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WMP wrestlers head to state finals


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These West Michigan Pursuit wrestlers will wrestle in the state finals. Photo by B. Chong.

By B. Chong

West Michigan Pursuit traveled to Northview for the 2016 Western Regionals this past weekend. Twenty-two grapplers placed in the top five out of the 31 entered, and 21 are moving on to the 2016 State Finals. WMP claimed 58 victories out of 67 battles.

One of the highlights of the weekend was Aaiden Vasquez, who battled back for a true second placement with a record of 5-1. Individual placements are as follows:

Fifth Place medalists include 143 lb Jordan Andrus, High School division, and 80 lb Logan Bennett, 9/10 age group.

Fourth Place medalists include 130 lb Isaac Casey, 9/10 age group; 90 lb Brocke Fisher, 13/14 age group; and 138 lb Patrick Fliearman, High School division.

Third Place medalists include 163 lb Xavier Anderson, High School division; 61 lb Logan Galinis, 6 & under age group; 64 lb Tyler Parmeter, 7/8 age group and 145 lb Zak Schmid, 13/14 age group.

Second Place medalists include 55 lb Quinten Cassiday, 7/8 age group; 155 lb Jacob Galinis, High School division; 115 lb Logan Hull, High School division; 148 lb Lucus Pienton, High School division; and 52 lb Aaiden Vasquez, 6 & under age group.

Western Region Champions are 59 lb Michael Cannon, 9/10 age group; 61 lb Chayson Eberspeaker, 6 & under age group; 58 lb Luke Egan, 7/8 age group; 49 lb Jayden Marcano-Cruz, 7/8 age group; 55 lb Drew Moro, 6 & under age group; 72 lb Blake Peasley, 7/8 age group; 64 lb Isaiah Sostenes, 7/8 age group; and 55 lb Josh Vasquez, 9/10 age group.

Special recognition goes out to Luke Egan, Jayden Marcano-Cruz and Blake Peasley for their 2014, 2015 and 2016 West Regional Champion status.

This year’s Finals will be held at the Kellogg Arena the weekend of April 1-3. The time is here and the focus is on for the Pursuit to the Podium.

Each year the number grows of how many WMP grapplers qualify for State,” said Head Coach Dave Andrus. “My first year running WMP, I had seven grapplers qualify with three Regional Champions. Four years later, I have 21 grapplers qualifying with eight Championships. These kids and their parents continue to impress me with their neverending support and dedication. The combined efforts are what make this program such a success.”

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Varsity wrestlers earn all-state titles


Junior Patrick Depiazza placed fourth at state in the heavyweight division.

Junior Patrick Depiazza placed fourth at state in the heavyweight division.

By Barbra Chong

This past weekend the Varsity Red Hawks traveled to the Palace of Auburn Hills for the 2016 High School State Finals. Four individuals entered the competition and two finished in the top 4.

Junior Patrick Depiazza wrestled the Heavy Weight Division. His first opponent was senior Billy Titoff of Mt. Pleasant and won by major decision 12-1. Another win by fall against sophomore Owen Miller of Marshall kept his momentum going. Senior Sam Benson of Mason proved to be a contender and Patrick took his first loss of the season by a close regular decision 2-3. Depiazza came back against sophomore Evan Gast of Byron Center and won by regular decision 2-1. His last opponent of the season, senior Jake Gnegy of St John, also proved to be a tough competitor and Patrick lost by fall. Patrick ended his season in fourth place, earning an All State title and a record of 52-2. Senior Isaiah Espinoza of Adrian is the Heavy Weight Division 2 State Champion.

Freshman Ryan Ringler placed third at state in the 171 lb division.

Freshman Ryan Ringler placed third at state in the 171 lb division.

Freshmen Ryan Ringler wrestled the 171 lb weight class. He started the competition against junior Gabe Larner of Dewitt and lost by regular decision 4-6. He quickly shook that off as he stepped on the mat with senior Nate Nutter of Gaylord, ending with a win by fall. Next up was senior John Penfold of Goodrich and a win by regular decision 4-3. Ringler kept his momentum going against sophomore Drake Pauwels of New Boston Huron, with another win by regular decision 6-2 and over senior Levi Sabin of Allegan, with a win by major decision 11-2. With pure determination on his mind, his last opponent did not stand a chance. Ringler won by major decision 19-10 against junior Will Feldkamp of Dexter. Ringler came back from his first loss and still ended his season in third place earning an All State Title and a record of 52-5, which is truly unheard of at the State Finals. Junior, Jalani Embree of Warren Lincoln is the 171 lb, Division 2 State Champion.

The other two Red Hawk wrestlers that went to state were junior Jordan Ringler and freshman Lucus Pienton. Both lost their first match, won their second, then lost their third.

“Ryan Ringler pulled off a legendary performance defeating five competitors in a row to capture a third place finish,” said Head Coach Nick Emery. “Pat DePiazza showed he is the heavyweight to beat next season in Division II. Jordan Ringler wrestled as well as he had all season but couldn’t quite break through on a tough chart. Freshman Lucus Pienton is the fifth freshman in school history to qualify for state and will contend for the title next season. I’m proud of these kids,” he added.

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Red Hawks place 2nd at Warrior Invite


Ellie Ovokaitys placing second at Warrior Invitational. 

Ellie Ovokaitys placing second at Warrior Invitational.

By Megan Kilts

The lady Red Hawks had the rain to compete with this past Saturday when they raced at the late season Chippewa Hills Warrior Invitational. As usual, the girls worked hard, taking home a trophy as the runners up out of ten teams.

“It was hilly and challenging, but a good race,” said senior Allyson Marvel, about the course at Chippewa Hills.

This year, the course was rearranged, but it didn’t throw the ladies off. They all had excellent races that helped propel their team to the podium.

Senior Ellie Ovokaitys led the Red Hawks, placing 2nd, while Marvel, junior Tara Tepin, and senior Kelsie Plugge-Webber took 11th, 17th, and 18th, respectively. Freshman Carolanne Merlington, and sophomore Hannah Gibbs both took home medals for placing in the top 50. Juniors Brooke Ross and Kayla Vanassen, along with seniors Nadja Jepson and Molly Doherty, also ran impressive races for the Red Hawks, with Ross setting a new personal record for herself.

“It’s been a great season of teamwork,” said coach Marie Covey. “It was exciting to watch [the girls] run at Chippewa Hills and finish second, our best finish of the season.”

The girls will head to the Michaywe Golf Course in Gaylord on October 31 to compete in the Division 2 MHSAA Regional meet. The top three teams in the division and any individual medalists will qualify for the State Finals, which will be held at Michigan International Speedway on November 7.

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Girls Cross Country Team Finishes 7th at State Championship Finals


Austin Sargent finished second in the state in the Division 2 boys cross country finals last weekend.

Austin Sargent finished second in the state in the Division 2 boys cross country finals last weekend.

Kenzie Weiler finished second in the state in the Division 2 girls cross country finals last weekend.

Kenzie Weiler finished second in the state in the Division 2 girls cross country finals last weekend.

Runners Kenzie Weiler and Austin Sargent both finish second in state

Kenzie Weiler (defending State Champion in Division 2) led her team to a great finale by finishing second place overall in the State Finals held at Michigan International Speedway Saturday Nov. 1. Kenzie finished her high school cross country career by running in the State Finals all four years and finishing 2nd, 2nd, 1st and this year 2nd.

“She has proven to be one of the state’s best all-time runners in history,” said Coach Marie Covey.

The remaining lady Red Hawk runners also ran well. Ellie Ovokaitys (42nd), Tara Tepin (135th), and Hannah Heinzelman (136th) all ran their personal records. Remaining team members Shayne Mann (63rd), Allyson Marvel (195th), and Myla Umphrey (210th) ran close to their best races of the season in a field of 248 of the best runners in the state. “I’m so proud of how hard this entire team worked all season,” said Coach Covey, “I was hoping for top ten after finishing 15th last year. It was a great day to be a Red Hawk.”

The girls weren’t the only runners from Cedar Springs in the highlights. Austin Sargent (the defending boys State Champion in Division 2) had a great race on the cold windy day at the State Finals. He ran just one second off his personal record with a time of 15:42 and finished runner-up.

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Weiler earns all state honors


Junior Kenzie Weiler placed fifth in the 3200 meter run at the state finals.

Junior Kenzie Weiler placed fifth in the 3200 meter run at the state finals.

The Girls Track Team ended their season last week by participating in the Greenville Daily News Track meet on Tuesday May 27, and in the MHSAA Division 2 State Finals on Saturday at Houseman Field.

In the finals, Junior Kenzie Weiler earned All State and Academic All-State honors by placing fifth in the 3200 meter run. Senior Maddie Pekrul ended her four-year track career with a 19th place finish in the 3200 meter run. The 3200 meter relay team of Hannah Heintzelman, Shayne Mann, Ellie Ovokaitys and Maddie Pekrul placed 22nd.

At the Daily News Meet in Greenville on Tuesday May 27, freshman Aaliyah Sargent and Tara Tepin won individual events. Aaliyah took first in the 400 meter dash and Tara won the 300 meter hurdles. The 3200 relay team of Shayne Mann, Ellie Ovokaitys, Jenna Heintzelman and Hannah Heintzelman also placed first.

Aly Hamilton placed second in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. Allyson Marvel placed second in the 100 meter hurdles and Hannah Heintzelman also placed second in the 800 meter run. The 400 meter relay team of Marissa Oakes, Taylor Vanlangen, Abby Olszewski and Aly Hamilton placed second. Earning individual third places was Allyson Marvel in the pole vault and Ellie Ovokaitys in the 1600 meter run. The 800 meter relay team of Marissa Oakes, Taylor Vanlangen, Olivia Finch and Aly Hamilton also placed third as did the 1600 meter relay team of Aaliyah Sargent, Hanna Heintzelman, Jenna Heintzelman, and Tara Tepin.

 

Senior Maddie Pekrul placed 22nd in 3200 meter run at the state finals.

Senior Maddie Pekrul placed 22nd in 3200 meter run at the state finals.

Kenzie Weiler (far left) on the awards stand.

Kenzie Weiler (far left) on the awards stand.

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Wrestler ends season as 2014 State Champion


Coach Dave Andrus and Blake Peasley stepping off the mat after an undefeated season and becoming a 2014 State Champion.

Coach Dave Andrus and Blake Peasley stepping off the mat after an undefeated season and becoming a 2014 State Champion.

Last weekend was the final tournament for the West Michigan Pursuit 2014 season, MYWA State Finals. WMP took 15 grapplers to compete and five brought home a coveted All State Title. There were 265 teams and over 2,500 grapplers competing.

“I think there is a time when every coach questions the effect they have on their athletes. It’s moments like these that solidify why we do what we do,” said Owner and Head Coach, Dave Andrus.
Jayden Marcano-Cruz wrestled in the 4/5/6 age group in the 43 lb wt class. He battled six times with four ending in victory. Jayden had 31 kids in his bracket and finished out taking 7th place with a final record of 35-6.

Ty Whalen wrestled in the 11/12 age group in the 60 lb wt class. He had 13 kids in his bracket and finished out taking 6th place with a final record of 19-8.

Luke Egan wrestled in the 4/5/6 age group in the 49 lb wt class. He battled seven times with five ending in victory. Luke had 26 kids in his bracket and finished out taking 5th place with a final record of 55-7.

Brocke Fisher wrestled in the 11/12 age group in the 60 lb wt class. He battled four times with three ending in victory. Brocke had 13 kids in his bracket and finished out taking 3rd place with a final record of 19-7.

Blake Peasley wrestled in the 4/5/6 age group in the 58 lb wt class. Blake is our only West Michigan Pursuit grappler who remained undefeated the entire season. He had 25 kids in his bracket. Going into the Championship match, Blake took on Da’Quavon White from the East Region, who also had an undefeated season. The stakes were high on both sides. During the third period, the score was tied 5-5, and, with three seconds left on the clock, Blake got the last take down, with a final score of 7-5. Blake is a second year wrestler who finished out his season with a record of 33-0. He is our first MYWA State Champion! Congratulations Blake on such a huge accomplishment.
We also had Hannah Pienton who competed in the MYWA All-Girls State Championship. This is Hannah’s first year of wrestling and she joined the sport half way into the season. She battled in the 12 and under age group in the 85 lb wt class and finished in 4th place.

Olivia Male competed in the USAW Women’s Nationals. She competed in the 9/10 age group in the 70 lb wt class and finished in 6th place. What a great accomplishment to be recognized as top 6 in the nation. All of our wrestlers who stepped on the mat this weekend wrestled tough. You truly are The Pursuit of Champions!

 

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Wrestlers earn championships


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On Saturday, March 15 and Sunday March 16, MYWAY Wrestling Western Region held Regional Finals at Kenowa Hills High School. Wrestlers have spent the last four months competing in preparation for the tournament. Competition was fierce as the top wrestlers in the western region came to compete to place top four in their weight classes in order to qualify for the MYWAY State Finals. Twenty three Cedar Springs Youth Wrestlers went to regionals and seventeen of those qualified for State Finals, four whom where Champions!

2014 Western Region Champions are Veronica Tapia at 37lb in the 5/6 age group, Keaton Klaasen at 52lb in the 7/8 age group, Landon Demorest at 47lb in the 9/10 age group, and Ryan Ringler at 158lb in the 11/12 age group.

Second place finishers were Pistachio Gonzales at 58lb in the 5/6 age group, Tommy Stevens at 58lb in the 7/8 age group, Trevor Marsman at 63lb in the 9/10 age group, and Jordan Ringler at 106lb in the 99-98 High School division.

Third place finishers Aiden Bouwens at 100lb in the 9/10 age group, Logan Hull at 85lb in the 11/12 age group and Samuel Couturier at 112lb in the 11/12 age group.

Rounding out the state qualifiers in fourth place were Caleigh Wood at 37lb in the 5/6 age group and Gage Gardner at 145 in the 13-15 age group.

Reese and Tacho Gonzales both fell one win short of qualifying by taking fifth place in their weight classes.

Cedar Springs will also be sending four girls to the MYWAY Girls State Championships,which will be held in conjunction with regular state finals. Allexis, Reese, Cora, and Zoe Gonzales will all be competing in the girls only tournament.

MYWAY State Finals will be held this weekend at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, MI from Friday, March 28 until March Sunday, March 30. Anyone wanting to come out and watch the best wrestling in the state of Michigan can get the full schedule at www.mywaywrestling.com.

Cedar Springs youth wrestlers and coaches would like to thank the Post and its readers for their support by printing and reading the wrestling results each week. It has been a great season, with many more to come.

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West Michigan Pursuit wrestlers going to state


Lucus Pienton in the 13/14 Open age group in the 130/138 lb wt class

Lucus Pienton in the 13/14 Open age group in the 130/138 lb wt class

Last weekend was the last tournament before State Finals, which was hosted by Ionia. West Michigan Pursuit brought nine grapplers to compete and eight placed in the top four. The team battled 30 times with 17 ending in victory.

“I admire the kids who did not qualify for State but are still on the pursuit of becoming a Champion,” said Owner and Head Coach, Dave Andrus.”

This week’s placements are as follows:

4th Place Medalists include Hannah Pienton in the 11/12 Novice age group in the 75/80 lb wt class.

3rd Place Medalists include Hunter Chilcote in the 11/12 Novice age group in the 100/105 lb wt class and Gage Bowen in the 7/8 Open age group in the 77 lb wt class.

2nd Place Medalist include Nicholas Bartolo in the 7/8 Novice age group in the 67 lb wt class, Derek Egan in the 11/12 Novice age group in the 85 lb wt class, Lucus Pienton in the 13/14 Open age group in the 130/138 lb wt class and Chase Sarniak in the 4/56 Novice age group in the 46 lb wt class.

Champions are Landon Foss in the 4/5/6 age group in the 46 lb wt class.

Please watch for the State Finals results next week, which will be held at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek. Good luck to all of the young grapplers competing next weekend! You truly are The Pursuit of Champions!

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Pursuit wrestlers head to finals


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This weekend was a big tournament, MYWA Western Regionals, which was hosted by Kenowa Hills. Ages 4-10 competed on Saturday and ages 11-High School competed on Sunday. West Michigan Pursuit brought 18 grapplers to compete on Saturday and 15 on Sunday. Our team battled 112 times with 64 ending in victory. This past weekend, WMP qualified 16 young competitors for the opportunity to earn a coveted spot at the State Finals. Of the 16 that qualified, eight of them were novice wrestlers with two years wrestling experience or less.

This year’s State Finals will be held at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek the weekend of March 28-30. “These next two weeks will be our pursuit for the podium,” said Owner and Head Coach, Dave Andrus.

This week’s placements are as follows:

Fourth place Medalists include Casey Eberspeaker in the 7/8 Open age group in the 61 lb wt class, Caden Peterman in the 9/10 age group in the 59 lb wt class, Zak Schmid in the 11/12 age group in the 119 lb wt class, Jay Smith in the 11/12 age group in the 100 lb wt class and Caleigh Wood in the 4/5/6 age group in the 37 lb wt class.

Third place Medalists include Josh Chilcote in the High School age group in the 288 lb wt class.

Second place Medalists include Cameron Fess in the 11/12 age group in the 85 lb wt class, Landon Foss in the 4/5/6 age group in the 46 lb wt class, Anthony Szubinski, Jr. in the 7/8 age group in the 61 lb wt class, Ty Whalen in the 11/12 age group in the 60 lb wt class and Kamden Witte in the 4/5/6 age group in the 49 lb wt class.

Regional champions are Luke Egan in the 4/5/6 age group in the 49 lb wt class, Brocke Fisher in the 11/12 age group in the 60 lb wt class, Jayden Marcano-Cruz in the 4/5/6 age group in the 43 lb wt class, Jacob Osmolinski in the 11/12 age group in the 85 lb wt class and Blake Peasley in the 4/5/6 age group in the 58 lb wt class. Blake Peasley remains undefeated.

Congratulations to all of our grapplers for stepping out on the mat and working as hard as you do. You truly are The Pursuit of Champions!

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Youth wrestlers finish strong


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On Sunday, March 2, Grand Valley State University hosted one of the last two regular season tournaments at the campus field house. Competition was fierce, as over 600 wrestlers from all over the state of Michigan attended. Seven Red Hawk youth wrestlers brought home medals.

First place finishers were Caleigh Wood at 37lb in the 5/6 age group, Tommy Stevens at 6lb in the 7/8 age group and Allexis Gonzales at 122 pounds in the 13/15 age group.

Second place finishers were Pistachio Gonzales at 55lb in the 5/6 age group and Wyatt Cooper at 82 lbs in the 7/8 age group.

Third place finishers were Carter Falan at 80 lb in the 9/10 age group and Gage Gardner at 145 lb in the 13-15 age group.

On March 9, 10 wrestlers won medals at the last regular season tournament hosted by Cedar’s backyard rivals, Rockford.

First place winners were Veronica Tapia at 37lb in the 5/6 age group, Pistachio Gonzales at 58lb in the 5/6 age group, Tommy Stevens at 58lb in the 7/8 age group and Landon Demorest at 51lb in the 9/10 age group.

Chase Sarniak took second at 46lb in the 5/6 age group.

Third place finishers were Caleigh Wood at 37lb in the 5/6 age, Wyatt Cooper at 82lb in the 7/8 age group, Lane Wiggins-Russo at 112 in the 7/8 age group, Aiden Bowens at 95lb in the 9/10 age group, and Sergei Byxbe in the 110 pound 9/10 age group.

These youth wrestlers spent the last three months conditioning and competing at developmental tournaments in preparation for MYWAY regionals and state finals. Regionals were held March 15-16  at Kenowa Hills. MYWAY state finals will be held at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek,  Michigan on March 28- March 30. Be sure to check next week’s Post to see which of your favorite Red Hawk wrestlers placed at Regionals and will be going to State Finals. Anyone wishing to attend state finals may get information online at www.cedarspringsyouthwrestling.com or www.mywaywrestling.com

 

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