CADOTT – It was a day of missed opportunities for the Boyceville wrestlers at the 2013 WIAA Cadott Wrestling Regional last Saturday, February 9.
The Bulldogs had several chances to earn better placements and points in the regional tournament but were unable to seize upon those opportunities, thereby forgoing any chance of winning the regional team title and a berth in the WIAA Division 3 Team Sectional that was held in Glenwood City February 12.
After back-to-back second-place finishes in the previous two regional competitions, the Bulldogs slipped to third at this year’s six-team meet held at Cadott High School.
Boyceville finished with 214.5 point, just one point shy of rival Glenwood City, who took second. The regional crown went to Spring Valley/Elmwood for the second straight year. The reigning Division 3 state runner-up and three-time Dunn-St. Croix Champ (an honor shared with the Bulldogs this year) amassed 246.5 point in claiming the crown. Cadott was fourth (184) followed by Mondovi (69) and Durand (49.5).
“It was a day of chances,” said Boyceville’s head wrestling coach, Jamie Olson. “We had a lot of chances and we didn’t capitalize on them. We were winning eight to ten matches today and ended up losing them by either pin or at the very end.”
“It was just one of those days where things just didn’t go our way,” said Olson. “You need to catch some breaks when there are good teams and we didn’t catch any really.”
“We had our chances,” reiterated Olson. “All three teams are pretty equal and if you don’t take advantage of those opportunities when they are there, you are not going to win and we didn’t today.”
Although it may have been somewhat of a disappointing finish by Boyceville and Coach Olson’s high standards, the Bulldogs did enjoy success on the individual level as six wrestlers earned berths in the WIAA Division 3 Individual Wrestling Sectional to be held this Saturday, February 16 at Osseo-Fairchild High School. The tournament will once again be hosted by Independence.
Three Bulldogs claimed regional championships with three others finishing second.
Dominic Olson (132), Josh Cormican (152) and Jake Lake (285) won titles; Austin Wolfe (106), Jon Harnisch (138), and Bryor Hellmann (160) finished as runners-up.
Josh Cormican claimed a second straight regional championship after he breezed through the field at 152 pounds. Cormican, the top seed and recipient of a first-round bye, needed just 39 seconds to pin the Hilltoppers’ Hunter Chouinard. Cormican would dominate his championship match against Trent Miller of Spring Valley/Elmwood as he took a 10-0 lead before Miller was forced to default due to an injured neck. Cormican improved to an impressive 42-1.
“Josh looked very solid,” Olson said after the victory.
The same could be said of Dominic Olson’s performances at 132 pounds. Olson, 34-4, earned his first regional championship and sectional berth with a commanding effort. Olson drew the second seed but showed he was clearly the best “Dog” in his bracket. Olson’s first match came in the semifinals where he dismantled Durand’s Hunter Adler 17-1 to gain the finals. He would be matched against conference foe Jed Schlegel of Spring Valley/ Elmwood. Schlegel had beaten Olson the previous Saturday at the Big River/Dunn-St. Croix Challenge. But in Cadott, Olson took control of the match and came out with a 5-2 win and his first regional gold.
“Dominic had a great tournament and avenged a loss to Schlegel,” Olson stated.
Boyceville’s final championship was a bit unexpected but nonetheless well deserved. Freshman Jake Lake knocked off both of the top-seeded wrestlers in the heavyweight class to win his first regional title in as many tries.
Lake pinned second-seeded Cole Hanson of Cadott with just five seconds left in the semifinal’s match to gain the championship bout. There, Lake faced Glenwood City’s Kyle Peterson, who had pinned him in a dual at Boyceville the previous month. But Lake was not intimidated this time as he held his ground against the Topper senior and top tournament seed. Scoreless throughout two-periods, Lake was able to score a take down in the final stanza and hold on for a 2-0 triumph and the gold medal.
“Jake Lake – what a great job at heavyweight, for a freshman to come in and beat a senior that had pinned him earlier in the year.,” said Coach Olson. “Jake has come a long way since the Northern Badger. He has worked really hard and is focused. He turned his season around at the end by working hard and wrestling smart.”
Byror Hellmann was a second away from becoming the Bulldogs fourth regional champion of the day.
Hellmann, who had been sidelined with a concussion since January 31, showed no lingering effects as he hit the regional mats with determination and focus. Hellmann received the number one seed at 160 pounds and an opening round bye. His first test would come against Mitchell Johnson of Cadott. Hellmann worked the Hornet wrestler into the third period before securing the win by pin at 5:40.
Hellmann drew Jaron Turner in the finals and what a match it proved to be. The score changed hands several times before Turner scored a late reversal to take a 10-9 lead. Hellmann tried to win the match on his own reversal but time expired before he could complete it.
“What a heartbreaking loss for Bryor. That one hurt but he wrestled a great match only to come up short there at the end,” said Olson. “Another half second and he probably gets the reversal. He wrestled great even though he didn’t wrestle all week.”
Freshman Austin Wolfe and Junior Jon Harnisch earned the Bulldogs’ other two sectional berths, as they also finished the tournament as the runners-up at their respective weight classes.
Wolfe, 31-8, pinned Andrew Webb of Spring Valley/Elmwood in the semifinals before he fell to Cadott’s Austin Najbrt 13-7 in the 106-pound championship.
Jon Harnisch likewise scored a semifinals pin. He stuck Logan Giedd of Mondovi at 138 pounds. He faced Glenwood City’s Adam Holmquist in the finals where he lost by fall in 1:21.
Boyceville might have had even more sectional participants as five other wrestlers finished in third place.
Sawyer Swenson (113), James Lindo (120), Dylan Lamm (126), Wyatt Hansen (145) and Zach Sutliff (182) lost to their bracket champions or runners-up.
Logan McAbee-Thomas (170) and Will Kraft (220) finished fourth. Dylan Windsor was fifth at 195 pounds.
Sectional wrestling will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. The top three place winners in each weight class will earn a berth in the WIAA Individual State Wrestling Championships to be held in the Kohl Center.