Carson Strong wins Ladysmith Invite

LADYSMITH — For a second straight week, Glenwood City wrestler Carson Strong can call himself a champion.

The junior has now won back-to-back 132-pound titles at consecutive Saturday invitationals, the latest coming in Ladysmith January 14 following a 4-0 performance that upped the stated-ranked wrestler’s season mark to 21-1.

The Hilltoppers nearly boasted a pair of titlist as it accomplished the previous Saturday in Cadott but Jake Nadeau lost a heartbreaking, one-point, overtime decision to place second at 120 pounds.

Those two finishes coupled with thirds by Marcus Ullom and Austin Curvello, a fifth-place finish by Brad Kessler and Spencer Peterson’s sixth helped pace Glenwood City to a seventh-place showing in the 23-team Ladysmith Invitational last Saturday.

The Hilltoppers finished with a tally of 280.5 points, 240 of which were won by the six aforementioned Glenwood City grapplers.

Athens claimed the team championship with 452 points with Reedsville taking a strong second with 432.5 points. Heart O’ North member Barron came in third with 324 followed closely by Prescott at 319 and Cumberland scored 306 to round out the top five. Host Ladysmith was sixth with 289.5 points, just less than 10 points ahead of the Toppers.

Strong had little trouble reaching the pinnacle at 132 pounds as he nearly completed a wrestling cycle (wins by decision, major decision, technical fall and fall) with a fall, technical fall and major decision en route to the title.

Following a first-round bye as the top ranked wrestler, Carson Strong tech falled Elcho’s Noah Binversie, 16-1, in 4:52 of their quarterfinal’s match. He then stuck Mathew Spry of Cumberland just a 1:45 into the semifinals match before polishing off his day with a 12-2 major decision over Spencer Kraus of Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe in the gold-medal match.

Junior Jacob Nadeau was denied a second straight individual crown after suffering an overtime loss in the 120-pound championship. Nadeau, who is also garnering state attention in the polls, was beaten by hometown favorite Trent Vollendorf of Ladysmith, 6-5, in the finals via tie-breaker criteria.

Nadeau won his first two matches on falls as he pinned Hunter Simonson of Black River Falls in 38 seconds and Aaron Gunderson of Cumberland 2:28 into the quarterfinal match. In the semis, Nadeau (currently 18-5) earned a 3-0 shutout win over Reedsville’s Landon Kasper.

The Toppers third-place winners – senior Marcus Ullom and sophomore Austin Curvello – both  finished 3-1 with their only setbacks coming in the semifinal round.

At 138 pounds, Ullom (15-8)  had a fall and a 19-4 technical fall in the first two rounds to advance to the semifinals where he was pinned by Nathan Roach of Ladysmith midway through the second period. Ullom went on to claim the bronze after Tim Coyne of Hayward had to forfeit for medical reasons.

Austin Curvello posted pins of 1:16 and 4:28 in his first two matches at 113 pounds. Phillips wrestlers Havyn Freeman decision Curvello 6-2 in the semifinals but the Toppers’ wrestler recovered for a 4-0 blanking of Carter Brunke from Athens to take third.

Brad Kessler and Spencer Peterson both lost quarterfinal matches but wrestled back to the fifth-place match. Kessler (16-7) scored a fall on Barron’s Jackson Massie just nine ticks into the final period to finish fifth at 126 pounds while Peterson lost a close 3-0 decision to Carson Schanilec of Reedsville and settled for sixth place at 182 pounds.

Dan Taylor (113 pounds) and Bryce Fayerweather (285) both copped tenth, Tucker Lagerstrom took 11th at 145 pounds and Aaron Holmquist placed 13th at 106.