ESCANABA - Some of Escanaba's work may have gone unnoticed by many in attendance during Saturday's Elks Invitational wrestling tournament.
It got coach Jamie Segorski's attention during the 39th annual event, however, as the Eskymos earned the title with 198 points.
Runner-up Iron Mountain scored 190 and Gladstone edged St. Ignace 178-175 1/2 for third place.
Dennis Grall | Daily Press
Jack Cronick of Gladstone is lifted off the mat by Kingsford’s Sam Carr during their 215-pound match Saturday at the Escanaba Elks Invitational. Cronick won the semifinal match with a pin. For more photos, visit cu.dailypress.net.
Dennis Grall | Daily Press
Travis Heller of Escanaba tries to turn James Cryderman of St. Ignace Saturday during their 140-pound match at the Escanaba Elks Invitational. Heller won with a pin.
"We won the tournament on the back side of the bracket, which shows we have some depth" said Segorski. "Our guys got a lot of pins. The guys who placed fifth and sixth really helped us out. We had an unfortunate quarterfinal round. It's a credit to our kids to overcome that."
Senior heavyweight Dalton Perron-Spear added an exclamation point to Esky's victory by pinning Westwood junior David Lancour 67 seconds into the championship bout.
"I'm very surprised by how quickly all this went," said Spear, who pinned his three opponents in a total of 1:42 for his first Elks title. "I expected stiff competition. In all honesty, I thought the West Iron County kid (Kiel Atanasoff) would be in the finals. I was kind of nervous coming in here because I had no idea who was coming from some of the other schools. I'm just happy I'm still undefeated today (17-0). This is a real strong confidence builder."
Escanaba Elks tournament
Escanaba 198, Iron Mountain 190, Gladstone 178, St. Ignace 175 1/2, Norway 123, Benzie Central 111, Menominee 106, Florence, Wis. 91 1/2, Manistique 90, Westwood 58, Kingsford 57, West Iron County 56, Gwinn 44, Negaunee 42, Munising 40, Escanaba II 28, Ishpeming 27, Bark River-Harris 19.
103 - Edwards, IM, pinned Anderson, Gw, 4:29
112 - J. Gauthier, IM, pinned Bentgen, SI, 1:44
119 - Theuerkauf, Men, pinned Priebe, E, 3:23
125 - R. Gauthier, IM, dec. Rahoi, E, 16-10
130 - Roza, BC, dec. Sadler, Mun, 6-4
135 - Fekete, BC, dec. Briar, Men, 4-1
140 - Heller, E, dec. Josh Kadish, Glad, 4-3
145 - Gendron, IM, pinned Krause, SI, 3:01
152 - Radecki, SI, dec. Gagnon, Glad, 6-3
160 - Coates, Nor, dec. Dollar, F, 5-3 (OT)
171 - Thurston, SI, pinned Terres, E, 2:42
189 - Burklund, Nor, pinned Enderby, Men, 1:10
215 - Jack Cronick, Glad, pinned Dombrowski, E, :58
Hwt - Spear, E, pinned Lancour, WW, 1:07.
In the previous bout, Gladstone freshman Jack Cronick (215) pinned Esky's Mike Dombrowski in just 58 seconds.
"I was a little surprised to pin Dombrowski that fast," said Cronick. "Although, I figured the Kingsford kid (Sam Carr) would be my strongest competition. Getting past him (by pin in 2:33 in the semifinals) was bit of a lift going into the finals.
"It seemed like the Christmas break (of nearly three weeks) really helped me. I just wasn't wrestling real well before the break. I kind of got refocused."
Esky sophomore Travis Heller (140) also gained his first Elks championship by taking a 4-3 decision from Gladstone junior Josh Kadish.
An early takedown gave Kadish a 2-0 lead. An escape trimmed that lead in half and a takedown in the closing moments of the first period gave Heller a 3-2 lead.
"Mentally, it gives you an advantage when that happens," said Heller. "It also gives you the advantage on the scoreboard. It forces your opponent to be on the attack, and it helps your set-ups and defense. I think that set the tone for the rest of the match."
Other area runners-up were Esky's Zach Priebe (119), Kaleb Rahoi (125) and Ed Terres (171) and Gladstone's Brandon Gagnon (152).
"Our champions and runners-up wrestled very well," said Segorski. "Dalton is as good a heavyweight as we've had in a while, and for Mike Dombrowski to get to the championship match as a first-year wrestler is quite an accomplishment."
Jared Syverson (119) placed third and Sam Taylor (135), Chris Walters (171) and Jake Cronick (189) took fourth for Gladstone, which led heading into the finals.
"We were doing awesome, then we kind of dropped off in the final round," said Braves' coach Jesse DeBacker. "We're proud of Jack (Cronick). He's a solid wrestler, and I know how good he can be. I think it's clicking with him, too. We're also proud of our runners-up, and I was really impressed with Jake Kujala (who placed fifth at 103). This is a great showing for a very young team. We just need to work on our consistency."
Manistique's leaders were Cole Gonzalez (130) and Mat Gonzalez (145) in third and Zavier Gonzalez (160) fourth. The Emeralds placed ninth with 90 points.
"Our goal was to be in the top 10, after taking last over here last year," said Emeralds' coach Gary Bowman. "We're heading in the right direction. We're thankful our athletic director (Rob Ryan) is behind us. Rob has been great with us."
Also taking fourth were Esky's Jared Maycunch (145) and Ali Rittenger (103), a senior from Superior Central who wrestles through a co-op venture at Munising.
Absent from this meet were Esky senior Devon Slaga and St. Ignace's Joe Ostman, last year's Division 4 state champ at 189 pounds. They were out with the flu.