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Waldhauser, Subjeck headed to state tournament

By: Matt Long
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Vince Waldhauser is a Masters Wrestling Champion and Keaton Subjeck placed second as both Oak Ridge wrestlers will participate in this weekend’s state wrestling tournament in Bakersfield. Waldhauser, 44-1 on the year, won the 160-pound weight class in convincing fashion, defeating his first four opponents by pin before earning a dominating 9-3 win over McNair’s Jim Wilson in the finals. It was a matchup between the No. 2-ranked wrestler in the state (Waldhauser) and the No. 3-ranked guy (Wilson) and Waldhauser dominated him. “I just slowed things down, wrestled the match at my pace and did what I wanted to do,” Waldhauser said. The two met in the finals of the Tim Brown Tournament earlier this season and Waldhauser narrowly won the match, but this time was in control from the start. “Vince wrestles his best in big matches,” Oak Ridge coach Casey Rhyan said. “He always wrestles better the second time he wrestles someone. He changed his style a bit, trying to stay on his feet more and be more physical and it worked. I didn’t expect him to dominate in the finals, but he did in every position.” Subjeck, 40-6 on the season, placed second at 145 pounds, pinning his first two opponents before earning a 9-3 win in the quarterfinals over Blake Matis. In the semis he was matched up with David Ferry, the defending state champion from Oakdale. In one of the surprise finishes of the tournament, Subjeck not only beat Ferry, but also pinned him early in the second period. “I knew that I could beat him but not like that,” Subjeck said. “It shocked me. He beat me 9-1 or 9-2 at Tim Brown, but I caught him with an underhook and threw him to his back and pinned him.” Rhyan added, “As you can image we went crazy after the win. Everyone was fired up. We had a game plan coming into the match and Keaton was aggressive and had the opportunity to throw him and he did. He had one of the biggest smiles walking off the mat and that’s saying something because Keaton’s always smiling.” Waldhauser enjoyed watching the big win as well. “It was awesome,” Waldhauser said. “He caught him and it was cool. That just proves that anybody can get caught and it was an exciting moment.” In the finals against Oakmont’s Jake Elliott, Subjeck wrestled well but came out on the short side of a 7-3 score. “I knew I’d have to wrestle my best because he’s beat me twice before this season,” Subjeck said. “Even though I lost, I feel as though I can beat him if I change things up. I have to believe I can beat him and if I’m ready to go I think I can.” After placing second in the state last year at 160 pounds, Waldhauser’s goal for the state tournament is simple: win a gold medal. “I’m going to let it all loose and let if fly and whatever happens, happens,” Waldhauser said. “I’m going to treat it like any other tournament and take it one match at a time. If I treat it differently I’ll wrestle differently (and I don’t want to do that.)” For Subjeck, he looks to improve on last year’s tournament where he lost both his matches. “My goal is to earn a medal and it will be tough because everyone’s good,” Subjeck said. “I plan on taking it like any other tournament and not psyche myself out. I plan to stay aggressive, give it my all and have fun.” Rhyan feels both his wrestlers can do well. “All the matches are big now,” Rhyan said. “They have to take each match one at a time and don’t make opponents better than they are and not overlook anyone at the same time. They need to pretend they’re wrestling a blank face and just go out thee and do their best.” At the Master Tournament, Alex Diaz (152) won two matches, while Cameron Miller (125), Taylor Ellerman (140), Zach Claiborne (171) and Preston Dean (189) each won a match, while Xavier Lopez, competing at 215 pounds, dropped both his matches.