Senior leave permanent mark

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Senior leave permanent mark

Augie Spankowski, Staff Reporter

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The No. 8 UW-Whitewater wrestling team finished their season undefeated in WIAC duals (10-5 overall, 5-0 WIAC) after stomping UW-Eau Claire 36-7 Jan.31 on Senior Night.

The Warhawks recognized seniors Austin Quartullo and Jordan Newman prior to competition, then claimed victory in eight of the 10 weight classes.

The two seniors showed out in their final home meet, both pinning their opponents at 141 and 197 pounds, respectively. Newman, still ranked No. 1 nationally, pinned UW-Eau Claire’s Ramsey Bloy in just 28 seconds. Quartullo pinned Jordan Meyer in 4:38.

Junior Nick Stencel also won by pin in 2:57 over James Huntley at 184 pounds.

A trio of sophomores stepped up as well; Hazen Rice shutout Casey Hedrington with an 18-0 technical fall in 6:00, Wilder Wichman won by a 12-4 major decision over David Dudych at 149 pounds and Mike Tortorice kicked things off with an 8-3 decision over Abe Dickinson.

Junior Nicholas Bonomo won by decision at 174 pounds, as did junior Jordan Festge, who held on for a 3-2 victory at 285.

Newman and Quartullo have seen major success this season. Newman’s 16-2 record is best on the team with Quartullo going 18-9 on the year. Newman built on his success from last season where he won the national title in the 184-pound weight class.

“We’ve been very blessed to have those guys on the team. They’ve brought a lot of success, especially with Jordan [Newman] being our first national champ in something like the last 25 years,” head coach Ned Shuck said. “They’re both great teammates, great captains, who always managed to take care of business on and off the mat.”

Quartullo, who finished fourth place at 157 pounds at the NCAA Midwest Regional last season, sat down to reflect on his time at UW-Whitewater and those who helped him throughout his career in the wrestling program.

“There’s a few people who have really helped me out a lot throughout my career. I owe a lot to them,” Quartullo said, adding that assistant coach Delian Schneider and coach Shuck helped mold him into the wrestler he is today.  “So I guess I would just have to thank them over and over. They do a lot for us … hopefully they can continue to take this program in the right direction.”

Quartullo, who has served as a mentor for the younger members of the Warhawk wrestling program, shared some words of wisdom for his underclassmen.

“Everybody has to compete. Sometimes it’s easy to just take a backseat, you know, whether you’re not the starter or something like that, but you just have to keep tunnel vision on what you want and with that comes a lot of hard work,” Quartullo said. “So I would say, just put in what you hope to get out and compete with anybody. Whether it’s in the room, whether it’s at the conference tournament, wrestling the number one kid in the nation, or if it’s someone who’s 0-22, always compete.”

UW-W competed in the Don Parker Open in Eau Claire Feb.3 where no team scores were kept. Six Warhawks finished in the top five of their respective classes at the event. Neither Newman or Quartullo competed at the open.

UW-W will host the WIAC Championships Feb.9 with the first matchup set for noon.