No matter what happens Saturday at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Constantine’s Andres Montoya and Daniel Waterman are coming home with Division 4 all-state medals.
Though Montoya’s title pursuit at 140 pounds came to an end in the championship semifinals Friday after a 16-0 technical fall to Hudson Area’s Cole Weaver, he’ll have a shot at as high as third place beginning Saturday morning and can finish no lower than sixth.
Waterman, too, has an opportunity for third place, which would require three straight victories on the final day of competition.
The top-eight wrestlers in each weight class earn all-state status.
Montoya beat Norway’s Cole Conzalez with a reversal in overtime in the quarterfinals earlier Friday.
“He took me down first and held me down for a while before I reversed him and tied it up (in regulation),” Montoya told joeinsider.com before his semifinal bout. “It wasn’t until the third period when I took the lead. I got called for stalling twice and we were tied up again and went into overtime where I was able to get behind him and win the match.”
It was Montoya’s first loss of his senior campaign.
Waterman, a sophomore 160-pounder, pinned Leroy-Pine River Area’s Jeff Gross in 4:57 before earning a 3-2 decision over Gobles’ Mason Lawson in the blood round to secure a medal.
Brother Andy Waterman was defeated 6-5 by Bronson’s Jukoada Sexton in a blood-round bout at 152.
In his first state finals, Mendon junior heavyweight Cole Harrison bowed out in Friday’s consolation first round, losing to Detroit-Loyola’s Alan Taylor 7-5.
Harrison, much closer to 200 pounds than 285, felt like his speed was countered by some savvy gamesmanship on the part of Taylor.
“He said he was injured a couple times and that resulted in the ref calling injuring time,” Harrison said. “The kid was taking a simple breather because I had worn him out.”
Still, Harrison soaked in the experience.
“Being down inside the bullpen before your match is such a cool feeling,” he said. “You’re down there looking up at all the fans while you warm up and you feel so small down there. Walking out of the bullpen for the first time was a little heart racing at first, but once you walk out there you have to think of it as just another wrestling match. The Grand March around the arena is probably the most exhilarating part of the meet, especially for a first time.
“Everyone in the Palace is clapping and cheering for you and everyone else who had qualified. It’s amazing to know out of all the wrestlers in the state you are one of the few who gets to wrestle in the Palace.”