Wrestlers rule the podium

Feb. 3, 2016

By Emily Leclair

The No. 14-ranked UW-Whitewater wrestling team had seven top-five individual finishes in the Pete Willson-Wheaton Invitational on Jan. 29-30, where the Warhawks took first of 33 teams, beating out six other nationally ranked programs.

“We know it was a big tournament and a big marker for where we want to be at the end of the year,” head coach Ned Shuck said.

After the first day of competition, the team was in second place with 81.5 points, trailing UW-Parkside, the only Division-II team in the tournament with 87 points.

Four members of the ’Hawks team advanced to the semifinals of their respective weight class, including senior Matt Adcock, junior Joseph Brodman, sophomore Isaiah Vela and freshman Nicholas Bonomo.

Top-seeded Adcock, at 141 pounds, had a first-round pin and followed with two decisions to win his matches.

“Individually, I think we all know where we stand and what we need to get done and as a team. We just all have to stick together and grind out this last month and a half of the season until nationals,” Adcock said.

Brodman, seeded at No. 5 at 133 pounds, posted a technical fall in his first match with two decisions against the No. 4 seed from Ferrum College (Virginia).

No. 4-seeded Vela at 149 pounds had a pin, a technical fall and a decision in a semifinal match against John Carroll University’s (Ohio) Robert Cunningham.

At 184 pounds, No. 3-seeded Bonomo posted a pin, one technical fall and one decision to advance.

On the second day of competition, the team totaled 131 points to take first place, beating D-II UW-Parkside by 3.5 points.

Senior Tom Gerszwerski (185), Vela and Bonomo all finished third in their respective weight classes to lead UW-W in the meet.

Gerszewski had entered last week ranked eighth by the National Wrestling Coaches Association and sixth by d3wrestle.com. He came back from a first-round loss and posted seven-straight wins, three pins, two technical falls and one major decision to lead UW-W.

“We scored a lot of majors, a lot of technical falls, a lot of pins, and we have to keep doing that if we want to win tournaments, and the WIAC is going to be a tough tournament,” Shuck said.

Brodman, sophomore Connor Price (174) and freshman Brandon Arteaga (157) all finished fourth in their weight classes, while Adcock finished fifth and junior Zac Denny (125) placed seventh.

UW-W will host its last home meet of the season against UW-Parkside in the Sake Bottle Battle at 7 p.m. on Feb. 4.

After its meet against Parkside, the team has just one more meet before heading into the WIAC championships, which begin Feb. 14 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

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