Hilltopper wrestlers open conference duals with win over Durand; finish fourth in Cadott

The Hilltoppers’ wrestling  team kicked off the new year and the Dunn-St. Croix dual-match season in style last week.

Glenwood City started 2018 with a 45-30 home victory over Durand in the Dunn-St. Croix conference opener for both squads January 4.

The Toppers followed it up two days later with several outstanding individual performances at the Cadott Invitational where they finished fourth.

[emember_protected] The January schedule will remain a busy one for Glenwood City who does not have another home contest until it hosts rival Boyceville on the 30th of this month. 

The Hilltoppers will be traveling to three different competitions this week including a pair of duals.

They were in Cameron last evening (Tuesday, January 9) and will then head to Spring Valley Thursday (January 11) for a dual with defending conference champion Spring Valley/Elmwood.

Glenwood City will then capped the week at the Chippewa Falls Invitational on Saturday, January 13. 

Durand Dual

While Glenwood City claimed victories in nine of the 14 weight classes in last Thursday’s home dual against Durand, the outcome of the Dunn-St. Croix conference opener rested on a trio of pivotal matches.

Fortunately all three went the Hilltoppers’ way as the home team wrestled a 45-30 victory away from the Panthers.

Glenwood City charged to an early 18-0 advantage, thanks to a forfeit and second-period pins by Jake Nadeau (126) and Brad Kessler (138).

The first key victory came in the fourth match where Tucker Lagerstrom rallied late in the third period to score a takedown and 2-point near fall to escape with an 11-10 win over the Panthers’ Ceejay Schlosser.

A forfeit to Nick Melendrez at 152 pounds upped the GC lead to 27-0 before Durand finally broke its scoreboard goose egg.

Alex Elvurum pinned the Toppers’ Harrison Chouinard to give the Panthers their first six points which was followed by a forfeit to Durand’s Dalton Hartung to cut the Glenwood City lead to nine.

The second swing match came at 195 where senior Jake Kopacz prevailed in a wild match, besting Durand’s Cody Gilbertson 18-13 for a 30-18 home lead.

Glenwood City advantage was cut in half to its narrowest margin (30-24) when it forfeited at 220 pounds.

But in the third and final pivotal match-up of the dual, junior heavyweight Bryce Fayerweather broke a scoreless tie late in the third with a takedown and 3-point near fall to earn an exciting 5-0 victory at 285 pounds over state-ranked Kyle Abramson that all but ensured a GC victory as the Toppers took two of the final three matches via forfeits and the dual with a 45-30 final tally.

Glenwood City 45, Durand 30

126-Jacob Nadeau (GC) pinned Brett Baker (D), 2:27; 132-Carson Strong (GC) received forfeit; 138-Brad Kessler (GC) pinned Dustin Paje (D), 2:47; 145-Tucker Lagerstrom (GC) dec. Ceejay Schlosser (D), 11-10; 152-Nick Melendrez (GC) received forfeit; 160-Brody Carothers (D) received forfeit; 170-Alex Elverum (D) pinned Harrison Chouinard (GC), 2:36; 182-Dalton Hartung (D) received forfeit; 195-Jake Kopacz (GC) dec. Cody Gilbertson (D), 18-13; 220-Jacob Zeilinger (D) received forfeit; 285-Bryce Fayerweather (GC) dec. Kyle Abramson (D), 5-0; 106-Andy Grant received forfeit; 113-Brannon Humphrey (D) pinned Aaron Holmquist (GC), 1:43; 120-Will Eggert (GC) received forfeit.

Cadott Invitational

Glenwood City head coach described his squad’s performance at last Saturday’s Cadott Invitational as “pretty solid”.

That may have been a bit understated as all ten of the Hilltoppers’ varsity wrestlers placed to help the team finish fourth in the 14-team tournament.

Senior Carson Strong once again led the way for the team,  winning the  132-pound weight class. Fellow senior Jake Nadeau and junior Bryce Fayerweather finished as runners-up at 126 and 285 pounds respectively. Andy Grant and Brad Kessler added top-five finishes. Grant was third at 106 and Kessler took fourth at 138.

Those results combined with sixth place showings from Jake Kopacz at 182 pounds and Will Eggert at 113 pounds, ninth place finishes by Tucker Lagerstrom (145) and Harrison Chouinard (170) and Nick Melendrez’ 11th place showing at 152 pounds allowed the Toppers to accumulate 324 points.

Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro (G-E-T/M-M) claimed the team title with a whopping 548 points after crowning five champions with another five taking third. The host Cadott Hornets finished as the runner-up with 478 followed by Durand in third with 370 points.

Carson Strong, who received honorable mention status in the most recent Division 3 state poll at 138 pounds, improved to 18-2 on the season with 4-0 day in Cadott. After an opening-round bye, he pinned his next two opponents and then scored an impressive 13-2 major decision over hometown favorite Bailey Gillet of Cadott to win the 132-pound crown.

Ranked second in the state’s D3 126-pound field, Jake Nadeau (12-3) made his way to the finals with a bye, a fall and a 7-1 decision over Nelson Wahl of Cadott in the semifinals. But G-E-T/M-M’s Julian Purney shut out Nadeau 2-0 in a hard fought championship match at 126. 

Bryce Fayerweather pushed his season record above .500 with three wins in four rounds at Cadott. After a first-round bye, the GC heavyweight earned a pin in the quarterfinals and a 7-3 victory in the semis to earn a berth in the finals where he was pinned by Cadott’s Josh Briggs.

 Andy Grant (15-3) rebounded from a tough Northern Badger tourney and went 3-1 including a 8-2 win over Carter Smith of Prescott in the third-place match at 106 pounds. 

Brad Kessler, who was an honorable mention in the polls, went 2-2 to take fourth at 138 pounds. [/emember_protected]