LocalSportsJournal.com

MIO — Hunter Sandford and Carter Hirschfeld both earned championships in their weight classes for the Mason County Central wrestling team Saturday at the Mio-Ausable Invitational.

The Spartans, who took only six wrestlers to the meet, finished sixth as a team out of 19 teams in the field, while Fremont came away with first place and Gladwin was second.

Sanford, a freshman, clinched the title with a 8-2 decision over Tyler Demory of Mio.

“It was a big win for Hunter,” Spartans coach Trim Kendel said. “We will see them (Mio) at districts, and that will be big for his seed as well as his confidence level. He is wrestling really tough right now.”

Hirschfeld, a senior 140-pounder, was explosive and won all of his matches by pin. The last to go down was Jon Palmer of Traverse City West by a fall in 3:59.

“Carter has been wrestling at a super high pace,” Kendel added. “He gave up the first take-down (to trail, 2-0) and then scored eight straight points. He probably could have got more.

“He just looked fantastic, and got off the mat barely breathing hard. He’s just in phenomenal shape.

“He’s a cross country runner and runs all the time. We work very ┬áhard, and our guys in general are in really good shape anyway. All the kids are starting to figure out that they can beat pretty much anybody they get on the mat with.

“We don’t beat everybody, but we’re in there. We’re in a good spot right now.”

Zane McCabe collected a pin in his las match of the day to take third place, finishing ahead of two state qualifiers. Grayden Wilson, a freshman, was sixth at 275 pounds.

The Spartans were not originally scheduled to compete at Mio. It was a last-minute pick-up, replacing a meet they were supposed to have at Traverse City West over Christmas that was canceled.

But, it gave the Spartans an opportunity to see some of the northern schools that they’ll see at districts and regionals so Kendel feels it worked out well.

Meanwhile, at Holland West Ottawa, Nyveah Wendt won both of her matches at 105 pounds to take first place. Both wins were by falls.

“This was a good day for Nyveah,” said Kendel. “One of the wins was against a ranked opponent, which will be big when they seed the girls sectional in a few weeks.”

Next up for the Spartans is a quad at home Wednesday that includes Ludington, Holton and Big Rapids.