MISHAWAKA – Kyle Hatch claimed his third championship Friday in the prestigious Al Smith Invitational the old-fashioned way.
The Warsaw star wrestler earned it.
Hatch beat a pair of previously undefeated grapplers on the final day of the 32-team event to claim to the top of the podium for the third straight year.
Senior Hatch ran his season mark to a perfect 28-0 with impressive wins over Logan Coyle of Center Grove in the semifinals and Kenny Kerrn of Jimtown in the title match to take home bragging rights in the 152-pound class.
Hatch beat Coyle by a pin in the semifinals and then topped Kerrn by a 6-4 decision in the finale. Kerry was the No. 3 ranked wrestler in his class.
Hatch, who went 5-0 in the loaded two-day event at Mishawaka High School, has placed at the State Finals twice in his illustrious prep career for the Tigers.
A pair of Jimtown wrestlers earned titles for the Jimmies, who finished in a tie for seventh place in the final team standings.
Sophomore Hunter Watts of Jimtown claimed a title at 113 and classmate Conner Grimson earned a championship at 132. Watts is now 20-1 on the season and Grimson improves to 21-0.
Portage totaled 220.5 points to claim the team championship among the 32 squads in the field.
Warsaw returns to action at Goshen on Jan. 12.