MADISON – Glenwood City’s remaining state wrestlers quickly put disappointing quarterfinal losses behind them and earned wins in the opening round of consolations and a guaranteed spot on the medals’ podium.
Isaac Tuttle defeated Spring Valley/Elmwood’s Kevin Fesenmaier for the third time in two weeks and advanced to the 170-pound consolation finals on Saturday morning 7-3 with a win.
Donovan Fornal and Brennan Kessler then followed with wins less than 20 minutes later in there consolation matches. Fornal scored his second pin of the tournament as he defeated Eli Moses of Laconia at 3:22 of the pair’s 220-pound tilt while Kessler secured his second triumph in two days with a hard earned 5 to 1 decision over Crandons’ Grant Murray at 285 pounds.
All three Topper seniors are assured of a spot on the awards podium Saturday. Just the color of the medal needs to be determined. Another win to strat the third and final day of the state tournament would put each of them in their respective third-place matches while a loss would send them to compete for fifth place.
Boyceville’s lone representative in Friday afternoon’s consolation round was not as fortunate. Bulldogs’ freshman James Palmer dropped his second decision of the day, a 6-1 loss to Coleman’s Jordan Blanchard, and was eliminated from the tournament.
Tuttle was the first Topper to hit the mat in consolation and he scored first taking Fesenmaier to the mat just 22 seconds into the first period (which is only a minute long in consolation matches). Tuttle would take a 3-0 lead with an escape just two seconds into period number two and added another takedown less than a minutes later for a big 5-0 advantage.
Fesenmaier would gain an escape before the end of the middle period. He would get another escape early in the third but Tuttle secured his third takedown of the match to lead 7-2. Tuttle would be assessed two stall warning that awarded Fesenmaier a penalty point but Tuttle held on for the 7-3 win.
After a scoreless first in the 220-pound consolation, Eli Moses escaped Donovan Fornal’s grasp for a 1-0 lead that held firm until the final period. Fornal started on top and caught Moses in a cradle and pinned him just 21 seconds into the third frame for the victory.
Meanwhile, Kessler had to work the full six minutes to get his win. He opened with a takedown in the first 17 seconds and then extended his advantage to 3-0 with an escape midway through period two. Murray would get a point in the third on an escape but Kessler locked down his opponent and the win with a takedown with only six seconds left in the match for the 5-1 victory.
Boyceville’s James Palmer had trouble finding his offensive attack Friday. On the heels of a 13-2 loss in the quarterfinals, Palmer managed just an escape in his 6-1 loss to Blanchard of Coleman, who scored a pair of takedowns and a reversal to lead by that score after two periods. Palmer was not able to escape Blanchard’s grasp in the final stanza which resulted in a loss by that same tally.
Palmer finished a fantastic freshman year with a 43-4 record.