Utica’s Nick Mason qualifies for state tournament

By: Thomas Franz | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 4, 2015

 Utica’s Nick Mason qualified for the individual state finals by placing third in the 152-pound class at the Oxford regional on Feb. 21.

Utica’s Nick Mason qualified for the individual state finals by placing third in the 152-pound class at the Oxford regional on Feb. 21.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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OXFORD — For the second year in a row, a Mason brother will be wrestling at the MHSAA Division 1 individual state tournament.

Nick Mason, a Utica High junior, took third place in the 152-pound flight at the Oxford regional on Feb. 21 to qualify for the state tournament.

“I think it’s been a little bit of a brotherly rivalry. His brother made it last year, so I think that’s kind of motivated him to work hard,” Utica coach Clint Davis said.

Nick’s brother, Sam, who graduated last year, competed in the 171-pound flight in 2014.

“My brother made it to states last year, so I really wanted to make it to states and place,” Mason said.

To reach the state tournament, Mason went through an up-and-down day at regionals.

He started with a pinfall victory in the first round against Joeseph Kurta from Grosse Pointe South, but fell to Tristan Szajna from Chippewa Valley in a semifinal.

Mason said he lost a bit of concentration heading into his semifinal bout, but was able to regain his focus heading into the blood round.

He defeated Michael Wells from Utica Ford in the blood round by a 5-1 decision to assure a trip to states.

Mason finished his day with a pinfall win against John Staron from Troy Athens to take third place.

“We definitely thought Nick would come out as a state qualifier today,” Davis said. “He pulled through for us. We told him that we wanted to see another good performance against Troy Athens, and he did that, so we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do at The Palace.”

Mason will enter the state tournament with a 43-7 record and ranked 12th in his weight class. He will begin the state tournament against Kolin Leyrer, a sophomore from Holt. The individual state tournament starts on March 5 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

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