Grayling tops Elks’ test
ESCANABA — The Grayling Vikings proved to be a formidable foe in the 44th Annual Escanaba Elks Invitational wrestling tournament Saturday as they brought home the championship trophy with 190 1/2 points.
Runner-up Westwood scored 173, followed by Iron Mountain-Norway 134 1/2, St. Ignace 128 and Escanaba 124 1/2.
The Vikings were led by junior Andrew Hopkins, who pinned Westwood freshman Wyatt Carlson 85 seconds into the 112-pound title match. Senior Zach Kelly then grabbed the 285 title by pinning Kingsford’s Nick Ouradnik in 3:37.
“Andrew and Zach are the heart and soul of our team,” said Grayling coach Andy Moore. “Today we were focused and started real well. We’ve been in tournaments where we were in contention but couldn’t seal the deal. This is a real big boost for our team.”
Esky freshman Hunter Larson became the lone area champion, pinning Grayling junior Cole Hibbard one minute, 45 seconds into the 130-pound final.
Larson got an early takedown, then gave up an escape just moments before getting the pin.
“I got him into a back position, which set up the pin,” said Larson. “I was really nervous before this meet. I think this will give me more confidence. Our coaches tell me I’m wrestling real well this year.”
Junior teammate Courage Krueger reached the 135 final where he was pinned in 89 seconds by Westwood senior Wyatt Lakosky. Krueger had a 6-3 lead prior to allowing the pin.
Then at 145, Kingsford’s Trevor Povolo outlasted Esky junior Ean Bevins 14-9 for the title.
“Ean was right there with Povolo,” said Esky coach Jeff Wright. “Courage got caught in a roll, otherwise he wrestled well to that point. We were happy to get three in the finals and have at least one champion. It’s a good day when you can do that. It’s good that Hunter was able to respond. I was glad to see him go right back at it after the escape. We stayed aggressive and had a good day. I’m pleased with our overall effort.”
Bark River-Harris senior Tyler Labadie reached the 215-pound title bout where he lost by pin in 3:41 to Iron Mountain senior Braydon Fitzpatrick.
“My hip is pretty sore,” said Labadie. “I can’t do the moves I like to do. I took a chance and moved up. The 189 division was really packed and felt I had a better chance at 215. I didn’t practice the last 1 1/2 weeks because my hip and issues with my back. This is the highest I’ve placed here. It felt good to get back out there.
“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for our assistant coaches (Curtis Labadie and Jake Cronick). It’s nice to have someone with all that experience on our coaching staff.”
Esky hosts Gladstone in a dual meet Thursday. BR-H is scheduled to visit Munising Thursday.
Grayling 190 1/2, Westwood 173, Iron Mountain-Norway 134 1/2, St. Ignace 128, Escanaba 124 1/2, Kingsford 114 1/2, Negaunee 105, Newberry 81, Ishpeming 80, Munising 79, Menominee 73 1/2, Gwinn 70, U.P. Extra I 58 1/2, Benzie Central 43, Bark River-Harris 40, U.P. Extra II 17, DeTour 4.
103 — Brewer, W, pinned Early, K, :29
112 — Hopkins, Gray, pinned Carlson, W, 1:25
119 — Lindholm, W, dec. Hill, Neg, 9-7
125 — Hoffart, IM-Nor, def. Halstead, Gray, default
130 — Larson, E, pinned Hibbard, Gray, 1:45
135 — Makosky, W, pinned Krueger, E, 1:29
140 — Brown, Men, dec. Guichin, I, 5-3
145 — Povolo, K, dec. Bevins, 14-9
152 — Schmutzier, K, dec. Cole, Mun, 6-2
160 — Henry, New, pinned Matson, SI, 2:45
171 — Hildabrandt, New, dec. Comstock, IM-N, 21-10
189 — Bolo, IM-N, dec. Ferrigan, Gray, 13-0
215 — Fitzpatrick, IM-N, pinned Labadie, BR-H, 3:41
285 — Kelly, Gray, pinned Ouradnik, K, 3:37