MADISON – Relax, even for a moment, and it could be the difference between winning or losing; or going home empty-handed.
No one knows that heartbreaking reality better than Boyceville senior Dominic Olson.
Olson was dominating his 132-pound, Division 3 state quarterfinal’s match in the Kohl center Friday noon when the unexpected happened. In a flash, quick as a bolt of lightning, Olson found himself on his back – fighting for his season and a chance to wrestle for a state championship.
But his first and final trip to the state tournament would not have a golden finish.
Olson would surrender a 13-5 lead and the match when he was taken to his back and pinned by Coleman sophomore Marc Lansin at the 3:40 mark.
Olson laid on the mat in stunned disbelief.
“You just can’t let up! You can not let up down here for a split second or you are going to get beat,” Boyceville head coach Jamie Olson would say later in describing a tough opening session Friday for the Bulldogs.
Josh Cormican was the only one of Boyceville’s three quarter-finalists to survive the round and he needed double overtime to accomplish that.
Olson never recovered mentally from the gut-wrenching loss. Less than three hours later he ended his state run and career with a 7-1 setback to Carter Shampo of Crandon in the consolation semifinals to finish with a 37-6 record.
“He didn’t recover and you have to,” stated Coach Olson. “You have to recover from those tough losses and Dominic didn’t. It’s disappointing but he had a great season.”
A few matches later, Bryor Hellmann’s season would also come to a conclusion when he fell short in the 160-pound consolation semis to fellow junior Mason Lind of Laconia, 11 to 3. Hellmann (31-14) had made Friday’s quarterfinals with a thrilling 16-14 win over Princeton’s Taylor Sina in the previous night’s preliminaries. Hellmann drew Lancaster junior Ethan Soderstrom, the Division 3 state champion at 152 pounds a year ago, in the quarterfinals. Soderstrom (48-4) dominated the action en route to a 17-1 win by technical fall.
The youngest (and lightest) wrestler in Boyceville’s state quartet, 106-pounder Austin Wolfe, was nipped by a point in Thursday night’s preliminaries. Wolfe lost 7-6 to Anthony Gliniecki of Stratford, bringing a quick conclusion to his first state tournament.
While the 2013 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association’s 70th Annual State Individual Wrestling Championships at the University of Wisconsin’s Kohl Center did not result in medals and a trip to the awards podium for this Boyceville trio, each will leave with something to cherish.
Dominic Olson capped his career with memories of an outstanding senior season that finished at the mecca of Wisconsin high school wrestling – the state tournament – while both Bryor Hellmann and Austin Wolfe gained valuable state experience that will carry then into the promise of next season.
Time has a way of accentuating the positives and softening the hurt but Friday’s losses left an immediate sting for the Bulldogs’ wrestlers and their coach.
“Dominic’s match took the wind out of us a little bit,” admitted Coach Jamie Olson.
No one more than the wrestler himself.
Dominic Olson had entered the state tournament on a high note having won the regional and sectional championships and appeared to be peaking at the right time.
Olson opened his first state tournament match with a flurry of scoring moves. It took him just 10 seconds to take his opponent Marc Lansin down to the mat for a quick takedown and a 2-0 lead in the 132-pound quarterfinal’s bout. Olson would then pile up the points throughout the rest of the first period as he scored a trio of three-point near falls using the “Tilt-A-Whirl” to grow his advantage to 11-0. Lansin would finally stopped hemorrhaging points with an escape with 33 ticks left in the opening period.
The momentum of the entire match, however, swung in the second period as the Coleman sophomore found his feet and took the offensive. Lansin scored three takedowns in the middle period; the final one proved lethal to Olson’s state title hopes as he was taken to his back and pinned at 3:40.
“When you are up 11-0 and then 13-5, you don’t finish that (match) out and we quit wrestling. You can’t do that down here against tough kids,” said Coach Olson. “He got caught and pinned.”
“That’s tough. That was a tough one,” added the coach. “Against a good kid but a kid that we were dominating.”
The loss lingered for Olson and it seemed to affect his subsequent match in the consolation semifinals.
Olson surrendered a takedown and a three-point near fall to Crandon’s Carter Shampo all in the final 13 seconds of the first period and trailed 5-0 as the match went to the middle period. In that period, Shampo tacked on another takedown to extend his advantage to 7-0. Dominic Olson struggled to free himself from Shampo’s grip in the final period and was only able to score an escape with 14 seconds remaining and was eliminated from the 132-pound bracket with a 7-1 loss.
“Dominic just didn’t recover in this match,” Jamie Olson noted. “He didn’t reach his goals but I am so proud of what he accomplished this season for us.”
Bryor Hellmann was determined to extend his first trip to Kohl Center and he did just that with a Thursday evening victory.
Wrestling in the 160-pound preliminaries, Hellmann emerged on top of a wild and entertaining match against Taylor Sina. The Princeton senior scored first on a takedown with 30 seconds left in the opening period but Hellmann came back and tied it with a reversal seven seconds later. Sina scored an escape to lead by one after one.
The second period a flurry of scores that begun with a nice granby from Hellmann that netted the Bulldog junior his first lead at 4-3. He then added a two-point near fall and extended his advantage to 6-3. A series of reversals by the two wrestlers would end the period as Hellmann was able to maintain a three-point lead at 12-9.
Sina began the final stanza in the down position but quickly flipped to the top on a reversal only to have Hellmann match it with one of his own. The Princeton wrestler scored an escape and had a takedown to knot the score at 14 all with 38 second remaining in the six-minute match. Hellmann’s seventh and final reversal came with just two seconds left and gave him the 16-14 victory and a berth in Friday’s quarterfinals.
“That was a great match against a tough kid,” Olson said of Hellmann’s win.
Hellmann had his work cut out for himself in Friday’s draw when he took the mat against the defending 152-pound state champion, Ethan Soderstrom of Lancaster. Soderstrom demonstrated the skills that won him the championship last year as he controlled Hellmann and the match, which ended at 5:52, for a 17-1 win via technical fall.
Hellmann went into the consolation bracket following the loss where he was paired against Laconia junior Mason Lind. Hellmann would fall behind 5-0 when Lind scored a takedown and three-point near fall in the final 30 seconds of the first period Lind would score three different two-point near falls to forge a 11-0 advantage. Hellmann would get a late reversal and was added a stalling point but fell 11-3.
“Bryor wrestled fine today,” Olson said. “Today he ran into a really tough kid from Lancaster. We were a little bit outmatched there. This last match (with Lind), we didn’t wrestle our best. The kid was tough and smart. He stayed away from our stuff on the mat.”
Hellmann had been wrestling well since recovering from a concussion suffered in a January 31 dual against Spring Valley/Elmwood. That streak continued at state.
“For Bryor to weigh in at 155 pounds today and be down here battling at 160 and to wrestle the way he has the past three weeks is really, really impressive,” stated Olson.
“I’m happy with Bryor’s performance down here,” continued Olson. “He has another year and now he has some (state) experience under his belt. He has things to work on and some ideas that we need to do this summer. I am looking forward to having him back next year.”
The veteran Boyceville coach will also be pleased to have sophomore and now state-qualifier Austin Wolfe back in the fold for a couple more years.
Wolfe gained some invaluable experience while competing at 106 pounds last week.
Wolfe gave Stratford freshman Anthony Gliniecki a battle in the preliminaries on Thursday night, Feb. 21 but fell a point short in a 7-6 loss.
“Wolfey wrestled a pretty good match against a good kid from Stratford,” said Olson. “That kid won the next round and Austin was right there with him.”
Gliniecki built a 5 to 0 lead over Wolfe with takedowns in the first and second periods along with an escape. But Wolfe would mount a comeback. He would score an escape then follow it with a takedown and near fall to knot the score by the end of the second period at five points aside. The Stratford wrestler would give Wolfe the escape and his first lead to start the final period. But with a minute to go, Gliniecki would score a takedown and then held on for the 7-6 victory.
Wolfe finished the season 33-11.
“It was disappointing but Austin wrestled hard,” said Olson. “There are just no easy matches down here. You have to come prepared mentally and physically and be ready to go.”