Three Vikings qualify for individual wrestling regionals
Wed, 03/24/2021 - 9:06am caleb
Seniors Joe Armstrong and Tucker Mertes and freshman Logan Malonen advance through districts with top-four placements on Saturday
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Three Grayling High School wrestlers qualified for individual regionals on Saturday by posting top-four finishes in their weight classes during the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s District 17-3 tournament held at GHS.
“That’s about what we expected,” Coach Andy Moore said. “Our district had small numbers but there were quality kids there.”
Senior Tucker Mertes qualified for regionals in the 145-pound division. In his first match at districts on Saturday, he won a 3-0 decision vs. a Kingsley opponent. Mertes lost his second match of the day. He pinned his next opponent to clinch a regional berth. In his final bout of the tournament – the 3rd/4th place match – Mertes lost a 9-3 decision vs. an opponent from Benzie Central. Mertes finished fourth in his weight class. He has an overall record of 22-2 so far this year.
“One forty five is a tough weight. He battled all day,” Coach Moore said.
Freshman Logan Malonen posted a second place finish on Saturday, improving his season record to 23-6. Malonen pinned a Gladstone opponent during his first match of the District 17-3 tournament. Next, he pinned a Negaunee opponent. He won his third match of the day by pin to earn a spot in the 1st/2nd place bout. Malonen lost a 7-1 decision vs. Hart in the finals and finished second.
“He came out and wrestled really hard. He had a tough bracket,” Coach Moore said. “He wrestled good.”
Joe Armstrong, a senior, qualified for regionals at 112. In his first match at districts, he won by forfeit vs. Kalkaska, according to the MHSAA. The win put him in the finals for the 112-pound weight class, a division that had only six wrestlers. In the 1st/2nd place match, Armstrong lost by pin. Armstrong has an overall record of 24-2 going into regionals.
“Joe had one of those goofy days where he had to sit around all day. There was only six kids in his weight class,” Coach Moore said.
District 17-3 featured wrestlers from Benzie Central, Boyne City, Cheboygan, Gladstone, Grayling, Hart, Kalkaska, Kingsford, Kingsley, Manistee, Menominee, Negaunee, and Reed City, according to the MHSAA.
Mertes, Malonen, and Armstrong advance to the MHSAA Division 3 Region 9 tournament to be held at Grayling High School at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 27.