MISHAWAKA — Wawasee earned places in three weight classes at the ultra-tough Al Smith Classic, which ended its two-day run Thursday, Dec. 30 at Mishawaka High School.

Finishing seventh in the 32-team event for the Warriors was senior Dylan Tom (126). Juniors Logan Stuckman (132) and Gavin Malone (160) both finished eighth. Tom is now 15-2 in 2021-22 while Stuckman is 17-4 and Malone 18-3.

“We were thinking if we were to get seven (from Day 1 to Day 2) that would be a perfect (tournament),” said Wawasee coach Frank Bumgardner. “We got three but four lost in the round to come (to the second day). We were really close.

“We feel as though we competed really, really well. We just got exposed in some areas against some really good competition. This is probably one of the better tournaments we’ve seen at the Al Smith in quite awhile — as far as depth top to bottom.”

The event was canceled in 2020-21 because the of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its return, Crown Point put nine grapplers in the finals and took the team title with 316.5 points to outdistance Center Grove (282.5), Indianapolis Cathedral (195) and Penn (178.5), Bloomington South (178).

Also competing for the Warriors, which placed 15th with 79 points, was freshman Colten Coburn (106), sophomore Noah Wolf (113), freshman Jay Miller-Harris (120), junior Hunter Miller (138), freshman Ethan Rodriguez (145), senior Landen Dilley (152), junior Cameron Zimmerman (170), senior Tim Shortt (182), junior Blair Donovan and junior Colt Dolsen (220).

Bumgardner went on about the quality of the field.

“Guys that were getting beat two rounds before qualifying for (Day 2) were pretty good,” said Bumgardner. “We had a couple (junior varsity) guys get in there at a couple weight classes and they competed well.

“We got to get better.”

Bumgardner knows that the Al Smith can also take a shot at a wrestler’s confidence.

“That’s where we’ve got to keep perspective,” said Bumgardner. “We got a little emotional in a couple of matches, you know? You wrestled really, really hard and things aren’t working you get really frustrated. But this is against some of the top kids in the state. It’s not like it’s against a first-year wrestler.”

Wawasee will get to see some of the wrestlers at the Al Smith Classic plenty of more times this season in Northern Lakes Conference duals and the NLC tournament plus the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches State Duals (Jan. 8 at Martinsville) state tournament series, which takes the Warriors to the Plymouth Sectional, Penn Regional and East Chicago Semsitate prior to the State Finals Feb. 18-19 and Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Warsaw did not take any wrestlers into the second at the Al Smith Classic. The Tigers (53) placed 25th.

Complete Al Smith Classic results are on trackwrestling.com.