INDIANAPOLIS – Wawasee wrestlers made an imprint on the 2018-19 season.

“When you bring three and you get three on the podium, it’s a really good tournament,” said Wawasee coach Frank Bumgardner after seeing senior Braxton Alexander (138 pounds) place second, senior Geremia Brooks (132) third and sophomore Jace Alexander (120) sixth in the IHSAA state finals Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.”

We’ve got a lot of good things going on in our program right now and these guys are leading the way.”

After winning first-round matches Friday, all three Wawasee grapplers took to the mats three times Saturday.

Braxton Alexander (38-2) bested Avon sophomore Jaden Reynolds 5-3 and Roncalli junior Tyce Freije 8-1 before losing a 9-2 finals decision to Columbus East senior Cayden Rooks (a two-time state champion and one-time state runner-up).

It had been since 1999 when Kevin Carr won a state championship at 160 that a Wawasee wrestler competed in the finals.

“It’s a very big milestone for our program moving forward,” said Bumgardner of the Warriors’ state finals showing. “We want to continue to put multiple guys on the podium year after year.

“These guys have grown up in this program and the younger kids look up to them as big brothers. When big brothers do big things on the big stage, they want to chase it, too. Our younger guys are getting used to this stage and that’s what we want.”

Brooks (39-2) beat North Montgomery senior Seth Johnson 11-3 before losing 3-2 to Avon senior Asa Garcia (a two-time state champion) and topping Jimtown junior Matt Gimson 3-2 in the third place match.

“He’s wrestled absolutely phenomenal all year long,” Bumgardner said of Brooks.

Jace Alexander (31-12) was pinned by Roncalli junior Brayden Lowery, defeated Culver Military junior William Finnearty 7-0 and lost 5-1 to Crown Point junior Riley Bettich in the fifth place match.

“Jace getting sixth in a very deep weight class, probably the deepest in the state, I’m extremely, extremely proud of him,” said Bumgardner.

“He’s come a long way this year. Moving up two weight classes, he’s really found out how to manipulate his body that’s bigger.”

Indianapolis Cathedral won the team title with 78 points. Wawasee (32) came in 12th.

The final session drew 11,986 spectators. Weekend attendance for the three sessions was 31,352.