Brookfield wrestlers win three GMC championships
John LeClaire, Dempsey, Yanasak nab titles
Brookfield East captured two individual championships and Brookfield Central one at Friday's Greater Metro Conference Tournament held at Marquette University High School.
Winning conference titles were the Spartans' John LeClaire at 195 pounds and Josh Dempsey at 138. Elliott Yanasak of Brookfield Central took first at 170 pounds.
Here is a closer look on their journey to the top.
A crowning achievement
LeClaire, who was unbeaten (9-0) in conference, led the way with 26 team points to win his first GMC title after taking second last year.
He received a quarterfinal bye and then came through with two pins over Menomonee Falls' James Dow (4-1) in the semifinal (1 minute, 20 seconds) and over West Allis Central's Tong Vang (5-4) in the finals (3:19).
"John LeClaire was dominant," East coach John Veal said. "He did not give his opponents a chance. He now has to focus on the postseason. He can do big things."
Yanasak, 7-2 in conference, won the 170 title and scored 24 team points to lead the Lancers.
He pinned Marquette's Kevin Crowley (3-6) in 2:34 in the quarterfinals and West Allis Central's Jason Alvarez (7-2) in 2:47 in the semifinal. Finally in the championship match, he beat Menomonee Falls' Jake Fuiten (7-2) with a 10-7 decision.
"Elliott wrestled well and was focused on winning," Brookfield Central coach Chris Demos said. "He really impressed me and was able to beat the Menomonee Falls kid that beat him earlier in the season. Additionally he pinned a pretty tough West Allis Central kid in the semi.
"He was also one of the most vocal on the team trying to motivate his teammates. When it was all done, he led by example."
Dempsey, who also finished unbeaten (9-0) in conference, scored 22 team points.
He had a quarterfinal bye and then won by decision over Brookfield Central's Mike Egan (6-3) in the semifinal (9-3) and by decision over West Allis Central's Alan Silva (7-2) to win the championship (4-2).
"Josh Dempsey stayed calm and defeated a tough opponent," praised Veal. "It's a great accomplishment for a sophomore to defeat two seniors in the middleweights. I think he will become the best wrestler in school history if he decides to."
Two Brookfield wrestlers finished second and two more took third, giving East and Central seven top-three finishes.
Second to only one
Brookfield Central's Joshua Peltier finished second at 126 with 20 team points.
Peltier pinned Marquette's Adam Walker (2-3) in the quarterfinal (1:39) and West Allis Central's Jose Ramos (6-4) in the semifinal (4:56), but then lost a 7-3 decision to Menomonee Falls' Casey Crangle (6-3) in the finals.
"Josh had a solid tournament too," Demos said. "He wasn't able to execute his escapes until the end of the match and by that time the Falls kid had enough points to win. Not taking away anything from Crangle, he was focused and wrestled tough."
Brookfield East's P.J. LeClaire at 220 took the other runner-up as he scored 18 team points.
After receiving a quarterfinal bye, P.J. LeClaire (7-2 in conference) topped West Allis Central's Troy Evans (6-3) with an 8-1 decision. West Allis Hale's Dallas Wanta (9-0 in GMC) then beat him in the championship match with a 10-4 decision.
"P.J. LeClaire is quickly becoming a man," Veal said. "His opponent has dominated him many times. This time he gave him a battle after he gained the confidence he could win. P.J. must now focus on other things, but that kid is ours next year. Wanta is very good, P.J. will get determined to be incredible."
A podium finish
Brookfield East's Zech Copeland (6-4 GMC record) was third at 145 with 12 team points.
He won by 9-6 decision over West Allis Central's Ryan Ulbrich (1-3) in the quarterfinal and then lost by a pin to Menomonee Falls' Sam Schwabenlander (7-2) in the semifinal (2:52).
Copeland bounced back to beat Marquette's Will Ochowicz (2-7) in the consolation semifinal with a 4-3 decision and then beat West Allis Hale's Maurice Beck (6-3) in the third-place match with a 6-3 decision.
"Zech Copeland had a disappointing semi, but really rebounded to defeat a kid that had beaten him during the season," Veal said. "He has to focus this week and have a good week in practice."
Brookfield Central's Jake Giersch (4-2 in GMC) finished third at 285 with 12 team points.
Giersch had a quarterfinal bye, was pinned by Menomonee Falls's Trayvon Handy (6-3) in the semifinal (3:20), but then bounced back strong.
He pinned Sussex Hamilton's Brad Biswell (1-5) in the consolation semifinal (2:53) and won the third-place match by rallying to win a 16-10 decision over West Allis Central's Robert Torres (2-3).
"Jake is a first year wrestler and was almost in the finals," Demos said. "He lost a match he was winning in the semis. From where he came from at the beginning of the season to where he is at now is impressive. Additionally, he was down by five points at one point in the third-place match."
The Spartans' Micah Childs at 182 scored 14 team points (two pins), Sam Behling at 132 scored 11 team points (pin decision) and Malcolm Vetter at 113 scored nine points (decision, bye), all finishing in fourth place.
The Lancers Brandon Fong at 160 scored 13 points (bye, pin), Mike Egan at 138 scored 12 points (decision, pin) and Julien Selby at 152 had 11 points (bye, decision).
Brookfield Central's Jacob Benning at 113, Alex Espada at 120 and James Wartman at 195 scored seven points each for fifth-place finishes.
Brookfield East's Ben Lingeman at 126 scored six points and Connor Cera at 170 scored three points to finish sixth.
Feb. 1, at Marquette
1. Menomonee Falls 246.5
2. West Allis Central 218.0
3. West Allis Nathan Hale 204.0
4. Sussex Hamilton 125.0
5. Brookfield East 121.0
6. Brookfield Central 112.0
7. Marquette 85.0
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