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O’Meara, Chouinard led Toppers to third in Cadott

CADOTT — Junior Jake O’Meara made a triumphant return to the Toppers line-up this past weekend.

O’Meara, sidelined for the past month by an ankle injury, returned to the wrestling mat at the 10-team Cadott Hornet Invitational January 9 and captured first at 152 pounds.

Senior Hogan Chouinard added a title at 195 pounds as the championship pair helped to lead Glenwood City to a third-place finish.

The Hilltoppers tallied 255.5 points just six points behind second-place Medford and 11.5 points off the winning total posted by Melrose-Mindoro/GET who garnered 267 points.

“I felt our team wrestled pretty well,” stated Shane Strong, Glenwood City’s head wrestling coach. “We had four losses on the day that would have made the difference between a team championship and third place. We might have had a few more finalists if we hadn’t lost those close matches before the medal round.”

Still, all 14 of Glenwood City’s wrestlers placed eighth or higher in the round-robin, 10-man scramble format where competitors wrestled four matches in pool play and finish in a placement round where the top two from each pool vied for first, the runners-up for third place and so forth.

“Jake O’Meara came back from an ankle injury to win the tournament despite missing the past month,” Strong said.

“Hogan Chouinard continues to improve greatly,” noted Strong adding, “he was dominant the entire tournament.”

The Toppers’ titlists were not the only area grapplers to enjoy solid performances. Glenwood City had nine of its 14 place finishers top out in fifth place or better including a runner-up finish, four thirds, and a pair of fourths and fifths.

Marcus Ullom finished second at 132 pounds with a 4-1 mark. Austin Curvello (106) and Carson Strong (126) also went 4-1 in Cadott but finished in third place as did Jake Nadeau (113) and Brad Kessler (120), who were both 3-2.

Carson Strong lost his final pool match by a point to the Les Lakey of Melrose-Mindoro/GET, the Northern Badger runner-up a week earlier. Marcus Ullom lost a high scoring final to Chippewa Falls’ Casey Hedrington by a count of 14-11 after his third-period rally came up short.

“The effort and intensity was great,” the coach noted. “But we need to close out these close matches as a team.”

Fourth-place medals went to Kole Smith at 138 pounds and David Hoffman at 285 after 3-2 marks. Cody Bonte and Jake Kopacz were fifth at 145 and 170 pounds respectively, John Pagnotta took sixth at 160 and Joe Obermueller (132) and Collin Schone (220) both finished eighth.

O’Meara, who suffered his injury in the John Timm Duals in early December, didn’t miss a beat in his return at Cadott. After a 10-0 shut out win over Melrose-Mindoro/GET’s Nathan Dornquast to open the Hornet Invitational, O’Meara scored first-period pins against his next four opponents including a 1:25 pin of Cadott’s James Pfeiffer in the championship match.

Hogan Chouinard delivered some dominant performances as well in his run to the 195-pound gold medal. Chouinard scored a 16-1 , first-round technical fall against Sam Jensen, another Melrose-Mindoro/GET wrestler. A round-two pin of Whitehall’s Kenny Thorn led to a bye in the third round for the GC senior. In the fourth and final round of pool play, Chouinard stuck Parker Henrichs of Medford in three minutes flat. In the title match, he bested Matt Kostka of Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe 5 to 2.

Marcus Ullom just missed adding a third gold to the Toppers’ haul at Cadott.

Ullom won a pair of first-period pins, a 5-1 decision and a forfeit to make the title match at 132 pounds. In the championship, Ullom fell behind Casey Hedrington of Chi-Hi early in the match, tried to rally in the final period but came up three points short in the 14-11 loss.

Glenwood City will be back in action this Thursday, January 14 when it kicks off its conference dual season in Mondovi. The Toppers then travel to Prescott the following day for a quadrangular.