By Kelsie Hoitomt
RIVER FALLS – This past Saturday was the Big Rivers/Dunn-St. Croix Conference challenge which was held at the River Falls High School and featured 12 area school districts.
Josh Cormican was the Bulldogs’ only champion of the day at 152 lbs. He also received his 150th career win after his first match of the day. Cormican has won conferences twice and took second place twice in his high school career.
The Hilltoppers’ wrestling team had two conference champions with Riley Knops at 120 lbs. and fellow senior Adam Holmquist at 138 lbs. Knops ended his conference career with two titles and Holmquist has three.
Knops received a bye the first round and then wrestled against Tim Feia of Hudson and pinned him early in the second period. He then went on to pin Drew Kress of Menomonie in the semi-finals. In the finals, he wrestled Logan Newton of Spring Valley/Elmwood and tech falled him 17-2 for first place.
Holmquist received a bye as well the first round and then faced off against Houston Olson of Menomonie and pinned him late in the second period. He then earned another pin in the semi-finals against Zeb Hovde of Rice Lake in just over a minute. Holmquist earned first place after winning by a major decision of 10-0 against senior Mackinzie Nutzmann of Chippewa Falls.
Cormican started at the top of the bracket as well and received a bye the first round. He then wrestled senior Erik Dartsch of River Falls and stuck him in 50 seconds. It was then a fairly close match up in the semi-finals against Cole Bartz of Menomonie as Cormican won by a 5-2 decision. The final match was against Jaron Turner of Spring Valley/Elmwood, who lost on a decision of 10-0; Cormican had just beat Turner on a 10-0 decision two days prior as well.
The Bulldogs also had two wrestlers finish in second place with Austin Wolfe at 106 lbs. and Dominic Olson at 132 lbs.
Wolfe pinned Andrew Webb of Spring Valley/Elmwood and then tech falled Sam Burns in the semi-finals, but lost on a 11-2 decision in the finals against Justin Peterson of Eau Claire North.
Olson started out in the top half of the bottom bracket and tech falled Shawn Sura of Chippewa Falls and then won by a decision of 16-3 in the semi-finals against Mitch Cornelissen of Rice Lake. He lost on a 7-5 decision after being tripped up in the final seconds of the match against Jed Schlegel of Spring Valley/Elmwood.
Also placing for the Bulldogs was Sawyer Swenson who took seventh place after tech falling Caitlyn Kaz of Chippewa Falls in the final match. James Lindo placed eighth after losing to Chad Burkart of Eau Claire Memorial on a 11-6 decision. Jon Harnisch finished fourth after losing to Nutzmann in the semi-finals and then to Hovde in the last match. Wyatt Hansen placed fifth after working his way through the bracket and beating Tate Pabst of Chippewa Falls. Logan Macabee-Thomas placed seventh after a major decision of 12-3 against Sam Green of Hudson. Clayton Windsor finished eighth after losing to Ivan Thull of Chippewa Falls on a 2-0 decision. Heavy weight Jake Lake finished fourth after Decker Grass of St. Croix Central won on a 7-1 decision.
Austin Moe was the only wrestler for the Hilltoppers to finish as a runner up. Moe started off at the top of the bracket at 145 lbs. with the first match against Trent Smith of St. Croix Central who he defeated with a tech fall 16-0. Moe then faced off against Zach Newton of Spring Valley/Elmwood in the semi-finals and won by a major decision of 12-1. It was a tough match in the finals against Hudson senior, Austin Koski, who managed to stick Moe in a tight hold for the pin and first place in the second period.
Also placing for the Hilltoppers was Jake Carlson who took seventh place after beating Austin Piecuch of Rice Lake on a 6-4 decision. Billy Norenberg also finished seventh after beating senior Dan Goss of Mondovi in a 13-6 decision. Jeff Kopacz finished fourth after a decision of 10-4 over Justin Martell of Chippewa Falls. Issac Tuttle finished fifth after working his way through the bottom of the bracket and beating Corwin Deetz of Chippewa Falls 1-0. Blayze Wood placed fourth after Parker Levine of Chippewa Falls won by a 2-0 decision. Donovan Fornal placed sixth at 220 lbs. after getting pinned in the third period by DJ Oas of Menomonie. Lastly at heavy weight was Kyle Peterson who finished sixth after getting pinned by Hunter Harris of Rice Lake.
The Glenwood City and Boyceville wrestling teams will travel to Cadott on Saturday for the Division 3 Regional at Cadott high school starting at 10:30 a.m.