The Menomonie wrestling team will send three to this weekend’s Division 1 state individual wrestling championships including one sectional championship by virtue of their top-two finishes on Saturday at sectionals hosted by the Mustangs.
Jake Boyette won a sectional title at 170 pounds while Sam Skillings and Andrew Fenton finished second at 182 and 285 pounds, respectively, to advance.
“I thought we had a great day today,” Menomonie co-coach Ray Paul said. “Our kids came out and left everything they had on the mat. Our kids didn’t let calls, reactions, losses or who they wrestled affect their mindset our approach to the mat. We have focused on on only taking care of the things we can control and our kids did that today.”
Boyette (35-9) was strong on his way to the title with a pinfall win and major decision victory advancing him to the finals where he pinned Eau Claire Memorial’s Levi Smith for the championship.
“Obviously the highlight of the day was Jake Boyette pinning Levi Smith, who we have lost big to twice this year,” Paul said. “He is a kid that deserves the day he had as much as anyone. Our whole team was very proud of the opportunity he took advantage of.”
Both Skillings and Fenton bounced back from defeats in their respective first-place matches to win their matchups for second place. Skillings (42-2) earned two pinfall wins in the first period to make his way to the finals, where he fell by a 13-6 decision to Marshfield’s Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann. Skillings recovered to pin Hudson’s Hank Gierke in one minute, 48 seconds for second.
Fenton (39-5) also scored two pinfall wins in his first two matches to advance to the finals. He fell by a 5-3 decision to Wisconsin Rapids’ Mike Iverson, but pinned Marshfield’s Samual Haessly for second.
“Getting three through was a great day for Menomonie, especially with two kids having to come back and win the wrestleback match,” Paul said. “I explained it to our kids that it’s the match that shows which wrestler recovers mentally for their previous match, warms up properly and truly wants to punch their ticket (to state) more.”
Girard Jones (10-4) took third at 220 pounds, winning his opening matchup by decision before falling in the second round to Stevens Point’s Jared Rohde by 6-1 decision. Jones pinned Wausau West’s Justin Bonke for third before falling to Rohde by decision for second.
Nick Haviland (17-21), Chris Haviland (138) and Sam Thompson (32-8) each fell in their opening matchups of the day. The Menomonie trio now turns its attention to the state championships, beginning Thursday and running through Saturday at the Kohl Center in Madison.
“Also having the sectionals in our home gym and the support we got from our team, supports and community was incredible,” Paul said. “The home gym advantage was easy to see as our kids came out to wrestle.”
Boyceville advances six to Division 3 state
At Independence, the Bulldogs had six grapplers move on to state with top-three finishes at a Division 3 sectional.
Josiah Berg (106), Nate Stuart (120), Ira Bialzik (126), Nick Goodell (138), Brock Schlough (152) and Trett Joles (182) all are moving on with Berg, Schlough and Joles winning titles in their respective weight classes.
“It was a great day to be a Bulldog,” Boyceville coach Jamie Olson said. “All seven kids wrestled really well. I’m proud of their efforts and determination all day long. We didn’t have a match were you can say, we didn’t wrestle well and should have won that match. Going 16-5 in a tough sectional tournament is pretty impressive.”
Berg (42-5) used a pinfall and decision win to get the finals before beating Saint Croix Falls’ Luke Thaemert by 6-3 decision for the title. Schlough (47-0) earned a pinfall and technical fall win to advance to the championship where he beat Clear Lake’s Korey Catts by technical fall. Joles (47-0) worked fast with three first-round pinfall wins, lastly defeating Cadott’s Ethan Tegels in one minute, 51 seconds for his championship.
“Josiah, Brock and Trett had an awesome day. These guys are wrestling at a high level right now,” Olson said of the title-winning trio. “Brock won his fourth straight sectional title and dominated his competition. Trett won his second title and did it by pinning all three opponents. These guys bring an impressive 47-0 record into Madison this weekend. Berg defeated two really tough opponents in winning the title. Both Gerber and Thaemert were ranked high in the state.”
Stuart (36-12) made it to the finals with a pinfall and decision win before falling by 12-6 decision to Ladysmith’s Trent Vollendorf. Stuart rebounded to beat Cadott’s Kaleb Sonnentag by 12-5 decision for second. Bialzik (29-13) lost his opening match by 12-7 decision to Chequamegon’s Jaden Schienebeck, but battled through the consolation bracket with a pinfall win and decision victory against Cochrane-Fountain City’s Julian Spriggle for third. Bialzik fell to Schienebeck by rule for second.
Goodell (32-16) also fought through the consolation route to advance. Goodell lost by major decision to Saint Croix Falls’ Kole Marko in the quarterfinals to start the day, but decision wins over Mondovi’s Lance Crawford and C-FC’s Dresdan Lambert earned Goodell third place before he fell by major decision to Cumberland’s Reid Olson for second.
“Nate Stuart had a great day, his only loss came to the number two ranked wrestler in the state,” Olson said. “Nate brought a lot of intensity to every match and it showed winning some gritty tough matches. Nick Goodell and Ira Bialzik had really tough brackets and both found a way to come through in winning tight wrestleback matches. Both guys were determined to move on.”
Tyler Dormanen (26-13) fell in his opening match of the day at 132 pounds by a tight 7-6 decision to C-FC’s Zach Foley.
“Tyler Dormanen lost a tough 7-6 match to end his day, Tyler had a great season and I’m feeling for him right now,” Olson said. “He will come back stronger than ever next year and his time will come.
Bloomer/Colfax’s Harmon, Best advance to Division 2 state
At Neillsville, Bloomer/Colfax’s Mitchel Harmon and Sawyer Best moved on to Madison with top-three finishes at their Division 2 sectional.
Harmon (32-2) took second at 138, working his way through the consolation bracket after a semifinal loss all the way to a second-place finish. Harmon won his opener by major decision over Rice Lake’s Eli Schultz before Medford’s Andy Poetzl beat him by 2-0 decision. Harmon pinned his next two opponents (Osceola’s John Hove and Spooner/Webster’s Brandon Meister) to grab third, but improved by one spot by beating Ellsworth’s Carter Huppert in a 5-2 decision.
Best (29-4) lost his quarterfinal opener by 7-5 decision to Medford’s Dane Higgins, but won his net two matches. Best earned a 2-1 win over Luck/Frederic/Grantsburg’s Landyn Johnson followed by a pinfall win against Amery’s Jordan Pernard for third before Higgins beat Best by rule for second. Sasha Nitz (19-9) lost his opening match at 113 pounds and Ruben Sanchez (20-21) fell in both matchups at 120 pounds.
Bloomer/Colfax’s Luke Blanchard (21-5) lost his opener at 106 pounds and Bowen Rothbauer (32-13) fell in both contests at 160 pounds.