Zac Hall has a new co-favorite number – 18.
Hall became the 18th wrestler in state history to join the illustrious list of 4-time state champions, Saturday, beating Alec Ward of Greenville 12-2 for the 140 pound Division 2 title in the MHSAA Wrestling State Finals at The Palace.
“It’s the most amazing thing in the world right there, I’m going to remember that for the rest of my life,” Hall said of the huge standing ovation he received from the crowd as the referee raised his right arm to the sky.
“Thousands and thousands of people, all clapping for me. Man, that’s just the most awesome feeling. It’s a once in a lifetime kind of thing right there.”
Hall said his favorite number was 4, but that’s being adjusted.
“I like 4, but 18’s not a bad one either,” he said. “Four and 18, I’m going to have to hang that on my wall.”
Hall’s teammates Logan Massa and Angus Arthur each won their second state titles — Massa at 152 and Arthur at 189 — both finishing their seasons undefeated. Mark Bozzo (38-8) finished runner up at 145. Arthur’s 5-2 win was over Garett Stehley of Lowell, adding to the intense rivalry between the two schools.
“That was definitely part of the motivation,” Arthur said of finishing second to Lowell on a tie breaker in the team finals last weekend. “I kept on my attacks and I knew if I got one or two takedowns the match was going to be over.”
DeWitt sophomore Austin Melton won the Div. 2 championship at 135 pounds with a 13-4 victory over Collin Lieber of Crosswell-Lexington. Earlier in the tournament his older brother, Kameron, lost in the quarterfinals, or they could have faced off in the semis of 135. Instead, Austin beat quarterfinal winner Jordan Hall of Lowell to reach the final.
“I think he was going to let me get the win because I let him get the win at regionals,” Austin said of the potential matchup.
“My coaches told me to stick to what I’ve always been doing, just take it to them, score as much points as possible to get up as fast as you can,” he added about the win over Lieber. “I brought the pressure, kept the pace a little higher than normal. (The state title) is the best thing you can ever feel.”
Also in Division 2, Jaedin Skalpsky of Eaton Rapids took second place at 130 and Fowlerville senior Dalton Roberts was runner up at 103.
The Storr brothers of Leslie tasted bitter sweetness in Div. 3 in each going for their second state titles.
Kanen Storr (57-2) lost in the 119 pound match against another defending champ, Devin Schroder of Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 5-2.
“Watching him lose, that hurt me more than anything,” said older brother Zehlin. “I was practically in tears before my match, but I had to brush it off, keep walking, get ready for my match. He’s a sophomore, he’s got two more years. I’m proud of him.”
Zehlin said they shared no words after the loss, just a hug was needed.
“It feels great to end on a great note,” Zehlin Storr said of his 140-pound win over another defending champ, Doug Rojem of Dundee, 3-1. “I did exactly what I set out to do. It feels amazing.”
Corunna’s Tristan Serbus (45-1) won the 103-pound title in Div. 3 and Alex Young (34-8) was runner up at 135.
At 215 pounds in Div. 4, Laingsburg’s Kevin Koenig (48-3) beat previously undefeated Patrick Harbin Jr., of Detroit Loyola, 14-2.
“I knew as soon as I got that first takedown I could takedown the whole match,” Koenig said. “He couldn’t stop it. I was working for the pin but he was strong on the bottom. But it felt good to beat him on a bunch of points.”
Dansville’s Dresden Simon finished runner up at 119.
Mid-Michigan’s Div. 1 representatives in the finals each finished the night runner up — Holt’s Martin Rodriguez (45-2) at 119 and East Lansing heavyweight Brian Darios.