PREP WRESTLING | STATE FINALS NOTES

Garcia, Roadruck cap careers with consolation wins at state wrestling finals

2013-02-16T19:00:00Z 2013-02-17T00:55:07Z Garcia, Roadruck cap careers with consolation wins at state wrestling finalsJim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com
February 16, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | If it turns out to be Adam Garcia's final go-round on the mat, the Merrillville senior at least made his last memory a good one.

Garcia (37-3), who has offers but is undecided on whether he will wrestle in college, rebounded from a quarterfinal loss at state Saturday to take his next two matches, finishing fifth with a 5-3 overtime win over Zionsville's Preston Mantel.

"I didn't want to lose my last match," Garcia said. "That's what made me kick it in during the overtime. I knew I had to get it. I'm not completely satisfied, but I fought back after losing. Three and one's not too bad."

A fourth-place finisher at the same weight last year, Garcia plans to study criminal justice and wants to go to school locally to be close to his family.

Cherishing the moment: A senior competing in his first state finals, Lowell's Mitch Roadruck soaked in every minute of the weekend.

"It was a great experience," he said. "I've been coming here since I was 5, watching the parade of champions. All the guys I looked up to, now I'm one of them. Someone's in the stands looking up to me now."

Roadruck, who plans to wrestle in college, finished seventh at 145.

"It's something I've always wanted," he said of a state medal. "It took me a while but I finally got it done. It feels kind of surreal."

First time around: After finishing seventh at 113, Portage freshman Gaige Torres came away from his state debut a bit disappointed but by no means discouraged.

"I learned it's no joke," Torres said. "You've got to go the whole time, non-stop, be prepared, be ready for anything, be tough mentally and physically. I'll hit the weights hard in the summer and come back ready for another great season."

Torres lost in the quarterfinals 12-3 to then-unbeaten Connor Knapp of East Noble before coming back to win his last two matches.

"I thought I could've done better, at least fifth or sixth," Torres said. "I should've beaten Knapp, but you can't leave it up to the officials."

Beyond his years: Merrillville's Shawn Streck was the only freshman in the field of 16 at 285, of which there were 14 juniors and seniors. Streck finished seventh, receiving an injury default from South Bend Clay's Shakir Carr after losing a 1-0 quarterfinal to finalist Donte Whitfield of Perry Meridian.

"It's a great atmosphere, wrestling in front of all these people," Streck said. "I'm optimistic. I'm looking forward to it all. I can't wait to get back out there next year."

DQ not a treat: Hanover's Josh Bartoszek was disqualified for an illegal slam in his fifth-place match after Jay County's Eric Hemmelgarn hit the mat with a resounding thud. After being down for several minutes, he was able to walk, albeit gingerly.

"It's really disappointing. I really didn't mean to do it," Bartoszek said. "He's tall, so I had to try to get up underneath him. You're wrestling and stuff happens. It was all a blur."

The loss was a downer ending to a great run by Bartoszek, who took sixth in the state in only is third year of wrestling.

"It feels really good," he said. "It's all about my practice partner and coaches. They're amazing. They got me here."

Medal count: Other area medalists were Mark Maldonado (Highland, fourth, 160), Josh Fuqua (Crown Point, sixth, 126) and Mike Eldridge (LaPorte, sixth, 170).

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