Lakeview’s Bauslaugh relishing shot at wrestling state finals

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 24, 2017

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — It’s been a long road for St. Clair Shores Lakeview senior heavyweight Austin Bauslaugh.

The 285-pound grappler has battled his way to regionals each of the last three seasons. In 2015 and 2016, Bauslaugh, also a standout on the Huskies football team, lost in the blood round when a win would have sent him to The Palace of Auburn Hills.

This year, the Lakeview senior put it all on the line and will finally compete at the wrestling state finals.

Bauslaugh, 31-6 overall, took third in his weight class at a Feb. 18 Division 1 regional to advance. The top four placers in each weight class move on to the state finals.

Now, after two years of heartbreak, Bauslaugh will compete on the biggest stage.

“You lose two years in a row in the blood round, you start to think you’re not supposed to get to the state finals,” Bauslaugh said. “I think I was a little hungrier this year. It’s my last year, so it was now or never. I had to make it happen.”

Huskies coach Steve Nicholl said he’s seen a difference in Bauslaugh this season in terms of determination and preparation. Nicholl, who led Lakeview to a second straight district championship this year, said he’s extremely proud of Bauslaugh and admires his perseverance.

“I told him going into regionals that he had to put his heart into it, and that’s what he did,” Nicholl said of Bauslaugh. “Just watching him fight through and battle — it’s great to see it happen to him. Austin is a great kid. He deserves this.”

Nicholl said he thinks Bauslaugh will have a strong showing at the state finals, set for March 2-4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Lakeview coach said Bauslaugh has all the tools to make a deep run.

Bauslaugh said he’ll take it one match at time at the finals. Leading up to the competition, the Huskies senior said he’ll work on positioning and securing quick takedowns.

Wrestling on The Palace floor in front of a crowd from all over the state, Bauslaugh said he won’t let the atmosphere get to him.

“I’m just going to treat every match like a regular match,” Bauslaugh said. “I know it’s a big stage, but I’ll show up. I’ll be ready.”

For full coverage of the state wrestling finals, visit candgnews.com.

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