Port senior cruises to title in Kaukauna tourney that draws national talent
A 15th-place finish at a 25-team wrestling tournament may not sound impressive, but the Port Washington Pirates aren’t complaining.
Besides coming home with an individual championship, Port had an improved team finish at the prestigious Cheesehead Invitational in Kau-kauna on Dec. 30 and 31.
Alex Dieringer won the 145-pound title to lead the Pirates at the meet, which included nationally ranked squads from throughout the country.
Apple Valley (Minn.) successfully defended its team title with 735.5 points, well ahead of runner-up Blair Academy (N.J.), which had 652.
Simley (Minn.) took third (559.5), and Clovis (Calif.) was fourth (525.5).
Port’s 201 points left it fifth among Wisconsin teams, which were led by fifth-place Wisconsin Rapids (491.5).
“It’s an insane tournament that’s very tough,” said Pirates coach Angelo LaRosa, whose team took 20th in last season’s tournament.
“There were so many good wrestlers there. I think it was even tougher than last year.”
Dieringer, who placed second in the 2009 Cheesehead Invitational at 135 pounds, dominated his weight class this time. The Oklahoma State-bound senior improved his season record to 18-0 by winning six straight matches after receiving a first-round bye.
Dieringer scored major decisions in his final two matches. He won the title with a 10-2 win over Apple Valley’s Daniel Woiwor after defeating Wisconsin Rapids’ Kasey Einerson, 12-1, in the semifinals.
In the second round through the quarterfinals, Dieringer had four straight pins. He ended up scoring 66 of the Pirates’ points.
“Alex kind of cruised through the tournament,” LaRosa said. “He dominated the field. He’s just at another level.”
Dieringer’s final two opponents were expected to give him the toughest tests. Woiwor (21-3) is a Minnesota state
champion, and Einerson (24-2) is one of Wisconsin’s best 145-pounders, La Rosa noted.
Port’s other top finishes included ninths by seniors Justin Meins (130) and Jake Maechtle (135), a 10th by junior Tyler Griswald (215) and 12ths by freshman Calvin Harbaugh (112) and sophomore Josh Meins (160).
Justin Meins (16-4) went 4-2 in the tournament, capped by an 11-9 win over Tyler Ziegler of Cincinnati Moeller.
Maechtle (14-6) was also 4-2 for the day and finished with three straight victories. In the ninth-place final, he defeated Ryan Soraghan of Plainfield Central (Ill.), 7-2.
Griswald (14-7) had a 3-3 tournament record. After a first-round bye, he lost twice and won three straight times before being pinned by Wisconsin Rapids’ Erik Vruwink in the ninth-place match.
Harbaugh (16-5) posted a 4-4 mark. He won two of three matches in the consolation bracket before losing the 11th-place match to Michael Gibson of Montini (Ill.), 14-4.
After a first-round bye, Josh Meins (13-8) went 2-5, winning twice by decision. He lost twice to Wisconsin Rapids’ Garrett Schilling, including an 11-2 decision in the 11th-place final.
Among other Port wrestlers who did not place, Eli Rosado (119) and Nate Schnell (140) both went 3-1, Andy Fidler (285) was 2-3, Noah Rosado (103) and Mark Strong (171) were 1-2, Bret Winker (189) was 1-3, Robby Anheier (125) was 0-4, and Quentin Lueck (152) was 0-3 before forfeiting his final three matches.
“We wanted to finish in the top half of the tournament and almost did,” LaRosa said. “We lost a lot of first-round matches, but then did much better. If you place at least ninth, it’s like winning the tournament the second day.”
This week, the Pirates will host Milwaukee Lutheran in a North Shore Conference meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and participate in the Demon Invitational at Burlington at 10 a.m. Saturday.