Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Wrestlers win fourth straight WIAC title

Feb. 18, 2015 By Chris Clapper

For the fourth time in four years, the Warhawks’ wrestling team walked out of the WIAC conference tournament as champions.

Compiling 162.50 points, it finished ahead of UW-La Crosse (138.50), UW-Stevens Point (109.50), UW-Platteville (59), UW-Oshkosh (45) and UW-Eau Claire (40.50).

The ’Hawks came away with five individual conference champions and three runner-ups en route to its victory.

One standout wrestler from the tournament was junior 157-pounder Tom Gerszewski with a 15-0 technical fall victory over Anthony Friese of UW-Stevens Point.

“We wrestled tough and we’re happy that we sealed it for the fourth straight time,” Gerszewski said. “At the same time I don’t think any of us are satisfied, we want to bury them even more.”

Other individual champions include 141-pounder Jimmy Nehls, 149-pounder Elroy Perkin, 184-pounder Ryan Aprahamian and 285-pounder Anthony Edgren.

In a big upset, the consensus top wrestler in the nation at 197 pounds, Shane Siefert, lost in the finals to Eric Twohey of UW-La Crosse in a sudden victory double overtime match.

Connor Price, a 165-pound freshman, finished second after losing 8-4 to No. 5 ranked Tyler Schneider of UW-La Crosse.

Other wrestlers to place in the top three were senior Trevor Pruett at 133 pounds, junior Matt Adcock at 141 pounds and freshman Isaiah Vela at 157 pounds.

“I thought we wrestled pretty well overall,” head coach Ned Shuck said. “I thought that we left a lot of points on the scoreboard and we had some matches that didn’t go our way, and we really felt coming in to today we were going to widen the gap a little more but overall it was pretty good.”

That message seemed to echo through the locker room, as even the champions did not seem happy with the way they finished.

“Winning is good but we want to dominate them [the competition] even more,” Gerszewski said.

This year’s conference championship gave the ’Hawks the all-time lead in WIAC conference championships, one ahead of the 15 held by the UW-La Crosse Eagles.

“This is a tough, tough conference,” Shuck said. “Stevens Point and La Crosse especially have always been consistently the top programs in the nation and not just the conference, so to be up there with them is something we never want to relinquish.”

With the conference championships now over, the ’Hawks will turn its attention to the regional championships in two weeks. Hosted by Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, the ’Hawks have high expectations for the regional championships.

“We want 10 national qualifiers,” Shuck said. “We know we have the talent and the guys have the right attitude to go with that and the confidence to accomplish it.”

In order to accomplish that feat, it would need all 10 of its varsity wrestlers to finish in the top three of their individual weight classes. Those qualifiers would then compete in the NCAA championships in March in Hershey, Pennsylvania for the national title.

Weigh-ins for the regional tournament begin at 8 a.m. on Feb. 28, and wrestling begins at 9 a.m.

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Founded 1901
Wrestlers win fourth straight WIAC title