Twelve qualify for Division 4 state finals
BRONSON — Saturday’s Division 4 regional in Bronson was like a mini state meet.
In the most brutal regional in the state, area wrestlers battled for one of the top four places in 14 different weight classes and a berth in the Michigan High School Athletic Association finals March 2-4 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
There were a total of 56 ranked wrestlers in the field.
Mendon qualified a total of four wrestlers, including two weight class champions in junior Wyatt Cool at 160 pounds and freshman Skyler Crespo (125).
Cool beat Michael Nuyen of Decatur 9-4 in the finals. In his first two matches, Cool pinned Blake Borck of Hudson in 1:30 in the quarterfinals and earned a major 12-2 decision over Bronson’s Gavin Alger in the semifinals.
“Wyatt wrestled really well today. He made some nice adjustments from last week to this week and finished nicely on his feet. He needs to keep his opponents’ hands on the mat a bit more when he is on top, but he wrestled a nice tournament,” Mendon coach Caleb Stephenson said.
Crespo pinned Jackson Lumen Christi’s Jeremy Bradley in 1:15, earned a 12-1 major decision over Evan Atherton of White Pigeon in the semifinals and beat Robert LeFevre, the defending state champion, of Erie Mason 2-0 in the finals.
“Skyler had a really good day. What he’s done the last two weeks has been impressive, defeating both the returning runner-up finisher and state champ. Aside from winning regionals, the best part for Skyler is that I don’t think he really showed his hand today against LeFevre,” Stephenson said.
Junior Nik Andaverde finished third at 112 for Mendon and freshman Emmett Bingaman (215) also qualified with his third-place showing.
Andaverde dropped a 12-4 decision in the semifinals to returning state champion Seth Harvey of Addison. He rebounded to pin Marcellus’ Ash Stokes in the consolation finals in 2:50. Andaverde was a major 11-2 winner in his first match over Manchester’s Grant Tungate.
“For Nik to see these guys prior to state gives us a great opportunity to prepare,” Stephenson said.
Bingaman beat Charlie Depp of Manchester 4-2 in overtime, lost to Blissfield’s Caleb Bangerter by pin in 2:47, beat Schoolcraft’s Wade Polmateer 2-0 and pinned Depp in the consolation finals in 1:35.
“Emmett moved his feet and finished his matches very well. He chain wrestled better today than he has all season. For a freshman to qualify for state at 215 is very rare and at such a tough regional is very impressive,” Stephenson said.
The Hornets’ Wyatt Diekman (119), Kaden Frye (145) and Mikki Feister (189) were all eliminated in the blood round.
“Those guys wrestled well and deserved to move on. This was a great experience for them, as they each return next season,” Stephenson said.
Qualifying from White Pigeon were Hunter Rummler (third, 171), Kyle Black (second, 130), Nate Weber (third, 135),
Schoolcraft qualified River Fox (fourth, 285), Spencer Fox (first, 130), Justin VanDyken (third, 140), Ethan Sharp (second, 152).
Marcellus qualified Stokes (fourth, 112).
Scott Hassinger can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.