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Muskego boys just miss Classic 8 wrestling crown

Warriors capture five individual titles

Muskego’s Grant Balconi pins Sussex Hamilton’s Sebastian Giovanni in action from earlier this season. Balconi was one of five Muskego wrestlers to claim championships at Saturday’s Classic 8 Conference Meet.

Muskego’s Grant Balconi pins Sussex Hamilton’s Sebastian Giovanni in action from earlier this season. Balconi was one of five Muskego wrestlers to claim championships at Saturday’s Classic 8 Conference Meet. Photo By Todd Ponath

Feb. 10, 2014

Make more room on the Muskego wrestling record boards.

The Warriors collected five individual championships while taking second as a team in the Classic 8 Conference Meet at Kettle Moraine on Saturday.

Austin Quartullo claimed his fourth conference title, becoming the third four-time winner in Muskego history, and Connor Price snared his third crown.

Muskego also had three first-time winners in Brady McFarland, Ryan Borton and Grant Balconi, and they will have their names put onto the school's record boards.

"We have record boards that we just put up in our wrestling room that have every conference champion and state qualifier that Muskego wrestling has ever had," head coach Sean Fortmann explained. "Connor and Austin were already up there, so the motto for the week was who would be next to get on the board.

"The kids really wanted to add to the names, and now it looks like we have three more to add."

Quartullo wins No. 4

Quartullo prevailed at 132 pounds, going 3-0 for the day and tipping Kelvin Yde of Arrowhead 1-0 in the title match. Quartullo improved to 28-3 on the season.

"The score was close," Fortmann said, "but Austin stayed in control the whole match and came out on top."

Price (33-4) moved up to 195 pounds and also went 3-0, pinning Noah Martinez of Kettle Moraine in 5 minutes, 49 seconds in his title bout.

"We flipped Grant (Balconi, who won at 182) and Connor, and it worked out well," Fortmann said. "Connor was as steady as ever, even though he wrestled up to 195. He is scoring a lot of takedowns, which is what he needs as he gets ready for the state tournament."

McFarland (25-3) took the 160-pound crown, downing Eric Ehrhardt of Waukesha South 5-1 in his final match.

"He is wrestling very solidly," the coach said. "He keeps the pressure on his opponents for six minutes and never lets up."

Borton (20-11) prevailed at 170 pounds with a pin in 2 minutes of Will Hendriksen of Mukwonago, who had beaten him the previous week in a dual meet.

"This was actually (Borton's) first tournament title at the varsity level," Fortmann said, "so it was a great time to do it. What made it even greater was the fact that he defeated the guy who beat him last week.

"Ryan will see him (Hendriksen) again next week (in WIAA regional action), so we will prepare again for that match."

Balconi (20-10) took the 182-pound crown with a pin in 3:05 over Mike Wurster of Catholic Memorial in his title match.

"Grant pinned all of his opponents," Fortmann said. "He is starting to wrestle his best."

Muskego gets four straight

McFarland, Borton, Balconi and Price won four straight weight classes from 160 pounds to 195, helping the Warriors push eventual winner Mukwonago for the team title.

The Warriors finished with 198 points to trail only Mukwonago with 214 points. Waukesha South took third with 177.

Jack Sarnowski captured second place at 126 pounds, losing a 7-1 decision to Darius Schwartz of Mukwonago in his title bout.

Taking fourth were Tommy Wintheiser (106), Cameron Rygiewicz (138), Trey Hurlbut (152) and Marty Alivo (220).

Coming in fifth were Vinny Nazario (120) and Jorin McGuire (heavyweight). Placing sixth were Jon Schweitzer (113) and Blake Grube (145).

Coach praises team

"I was happy with our performance as a team," Fortmann said. "We had all 14 of our wrestlers place and went five for six in the finals. We won four weight classes in a row. We got on a roll and just kept it going.

"(The kids) were focused on wrestling for the team, and we gave Mukwonago a heck of a run, but just came up a little short. Now we get ready for the run to the state tournament. We are starting to hit our stride, and we will get back to work this week."

The Warriors will compete in a WIAA Division 1 regional at 10 a.m. Feb. 15 at Whitnall High School.

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