WHITEHALL – For a kid who just had one of the biggest nights of his high school wrestling career, Whitehall’s Aiden Weiler sure seemed calm.

Maybe that was because he’s used to winning on an individual level, and he’s used to being part of a team that wins a great deal, too.

Weiler and the Vikings hosted a Division 2 team regional wrestling tournament on Wednesday night, and it couldn’t have gone better for the home squad.

Whitehall waltzed past Kenowa Hills 73-3 in the regional semifinals, then used a big finish to defeat Allendale 43-18 in the finals to capture their second straight regional championship and earn their second straight berth in the state quarterfinals.

Whitehall’s Aiden Weiler poses with his coaches after winning his 100th career match in the regional semifinal match. Photo/Tonya Pardon

The Vikings will compete in the quarterfinals a week from Friday in Kalamazoo, with a chance to advance to the state semifinals, and perhaps the finals, the following day.

Last year Whitehall advanced to the Division 3 state finals, which was its first appearance in a state title match in the long, successful history of the program. This year’s squad, 25-0 in dual matches and ranked No 2 in the state, would love the opportunity to get another crack at a state title, this time in Division 2.

“We have a lot of experience, we’ve kind of been through the battle, and we also have some really good freshmen,” said Whitehall co-coach Collin Zeerip. “Each year is a different team, and this is a really special group.

“Certainly we want to get back to the finals and see what happens, and we will be taking it as it comes.”

For Weiler, the night was extra special, because he pinned Kenowa Hills’ Harley Bentley in 30 seconds in the semifinals to record the 100th victory of his varsity career.

Weiler works on a pin of his opponent in the semifinals. Photo/Tonya Pardon

He added another victory, a pin of Allendale’s Craig Stoepker in 22 seconds in the finals, to nail down a perfect evening.

Weiler was happy when it was all over, but was not jumping up and down like one might expect.

“I don’t know overall, but I do know 101 wins,” Weiler said, when asked what his career record is now. “It was a fun night, especially to do this at home.

“I think our team can go pretty far. We just have to keep grinding and never stop. I think it would be great, being first in the state.”

When told that he seemed unusually calm on such a great night, Weiler smiled, shrugged and said, “I’m a senior and I’ve been doing this my whole career. Another night, another win.”

The Vikings were completely dominant in the semifinal victory over Kenowa Hills, winning 13 of 14 matches, with pins in nine of them.

Whitehall’s Wyatt Jenkins grabs his opponent’s foot in a match in the regional semifinals. Photo/Tonya Pardon

Gaining pins for the Vikings were Weiler (140 pounds, completed in 30 seconds), Wyatt Jenkins (160, 12 seconds), Nick Blanchard (171, 1:31), Ira Jenkins (285, 34 seconds), Dylan Osborn (112, 1:50), Riley Buys (130, 1:13), Ryan Goodrich (135. 3:09), Max Brown (140, 1:07) and Alec Pruett (152, 12 seconds).

The championship match against Allendale was a little more dramatic.

The Vikings lost the first match at 171 pounds and trailed 3-0.  They rebounded with a 3-1 victory by Nick Blanchard at 189 pounds, a quick pin by Ira Jenkins at 215, a 7-5 win by Shane Cook at 285 and an 11-8 win by Nolan Taranko at 103 to take a 15-3 lead.

Allendale bounced back with wins at 112 and 119 pounds to pull within three points of the Vikings. Whitehall’s Ryan Christenson (125) won 15-0 in a technical fall to give his team a 20-15 edge, but Allendale got victories at 130 and 135 pounds to leave the Vikings clinging to a 20-18 lead.

Then the Vikings got the big wins when they needed them to nail down the victory. Weiler got his second pin of the evening to make the score 26-18. Brown got his second pin in just 30 seconds to extend the lead to 32-18, Pruett got a pin in just six seconds at 152 pounds and Wyatt Jenkins closed out the victory with a 16-0 technical fall at 16 pounds.

“We wrestled really well tonight,” Coach Zeerip said. “We had a touch challenge from Allendale. Everybody across the board fought super hard, and our seniors at the end kind of put us over the top.”