Whitnall's Monty reaches state wrestling tournament
Junior fought through tight sectional tests
Nick Monty cut it close, but in the end, he survived.
The Whitnall junior wrestler tipped Woodland Conference rival Eric Martinson of Greendale 3-2 in a wrestleback for second place during a WIAA Division 1 sectional meet on Saturday at West Allis Central.
That victory at 145 pounds earned him a spot in the state individual meet, which begins Thursday at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Monty, who improved to 37-7 on the season, is the lone state qualifier for Whitnall this season.
Monty faces nail-biters
He began his sectional run with a 17-1 technical fall over Bo Hutchinson of Kettle Moraine, but then things became much tighter.
In the semifinals, Monty blanked Tanner Cadman of Waterford 2-0 and then dropped the sectional title match to Jordan Yatchak of Waukesha South (39-7) by a 5-4 count in overtime.
Monty got a second chance with a wrestleback against Martinson (34-14), whom he had faced several times this season, and made the most of it with the 3-2 victory to advance to state.
"I've been beating him (Martinson) easily each week, but every week he gets better because he's used to wrestling me," Monty said. "I knew I could ride him out, so I was trying to get a move and hold on or trying to get an easy tilt on him. I was holding on. He kept on adapting to what I do."
Monty will take on Bailey Whipple of Menasha (27-7) at 3 p.m. Thursday in his first state match.
They met at the Stech Invitational Tournament in December, with Whipple prevailing 5-1.
Monty's appearance will give Whitnall at least one wrestler in the state tournament for 25 straight seasons.
Injuries played a role
The other Falcon state hopefuls were derailed by injuries and particularly rugged competition.
Blake Leslie (36-12) reached the title bout at 132 pounds but suffered an upper-ankle sprain in that match and was pinned by Brookfield Central's Joshua Peltier (37-6) in 5 minutes, 15 seconds.
Leslie, who sprained the ankle while bringing Peltier to the mat, tried to bounce back for a second-place wrestleback against Jose Calderon of Waukesha South but had to default that match and wound up third.
He limped onto the mat at the start and felt severe pain while being taken down by Calderon, so co-head coaches John Quinlan and Craig Austin called the match.
"I really feel badly for Blake," Quinlan said, "because I believe he was going to beat Peltier in the championship match."
Anthony Senthavisouk (39-6) also had injury problems. He hurt a shoulder in practice 10 days ago and was hampered by the injury in the sectional.
He pinned his first opponent, then lost 5-2 to Justin Ratkovec of Waterford and 7-6 to Nathan Hensley of Greendale to finish fourth.
"What really hurts is that I lost both of those by just a few points," said Senthavisouk, who owns 119 career victories to rate 12th in school history.
Also taking fourth were Joe Price (126) and Dylan Kellner (138). Falling in the first round were Jared Besler (113), Ethan Latus (120), Ryan Olson (170), Michael Langenohl (182) and Ethan Harycki (220).
Falcons took eighth
"We just couldn't catch a break (with the injuries and tough pairings)," Quinlan said. "The guys went as far as they could go and went up against people who were just better.
"Price and Langenohl finished off good careers in good fashion."
The Falcons tallied 49 points for eighth place, the best of four Woodland Conference squads.
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