Three Grayling wrestlers qualify for MHSAA state finals
Joe Armstrong (103), Zach Duncan (112), and Max Halstead (152) post 2nd place finishes at individual regionals
Three wrestlers from Grayling High School – Joe Armstrong, Zach Duncan, and Max Halstead – earned berths in the upcoming Michigan High School Athletic Association state finals with their placements at Saturday’s individual regionals.
Grayling sent six wrestlers to the Region 9-3 tournament at Boyne City on Saturday.
Halstead, wrestling at 152, won by technical fall, 18-2, during his first bout of individual regionals. He won by pin in his next match to earn a spot in the finals. During the championship round, Halstead lost a 4-2 decision and finished 2nd. Halstead, a senior, will take a 22-1 overall record for the 2019-2020 season into the state finals.
Armstrong, in the 103-pound weight class, won by pin during his first match in the Region 9-3 tournament. He advanced to the championship match at 103 with another pin. Armstrong lost by technical fall, 18-0, in the finals. He finished in 2nd place. Armstrong, a junior, has a 30-6 overall record this year going into the state finals.
Duncan – wrestling in the 112-pound division – pinned his first opponent during individual regionals. He won by major decision, 15-5, in the semifinals. In the championship bout for 112, Duncan lost a 10-3 decision and finished in 2nd place. He is 35-4 for the 2019-2020 season going into the state meet.
Parker Dole (171) lost by decision, 6-0, during his first match at regionals. He pinned his next opponent and needed one more win to qualify for the state finals. Dole, a senior, lost an 8-3 decision, ending his season and his high school wrestling career. Dole posted a 42-10 record this year.
Jesse Vandecasteele (125), a freshman, lost both of his matches on Saturday, ending his season. Tucker Mertes (135), a junior, also lost both matches at regionals.
“Great day for us,” Coach Andy Moore said. “We wanted to qualify four wrestlers today but were happy to get three. Parker Dole came up one match short. He had a great season, leading the team in victories and team points. Tucker Mertes really stepped it up this season and I look for him to be one of the leaders next year. Jesse Vandecasteele really came on at the end of the season. Jesse is another wrestler I will be looking to take another step forward next year.”
“All three qualifiers took second today, all going 2-1 on the day. All three have their work cut out for them at the state tournament but I believe they all can place this year,” Coach Moore said.
The 2020 MHSAA Individual Finals for wrestling will be held at Ford Field in Detroit on March 6-7.