By Journal Sports Staff
MARQUETTE - Marquette put the "super" in the Westwood Super Dual high school wrestling tournament on Saturday, beating all five of the other schools that participated as the first week of the season concluded.
The daylong event included 15 dual meets held simulataneously on three mats at Westwood High School and included the Redmen, host Patriots, Negaunee, Gwinn, Iron Mountain and Escanaba B team.
Marquette's Jackson Mahler keeps Negaunee's Owen LaJoie on the mat in a 160-pound match at the Westwood Super Dual high school wrestling meet held in the Patriots’ gym on Saturday. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)
The inaugural event was patterned after similar meets held in the past, though not recently, according to WHS coach Dan Carlson.
"It's a good meet to have at the beginning of the season," said Gwinn first-year coach Dustin Luoma. "They really get a chance to get some work in."
The meet took advantage of MHSAA regulations that allow a wrestler to participate in up to five matches in one day.
Fourteen wrestlers from the six schools earned medals for finishing with 5-0 records.
Five of those came, not surprisingly, from Marquette, whose closest match was in its opener, a 38-30 decision over Escanaba B.
The undefeated Redmen were junior Jackson Mahler at 160 pounds and seniors Austin Johnson at 152, Curt Calovecchi at 171, Joe Iwanicki at 215 and Rainger Rossway at 285.
Two more MSHS wrestlers went 4-1 - sophomore Ethan Locke at 145 and junior Hunter Moore at 125.
"Mahler and Locke both wrestled really well and beat some tough kids," Marquette co-coach Tony Gentz said.
The coach said he was most satisfied with match No. 2, a 45-28 victory over Iron Mountain, since the Redmen lost to the Mountaineers 37-36 just two days earlier.
"To beat them showed we're already improving this early in the season," Gentz said. "Right off from the first match, we kept the ball rolling. As the day went on, we got stronger and stronger."
Marquette also defeated Gwinn 78-6, Negaunee 50-16 and Westwood 60-15.
Negaunee posted three wins and one medalist Saturday. The Miners defeated Iron Mountain 45-24, Gwinn 54-12 and Westwood 50-16 and lost to Escanaba B 48-24 as senior Christian MacDonald was perfect at 189 and 215.
In addition, freshman Austin Schmeltz went 4-0 at 135, while freshman Owen LaJoie at 160 and juniors Brody Rosten at 130 and Tyler LaJoie at 152 were all 4-1.
Negaunee first-year coach Brad Saatio had a similar sentiment about beating the Mountaineers, since the Miners also lost to them on Thursday.
"This was a big step for us," he said. "Our freshman, like Schmeltz and LaJoie, stepped up for us.
"I was very impressed with how the team bounced back from Thursday and just how we competed against competition from all over the Upper Peninsula."
Westwood also pulled out one match win - 36-12 over Gwinn - and a medalist in senior 189-pounder Cole Schultz.
"We wrestled well considering we had a couple of injuries and a couple of wrestlers not at their right weights yet," Carlson said.
The Patriots, who also lost to Escanaba 48-33 and IM 36-29, had a pair of 4-1 wrestlers - senior David Lancour (285) and Josh Argall (171).
While the Modeltowners didn't get a win, also losing to IM 36-12 and Escanaba 54-10, they but did get a 4-1 record out of senior Brittany Dunklee at 119.
And in the day's other match, Escanaba defeated Iron Mountain 56-12.
The other 5-0 medalists included the Mountaineers' Alex Edwards (119), Jared Gauthier (125), Jake Weslin (140) and Tanner Chouinard (145); and the Eskymos' Brittinie Larson (103), Zachary Priebe (130/135) and Hunter Sadler (135).