By John Vrancic
For the Newberry News
Junior Hayden O’Neil provided a bright spot for the Newberry Indians in the Upper Peninsula Wrestling Championships Saturday.
O’Neil earned runner-up honors by reaching the 138-pound championship bout where he got pinned in four minutes, 40 seconds by Sault Ste. Marie junior William Ohman.
Gladstone retained its title with 237 points. The Braves were followed by Iron Mountain 183, Escanaba 133, Kingsford 130 1/2, Negaunee 120, Sault 118, Bark River-Harris 108, Marquette 86, St. Ignace 78, Munising 76, Manistique 55 1/2, Ishpeming 50, Newberry 49, Gwinn 32, Menominee 21, Rudyard 19 and Westwood six.
Shortly after allowing a near fall, O’Neil got within 3-2 on a takedown with 3.6 seconds left in the second period.
Ohman took a 5-2 lead on a reversal early in the third, moments before getting the pin and remaining undefeated in 27 matches this season.
“I thought I was going pretty good, but couldn’t get a good shot on him,” said O’Neil, who placed third here a year ago. “I did a lot better than last year. This is very much a confidence builder. Although, I need to work a lot harder. This gives me a lot of motivation for next year.”
O’Neil received an opening-round bye, then he pinned Menominee sophomore Kaleb Baker in 68 seconds and BR-H senior Josh Riley in 29 seconds prior to his title-round appearance.
At 144 pounds, Newberry freshman Lucas Nalette pinned Westwood sophomore Leonard Dipzinski in 1:26, then lost by pin to Esky senior Adam Reimer at 1:15.
In his next bout, Nalette pinned Negaunee sophomore Connor Chapman in 45 seconds, then fell to Gwinn junior Matt Jenkins at 1:35.
Junior Kennedy Depew (165) also finished 2-2, pinning Munising freshman Chris Kulik in 61 seconds, falling to Iron Mountain junior Fulton Stroud at 5:24, then pinning Menominee sophomore Tucker Boxley in 2:59 prior to losing by pin to Esky sophomore Noah Gagne at 2:05.
Freshman Howard Bliss pinned Menominee junior Hailee Malinski 2:52 into his 120-pound opener, then got pinned by Gladstone sophomore Conner Britton at 1:45 and Sault freshman Wyatt Peabody in 3:34.
Indians’ freshman Mark McTiver (126) was pinned in 3:33 by BR-H sophomore Madalynn Corrigan and at 4:47 by Rudyard sophomore Hunter St. Andrews.
Freshman Kamron Blau (190) fell to Iron Mountain junior Christian Hammond in 32 seconds and Negaunee senior Nathan Keough at 54 seconds.
Munising junior Andrew Cain (126) placed third after pinning Esky freshman Cody Crowe at 3:22.
Classmate Joe Kelley reached the podium by pinning Sault senior Tim Garland 3:46 into the fifth-place match as did senior Robert Johns (215), who took fifth by pinning Negaunee senior Eli VanBuren at 3:36.
Mustangs’ junior Wyatt Kulik (138) fell to Esky junior Nick Chiu at 3:32 before pinning Menominee sophomore Kaleb Baker in 1:07 and falling to Negaunee freshman Finn Loos at 59 seconds.
Munising’s Avery Murk (285) fell to Marquette junior Dasan Smith in 34 seconds and Ishpeming sophomore Carlos Perez at 2:42.
Mustangs’ junior Logan Gould was pinned in 64 seconds by Negaunee sophomore Phoenix Espinoza and Esky junior Linnea Britton in 21 seconds.
Munising sophomore Korbyn Smith (132) also dropped both of his bouts, bowing to Kingsford senior Macario Kalcec in 3:41 and Sault freshman Caleb Klier in 47 seconds as did Cody Lincoln (144), who got pinned by Manistique sophomore Griffin Maline at 2:39 and Gwinn’s Jenkins in 1:35.
Kulik (165) got pinned in 55 seconds by St. Ignace junior Austin Roughton after bowing to Nalette in his opener.
Sophomore Connor Masters (190) pinned Esky sophomore Aubree Croasdell in 2:31 prior to losing by technical fall (20-5) to BR-H senior Drew Allgeyer and by pin in 1:29 to Ishpeming sophomore Lee Dockery.
Newberry wrestles at Pellston tonight at 5:30, then goes to Saturday’s Northern Michigan Championships which starts at 10 a.m.
Munising goes to Gaylord or the Manistique Super Duals Saturday, then to North Central for a triangular with BR-H and Menominee Monday at 6 p.m.