Late pins push Craig over Verona

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Gazette staff
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It’s one thing for a wrestler to know exactly what he needs to do in order for his team to win a dual meet.

It’s another to go out and do it.

Janesville Craig’s Arstride Serrano and Aaron Maresch knew they’d need bonus points—and likely pins—in the final two matches against Verona in a Big Eight Conference meet Tuesday night.

They got just that, with Maresch, a four-year wrestler, celebrating senior night in style with a pin at the two-minute mark at 170 pounds. The fall led the Cougars to a sudden, 41-39 victory over the Wildcats.

“It was about as excited as we’ve seen our kids in a long time,” Craig coach Mark Mullen said. “Maresch knew if he pinned him, he’d win, and he pinned him at the buzzer.”

Starting at 182 pounds, Craig found itself in a hole early on after losing five straight matches. After a couple of forfeit victories, the Cougars struck back with Grant Pleiss’ tech fall at 126 pounds and pins by Kyle LeCaptain (132) and Anthony Skrede (138).

But after Verona got two pins of its own, the Cougars knew they’d need some late-meet magic.

Serrano started it off by getting a third-period pin.

“He knew that he needed a major decision or a pin, too,” Mullen said. “And he pinned his guy. That put us in position at the end.”

Mullen said he had time to speak with Maresch right before the match, and Maresch confidently told him that he thought he could win by fall.

Two minutes later, the Cougars celebrated.

The victory moved them to 13-6 overall in duals and 4-1 in conference. They hope to carry momentum in Saturday’s five-team Big Eight duals at Madison La Follette.

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