Three Vikings earn medals at state finals
Grayling High School wrestlers Max Halstead, Zach Duncan, and Joe Armstrong finish 4th, 8th, and 7th, respectively, during MHSAA Division 3 state tournament over the weekend
Three Grayling High School wrestlers qualified for the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 state finals this year, and all three of them earned medals.
Joe Armstrong (103), Zach Duncan (112), and Max Halstead (152) competed at the state finals at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7.
Armstrong pinned a Richmond opponent during his first match at the state finals. Armstrong lost his next match. In his third bout of the tournament, Armstrong pinned a Lake City opponent. He lost to Gladstone during his next match, putting him in the 7th/8th place bout. Armstrong, a junior, won his last match at the state finals to earn a 7th place medal.
“Joe had a great tournament. He started with a come from behind win in the first round. That is Joe right there, down 7-1 and never stops working. In the next match he went down 4-0 early and couldn’t recover, losing 12-5. Joe came right back with a quick pin to secure his all-state honor. The next morning Joe lost his first match; that dropped him into the 7th place match. Joe dominated that match beating the wrestler from Richmond 13-5,” Coach Andy Moore said.
“Great season for Joe. He ended up 33-8 on the season and was a conference champion, second in district and regional. His career record is 90-29,” Coach Moore said.
Duncan won a 14-8 decision vs. Corunna during his first bout of the state finals. In his second match, Duncan lost a 9-6 decision vs. Richmond. He won by injury default in his next bout. Duncan lost 17-5 vs. a Dundee wrestler. Duncan, in the battle for 7th/8th place in the 112-pound division, lost an 8-5 decision vs. Shepherd to place 8th.
“Zach battled right from the start. He has had a nagging injury all year that came back to hurt him at the state tournament. Zach started with a convincing first round win followed up by a heartbreaking 9-6 loss to the eventual state runner-up. Zach had the kid on his back but couldn’t get the pin. In his next match Zach was in a tight match when he was aggressively taken back to the mat and couldn’t return to the match. The official called it an illegal slam, giving the victory to Zach. The next morning still sore from the slam Zach couldn’t get a victory in his last two matches, settling for 8th place,” Coach Moore said.
“Zach really toughed this season out. He ended the season 39-8 and was a conference and district champion. His career record is 104-31,” Coach Moore said.
Halstead won his first two matches at the state finals. He posted a pin vs. Montrose and he won a 4-1 decision vs. an Alma opponent. Halstead lost by disqualification vs. the eventual state champion from Dundee during his third match. He won by decision vs. Hillsdale to clinch a top-four finish, but had to forfeit his last bout due to injury. Halstead placed 4th, his third time placing at the state finals. He was 6th in 2018 and 2nd in 2019.
“Max had an up and down tournament. His first two matches were as we expected. Max came out and dominated. In the semifinals match Max wrestled the eventual state champion. Things did not go his way in the semifinals as Max was disqualified for multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. The next morning Max rebounded with a convincing 7-1 win; however, it was determined by the medical staff Max sustained a concussion during the match and he had to forfeit his final match,” Coach Moore said.
“Max ended his stellar high school career as the second (Grayling) wrestler to be all-state three times. He is a four-time conference champion, two-time district champion, and a one-time regional champion. His career record is 133-25 with a senior year record of 26-3,” Coach Moore said.