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Young Whitehall wrestling team shines under bright lights of state quarterfinals

Vikings double up Gladstone, 48-24; will take on Algonac in semifinals with eye on state finals.

Whitehall’s wrestling team is relatively young, but the bright lights of Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo were not too bright for the Vikings during Friday’s Division 3 state quarterfinals.

Third-seeded Whitehall doubled up sixth-seeded Gladstone, 48-24, by winning 10 of 14 individual matches.

The Vikings (31-3) earned a spot in Saturday’s noon Division 3 state semifinals against second-seeded Algonac (38-1), which dispatched seventh-seeded Portland (42-28). Gladstone’s team finished with a 17-3 record.

The winner of the Whitehall-Algonac match advances to Saturday’s 3:45 p.m. state finals against the victor of the match between top-seeded, five-time defending state champion Dundee (17-2) and fifth-seeded Constantine (27-3).

Dundee defeated eighth-seeded Hart in Friday’s quarterfinals, 64-15. Constantine earned a forfeit win over fourth-seeded Clinton, which sent an ineligible (wrong weight class) wrestler to check-in, resulting in an automatic disqualification for the team.

Photos courtesy of Carrie Goodrich and Macy Taranko | Whitehall wrestling

Winning matches for Whitehall included Cody Manzo (106 pounds), Nolan Taranko (126), Caden Varela (132), Ryne Christensen (138), Blake English (144), Darnell Mack (150), Ryan Goodrich (165), Wyatt Jenkins (175), Jackson Cook (215) and Shane Cook (285).

Manzo, Taranko, Varela, Jenkins and Shane Cook all won by pinfall.

Whitehall is competing on team state finals weekend for the seventh time in eight years. The Vikings, who have moved back and forth between Division 2 and Division 3 in recent seasons, finished as D-3 state runners-up to Dundee in 2021.

Dundee has won eight of the last 10 state titles in Division 3.

Photos courtesy of Tom Jenkins

Watch a video of the Whitehall wrestling team’s light drill session and send-off before the bus trip to Kalamazoo Friday morning:

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

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