’Hawks finish up WIAC Play

Jan. 27, 2016

By Emily Leclair

The No. 20-ranked UW-Whitewater wrestling team completed its last WIAC meet of the season, finishing with a 4-1 record, including a victory over No. 5 ranked UW-La Crosse on Jan. 21, and a current overall record of 22-16.

“I’m obviously not happy about the one loss, but the guys learned from it,” assistant coach Justin Wharton said. “They got better, and their workouts got more intense. They really stepped it up and made some changes.”

UW-W held a 19-16 lead heading into the final match of the meet.  Freshman Jordan Festge, 285 pounds, trailed 6-1 against UW-LC’s Clay Broze, who is ranked No. 6 in the nation by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

Festge came back with a takedown and a four-point near fall to gain the lead 7-6, but Broze escaped to tie the match to 7-7.

Festge earned another takedown before the final horn of the match to give the ’Hawks the win and UW-LC its first conference loss of the season.

The freshmen continued to shine throughout the dual meet.

Freshman Brandon Arteaga gave UW-W the lead for good with a first-period fall at 157 pounds.

Freshman Nicholas Bonomo had a last-second takedown for a 12-4 victory at 184 pounds, improving his season record to 20-4.

“There was a lot of pressure…but they stepped up and they handled it well, especially our heavy weight Jordan Festge,” Wharton said.

Seniors Matt Adcock and Tom Gerszewski and sophomore Isaiah Vela all won by decision for Whitewater.

Adcock, who is ranked second by NWCA and third by d3wrestle.com at 141 pounds, improved to 19-7 for the season with a 6-4 victory over UW-LC’s Grant Sutton.

Gerszewski, ranked No. 9 by NWCA and No. 6 by d3wrestle.com at 165 pounds, posted a 6-2 victory over Derek Weinmann.

Vela earned an 8-6 victory at 149 pounds. Vela is ranked seventh by NWCA and ninth by d3wrestle.com.

“The dual meet with La Crosse was probably one of the best dual meets I’ve ever been a part of,” Adcock said. “I was proud of be a Warhawk at that time.”

On Jan. 23 the ’Hawks hosted the Rocky Rococo Border Brawl Duals.

The team completed its last conference match against UW-Eau Claire to start the day with a 27-5 victory.

The team went on to defeat Concordia University (Wisconsin), 43-3, and North Central College (Illinois), 21-15, to finish the meet 3-0.

The ’Hawks will travel to Wheaton, Illinois, to compete in the Pete Willson Invite on Jan. 29-30.

The team is on a five-meet winning streak heading into next week’s matches.

“I think it pumps us up even more; we’re ready,” Adcock. “We’ve been in this kind of situation before, us upperclassman before, so we just have to show the lower classmen that this is what Whitewater does and we have to keep the power of tradition going.”

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