Wrestling: Wrestlers win at Wheaton for first time

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 

Feb. 12, 2014

By Christopher Clapper

The No. 2-ranked UW-Whitewater Warhawks did something that no Warhawks wrestling team has done in the history of the program: Finish first in the Pete Willson Wheaton Invitational.

The 32-team field was topped by the ’Hawks in what may have been their finest display of the season so far.

The ’Hawks had two wrestlers win their respective weight classes: Cedric Gibson at 165 pounds, currently ranked No. 4, and Shane Siefert at 197 pounds, currently ranked No. 2.

headshot_2_Fader,-TimWEB

Tim Fader

The ’Hawks had nine wrestlers place in the top eight and finished the tournament with 155.5 points, beating second-place UW-La Crosse by 35 points.

“That was great for our program to win that for the first time,” head coach Tim Fader said.

After an outstanding first day of wrestling, the ’Hawks found themselves with seven wrestlers in the semi finals on the second day, with five suffering losses.

“Our guys are gritty,” Fader said. “I think it says a lot about a person or wrestler when you get unexpectedly beat, and you see guys that respond to it and come back and win every match the rest of the tournament and finish third.”

Those who finished third were 133-pounder Jimmy Nehls and 149- pounder Elroy Perkin, while 174-pounder Andrew Pettit and 141-pounder Matt Adcock each took fourth place.

Rounding out the place winners were 125-pounder Zac Denny in seventh, 184-pounder Ryan Aprahamian in sixth, and 285-pounder Anthony Edgren in sixth.

The victory at the Pete Willson Wheaton invitational will propel the ’Hawks to the WIAC tournament next weekend.

After going undefeated during the regular season conference dual meets, the Warhawks head into tournament play brimming with confidence, Siefert said.

Siefert,-ShaneWEB

Shane Siefert

“Our goal is to get a three-peat there and dominate,” Siefert said. “I think that is a pretty achievable goal.”

Fader was a bit more reserved.

“Really it comes down to who wrestles the best on that day,” Fader said. “They’ll (the other teams) throw the (regular) season out the window, and we have to go prove it again that day.”

This year’s conference tournament has a little added spice to it as well.

If the ’Hawks win, having won the last two years in a row, they will tie UW-La Crosse for 15 conference titles and the most all time.

No other team has more than 11, and the ’Hawks show no signs of slowing down.

“It’s nice being part of a new tradition here,” Siefert said. “We have built a solid team and a solid program, and it’s kind of cool to be a part of.”

As evidenced by their victory in the Pete Willson Invitational, these Warhawks are ready for anything.

They have their eyes on the conference title first, with the national championships not far behind.

Coming up after the conference tournament for the ’Hawks is the regional tournament on March 1, where the top three finishers in each weight class will qualify for the national championship in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 14.