Verona heavyweight Jay Hanson and 106-pounder Blake Herburger won their respective weight classes at the Whitewater Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 14.

The Wildcats dropped a pair of Big Eight Conference road duals in the same week, falling to Middleton 53-30 on Friday, Dec. 13, and Janesville Craig 56-16 on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Whitewater Invitational

Verona finished fourth out of 12 teams with 149 points, as five of the Wildcats’ 12 wrestlers placed in the top three.

Hanson improved to 12-1 with 10 pins on the season with his dominant performance. He pinned Whitewater’s Zach Porter in 1:50, Kenosha Bradford’s Venicio Vasquez in 3:49, Rockford Auburn (IL)’s Kolangi Roundtree in 42 seconds and Palmyra-Eagle’s Bryce Stephan in 1:12. He then won a 9-1 major decision against Janesville Craig’s Braeden Hopkins in the championship match.

Herburger won a 10-3 decision over Whitewater’s CJ Tomomitsu and pinned Bradford’s Santino Pignotti-Wojtak in 1:29 to win his weight class.

Cael Wozniak improved his record to 11-2 with 10 pins, as he finished second with a 4-1 mark at 145 pounds. He pinned Clinton’s Ben Jacobs in 1:25, Craig’s Aidan Romack in 5:37, Auburn’s Jaw’Hed Wainwright in 2:21 and Racine Park’s Dartrell Joshua in 3:19. Bradford’s Cole Ramos pinned Wozniak in the first period of the championship match.

Ben Grandau (126) finished second at 126 with a 3-2 record. He lost a 9-0 major decision to Beloit Turner’s Justin Teague in the championship match. Grandau bounced back from an 11-8 loss to Bradford’s Nick Mendoza with a 9-4 win over Waukesha North’s Paul Selberg and pins of Palmyra-Eagle’s Luke Hausser (0:59) and Racine Park’s Justin Bailey-Prescott (4:47).

Eric Blum (152) finished third with a 3-2 record. He was one of three wrestlers to make the championship round after pinning Palmyra-Eagle’s Fletcher Ballman in 42 seconds, Big Foot’s Julian Klein in 1:24 and Auburn’s Brandon Ferguson in 1:34. Whitewater’s David Cushman and Craig’s Sebastian Getchell pinned Blum in the first period.

Caden Page (170) finished fifth with a 3-2 record, while Adam Murphy (220) placed fifth with a 2-3 mark.

Page won his last three matches after being pinned in his first two bouts. He pinned Clinton’s Kameron Christiansen in 1:31, beat Whitewater’s Martin Gonzalez 7-2 and pinned Whitewater’s Denver Isbell in 54 seconds in the fifth-place match.

Murphy won his last two matches after being pinned in the first three. He pinned Clinton’s Lance Kutz in 1:47 and Clinton’s Cameron Boggess in 3:34 in the fifth-place match.

Logan Neuroth (138) and Achilles Mendes (182) finished sixth with 2-3 records.

Neuroth (138) lost 14-9 to Whitewater’s Marcus DePorter, then pinned Park’s Freddy Vital in 1:10. He bounced back from a first-period pin by Bradford’s Abel Castillo to pin Turner’s Nate Pozzani in 4:44. Clinton’s Rylan Maly pinned Neuroth in the first period of their fifth-place match.

Mendes pinned Kenosha Bradford’s Eli Douglas in 5:59 and won by injury default against Big Foot’s Sam Flom after being pinned in his first two bouts. He was pinned in the first period by Craig’s Grant Mullen in their fifth-place match.

Spencer Lokken (160) pinned Palmyra-Eagle’s Kenneth Schulz in 38 seconds, but lost his four other matches to finish eighth. Jacob Munson (132) and Garrett Heitke (285) were pinned in all four of their matches.

Craig won the team title with 231 points.

Middleton 53, Verona 30

The Wildcats won five of the nine contested matches, but fell to 1-2 in Big Eight duals after forfeiting five weight classes.

Page pinned Will Grosspietch in 35 seconds at 170 pounds. Hanson (285) pinned Keda Seals in 1:35. Wozniak (145) pinned Hernan Carranza in 2:20, and Murphy (220) pinned Adham Elshaboury in 3:58. Grandau (126) pinned Walker Hargrove in 4:43.

Herburger (106), Neuroth (138), Blum (152) and Lokken (160) lost via pin. Verona forfeited at 113, 120, 132, 182 and 195.

Janesville Craig 56, Verona 15

Wozniak pinned Romack in 3:13 at 145 pounds, and Hanson won a 10-5 decision over Hopkins at 285. Herburger (106) received a forfeit victory.

Grandau lost a 9-7 decision to Juan Armas at 120. Blum (152) lost via technical fall. Austin Conrad (126), Neuroth (138), Page (170), Mendes (182) and Murphy (220) lost via pin.

Both teams forfeited at 113. Verona forfeited at 132, 160 and 195.