, and he's working hard in practice."
Austin credited steady improvement to Olson's medal performance. "That was a surprise, especially when you consider that he never wrestled until last year," said the coach. "He just keeps getting better and better every week."
Another surprise, and arguably the day's biggest upset, was on the 285-pound mat when Whitnall's John Smith pinned New Berlin's Ben Clark, who was second-seeded and previously unbeaten in conference matches. Smith nearly finished fifth for the tournament but lost a 4-3 double-overtime decision in the last bout of the day.
Four other Whitnall wrestlers--Joe Price, Zach Price, Michael Langenohl and Ethan Harycki--made it to third place matches but lost and had to settle for fourth. Zach Price had one of the day's highlight matches: he trailed 6-1 with 12 seconds left, tied the match, then won it in overtime.
Besides Smith, Dylan Kellner and Kevin Seyedin wrestled and lost at the fifth-place level. Blake Leslie, expected to have an impact at 126 pounds, took a 15-4 major decision in his first match but was injured in the closing seconds. He attempted to continue in the semifinal round but, obviously in pain, was pinned and withdrew from further competition.
Falcons were involved in six overtime matches during the tournament, winning four of them--one more OT than they'd won in the entire season prior to Saturday.
"We pulled out some good ones in overtime," said coach John Quinlan. "And we finished right about where I thought we'd finish. We need another year before we're ready to be the type of tournament team that can compete for the title."
"I'm thrilled for both of our champions," Quinlan said. "Barnhart was in an especially tough weight class. We finished off a great conference season. We brought 13 wrestlers here, and twelve of them scored points."
Greenfield finished seventh in the tournament. Alex Morton (285) was the team's only podium finisher, taking the runner-up medal.
Next up is the WIAA Regional Tournament, next Saturday at Greenfield High School.