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Hale's Wanta captures third at state wrestling

March 4, 2014

Dallas Wanta finished off an exceptional wrestling season for West Allis Hale by claiming third place at 220 pounds in the WIAA Division 1 Individual Tournament last week in Madison.

Wanta went 4-1 at state to increase his season mark to 48-1.

He easily won his first two matches, pinning Jake Macaluso of Sussex Hamilton (27-20) in 1 minute, 38 seconds and downing Nick Somers of Beloit Memorial (35-6) by a 9-3 count.

The senior then ran into powerful Tyler Schmidt of Merrill (50-1) and lost a 12-3 major decision for his first defeat of the season. Schmidt went on to win the crown with an 11-2 major decision in the final.

Wanta went to the consolation bracket and posted a 12-3 major over Dylan Linhart of Elkhorn (39-11). He then tipped Beau Thompson of Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln (45-10) by a 2-1 count to take third place.

Senior Jake Gruichich came home with sixth place at 160 pounds.

He lost his opener to eventual champion Travis Hettinga of Wausau West (45-3) with a 19-4 technical fall.

Gruichich (38-11) then wrestled back to sixth. He beat Zach Lennon of Homestead (41-6) by a 3-1 count and topped Nate Rynish of Hortonville (40-10) by a 5-3 decision.

Gruichich lost a 12-0 major decision to Jordan Gundrum of West Bend East (49-1) and fell to Ben Hakes of Oak Creek (45-3) by a 6-4 score in the fifth-place match.

Junior John Baltz (39-10) dropped his 113-pound opener 6-4 in overtime to Manning Denk of D.C. Everest (38-10), then received a wrestleback. Baltz fell to Phillip Berge of Sun Prairie (46-8) by a 4-2 count in overtime.

The Huskies came in third in the Greater Metro Conference Tournament and in a WIAA Division 1 regional this season. They also won their own invitational and dropped just one dual in the GMC, that to champion Menomonee Falls.

— John Rech

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