The Wauwatosa wrestling team dominated the Nicolet regional, winning by 104.5 points, qualifying 13 wrestlers for sectional and advancing to the team sectional against Menomonee Falls at Cedarburg.
'I thought the guys had a really good day of wrestling,' coach Kent Morin. 'We knew going in that it was a weaker regional but that it was critical for us to place as many guys as high as we could for more favorable match-ups at sectionals.
'We put 11 guys in the finals and finished with seven champions. In total, we qualified 13 wrestlers for sectionals. That is a good day by any standard. We feel like we set ourselves up well for next Saturday's sectional (at Whitefish Bay), which will be very difficult.'
The 13 qualifiers included Justin Folley, Norberto Pliego, Lawrence Thomas, Jordan Boettcher, Lorry Venturi, Zach Miller and Cole Acker, who all finished first.
Andrew Radtke, Brian Mahan, Griffin Grandberry and Lathan Hay all finished second. Seth Abad and Sam Kratochvil finished third and fourth, respectively.
Here is a breakdown of the wrestlers who finished first and second.
Justin Folley (41-1) at 126 (26 team points). Quarterfinal: bye. Semifinal: pinned (1:21) Marquette's Jakob Smith (10-23). First-place match: pinned (2:43) Nicolet's Alex Reidijk (21-16).
Norberto Pliego (26-11) at 170 (26 team points). Quarterfinal: bye. Semifinal: pinned Whitefish Bay's Andy Oates (12-17). First-place match: pinned (1:19) Nicolet's Peter Driscoll (11-18).
Lawrence Thomas (31-11) at 195 (26 team points). Quarterfinal: bye. Semifinal: bye. First-place match: pinned (3:29) Whitefish Bay's Zack Turner (13-14).
Jordan Boettcher (37-5) at 152 (24 team points). Quarterfinal: bye. Semifinal: won a 17-4 major decision over MUHS' Dan Carter (18-20). First-place match: won a 13-5 major decision over Nicolet's Adam Plotkin (27-15).
Lorry Venturi (26-8) at 285 (24 team points). Quarterfinal: bye. Semifinal: pinned (0:24) Pius XI's over Curly Williams (3-5). First-place match: won 4-2 in sudden victory over King's Liam Arnold (33-5).
Zach Miller (27-6) at 145 (23 team points). Quarterfinal: bye. Semifinal: won a 9-0 major decision over Washington/Collegiate Academy's Leo Morris (17-11). First-place match: won a 6-5 decision over Nicolet's Savion Dean (30-10).
Cole Acker (21-10) at 132 (22 team points). Quarterfinal: bye. Semifinal: won a 9-3 decision over Nicolet's Amani Reid (12-23). First-place match: won a 7-0 decision over Whitefish Bay's Nolan Fergus (17-17).
Andrew Radtke (27-18) at 106 (22 team points). Quarterfinal: bye. Semifinal: pinned (3:50) Riverside's Jordan Reed (15-9). First-place match: lost a 2-1 decision to Marquette's Ryan Dineen (24-13). Second-place match: pinned (3:39) Nicolet's Ryan Kuesel (17-12).
Brian Mahan (7-1) at 138 (22 team points). Quarterfinal: bye. Semifinal: pinned (0:47) MUHS' Onel Robles (7-15). First-place match: lost a 15-4 major decision to Riverside's Kahlyn Chatman (38-3). Second-place match: pinned (1:03) Whitefish Bay's David Potter (2-7).
Griffin Granberry (24-9) at 113 (20 team points). Quarterfinal: bye. Semifinal: pinned (1:11) Nicolet's Robert Lagerman (3-7). First-place match: pinned (5:01) by MUHS' Tom Dineen (35-8). Second-place match: won by rule over Lagerman.
Lathan Hay (17-12) at 120 (20 team points). Quarterfinal: bye. Semifinal: pinned (3:38) Nicolet's Jaren Yoder (16-19). First-place match: pinned (1:44) by Whitefish Bay's Cooper Fergus (30-6). Second-place match: won by rule over Yoder.
Seth Abad (5-2) at 182 (16 team points) finished third, and Sam Kratochvil (29-15) at 120 (9 team points) finished fourth.
Van McNulty (1-5) finished fifth at 160 (5 team points).
'Cole Acker, wrestling up a weight class because Folley dropped down to 126, had two solid matches,' Morin said. 'Norberto Pliego and Lorry Venturi returned from injuries to win their weight classes. Venturi pulled off his with a takedown in overtime against an opponent who had pined him earlier in the year.'
Morin also touched on his younger wrestlers' performances.
'Strong runner-up finishes were turned in by our four sophomores,' he said. 'Radtke lost a controversial match 2-1 in the finals but came back with a strong wrestleback win. Brian Mahan had a very good day filling in on varsity for the first time this year. He recorded two pins en route to his second-place finish. Seth Abad, also new to the varsity lineup, recorded two solid pins en route to his third-place finish.
'While it was nice to see our six seniors make it through to the sectional tournament, it also was nice to have seven underclassmen also make it. That speaks well for future years.'
Feb. 13, Team Scores
1. Wauwatosa (285),2. Nicolet (180.5), 3. Whitefish Bay (140), 4. Marquette (137.0), 5. Milwaukee King (80), 6. Pius XI (68), 7. Riverside (48), 8. Washington/Collegiate Academy (9).