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Hart captures third straight regional wrestling crown, headed back to Kalamazoo

Pirates beat Orchard View, then Comstock Park to seize Division 3 regional trophy.

In this file photo, Hart’s Trayce Tate, top, grapples with Whitehall’s Ryne Christensen during the West Michigan Conference wrestling tournament Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

Hart’s wrestling program is starting to make a habit of these deep postseason runs.

For the third straight season, the Pirates have captured a regional title and punched their ticket to the team state finals. They did so Wednesday night by virtue of a 44-27 regional finals win over Comstock Park in Division 3 action at Kent City High School.

Earlier in the night, Hart rolled past Orchard View in the regional semifinals, 44-27. In the other semifinal, Comstock Park defeated Kent City, 43-30.

The Pirates now waits to find out their opponent in next Friday’s quarterfinals at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. In the meantime, they’ll shift their focus to this Saturday’s individual regionals at Howard City Tri County, where they’ll be sending eight wrestlers.

In this file photo, Hart wrestling coach Brad Altland, middle, watches one of his wrestlers compete during the West Michigan Conference tournament Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

“It was a team effort across the board. The kids really came together and wrestled hard,” Hart coach Brad Altland said about Wednesday’s team performance.

Twelve Hart wrestlers won at least one match in the team regional, including Trayce Tate, Ty Thomas, Nicolas Sandy, Mason Cantu, Zane Thomas, Leo Guadarrama, Ivan Lara, Jose Chavira, Uriel Vilches-Mendoza, Guillermo Ortega, Alex Hicks and Jon Ponce.

At least year’s team state finals, Hart fell to West Michigan Conference foe Whitehall, 41-23. The Pirates finished runner-up to the Vikings in the conference tournament a couple weeks ago, competing well in the meet at Montague.

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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