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Returning Champions Face One Another

Returning to the state finals is unique in itself, but wrestling another returning state champion is exceptional by any standard. Gavin Grater, 2013 state champion at weight 182, will be competing against Nick Wuthrow, 2013 state champion weight 170, for this year’s state title at 182 pounds.

Right: Gavin Grater on the podium after winning the 182 class

“A lot of hard work has gone into this season. It feels good to have it pay off,” Wuthnow said. “It feels great to have come this far.
Wuthrow is a student at Sacred Heart High School, but wrestles with Southeast of Saline during the regular season. Then, during the regional and state tournaments, he wrestles with Sacred Heart. He enters the championship bout with an undefeated record of 40-0.

“I like wrestling with Southeast of Saline. At first I was unsure about combining, but when I got there they treated me like family and accepted me as one of them,” Wuthrow said.

Although wrestling for Sacred Heart, Wuthrow is being coached by the coaching staff at Southeast of Saline during the state tournament.

“His toughest challenge is going to be this finals match,” head coach Dave Lanning said. “My advice is to go out and enjoy it, wrestle his match, and finish his senior year strong.”

Left: Grater and Wuthrow wrestling in the finals.

Gavin Grater, Wuthrow’s opponent is a senior at Riley County High School. Grater was expected to make it a perfect season. That pressure was lifted off his shoulders when he lost at Bobcat Classic.

“We had to bounce back from the loss and continue to fight for the state title. He had to work to gain his dominance back,” head coach and older brother Danny Grater said.

Gavin practiced hard to prepare for his state match-ups. Winning his first three matches of the state tournament helped to boost his self-confidence.

“Knowing that I was ranked number two all year, I want to prove that I’m number one by winning this final match,” Grater said.
Grater also has something else to motivate him in the finals. Tomorrow marks eight years since his father, Greg Grater, a well-known figure in the kids’ wrestling circles, passed away.

Right: Wuthrow on the podium after winning the 2013 170 weight class

“My brother taking over my dad’s position of coaching me has been a big part of my success,” Gavin Grater said. “When I win this match tonight, it will be for my dad, nobody else.

The two’s match will definitely be one to watch, with each wrestler having different qualities that make them exceptional wrestlers.

Baylee Werth


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