Each of the five Whitehall wrestlers who qualified for the Section II championships picked up wins last weekend, just not the ones they were looking for.
Brandon Steves, Jake Gregory, Jason Ashline, Josh Bressette and Zach Rozell all performed well, but ultimately fell short of qualifying for the New York State Championships at the end of the month.
Steves came the closest, finishing fourth at 182 pounds. Gregory wrapped up an outstanding finish with a fifth place finish at 160 pounds; Ashline (120), a freshman, went 2-2 wrestling in his Sectional Championship and Josh Bressette (126) and Zach Rozell (285) each went 1-2.
Steves, a senior, was hoping to qualify for the state tournament for the first time but fell just two wins short.
Steves advanced all the way to the semifinals after defeated Ravena’s Keith Houghtaling 11-2 in the quarterfinals. Steves was eventually pinned by Schalmont’s Nick Gallo, who went onto to win the Section II championship.
Steves dropped a close 5-3 decision in the consolation round to finish fourth.
The loss ended an otherwise brilliant season for Steves, who won his first Section II, Class D title on Feb. 8.
Like Steves, Gregory advanced all the way to the semifinals with a 7-5 decision over Section II, Class CC champ Keivon Wood in the quarterfinals but was defeated by Duanesburg’s Connor Lawrence 13-2.
Gregory finishes the season with more than 30 wins, including 22 pins and will be a favorite to advance to the Section II finals next year.
Ashline, the youngest of the five wrestlers to qualify for the Section II tournament, finished with a .500 record while Rozell and Bressette each picked up a win against an opponent who beat them earlier in the season.