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Harmon claims regional wrestling title, lone Blackhawk to advance to sectional tourney

By Shawn DeWitt

BALDWIN- — And then there was just one!

Colfax sophomore Mitchel Harmon won the 132-pound championship at last Saturday’s WIAA Division 2 wrestling regional at Baldwin-Woodville High School.

By doing so, Harmon became the only Bloomer/Colfax wrestler to earn a berth in the individual wrestling sectional to be held at Amery High School this Saturday, February 17.

Only the top two place winners in each of the 14 weight classes from the regional competition advance to the sectional tournament.

A trio of Blackhawk wrestlers just missed the sectional cut, including Colfax sophomore Sawyer Best and junior Thomas Anderson. Those two along with Ike Kramschuster finished third in Baldwin February 10.

Harmon, who earned the top seed in the regional’s 132-pound bracket in Baldwin and received a first bye, opened his competition in the semifinals with a pinfall over Osseo-Fairchild/Augusta/Fall Creek junior Kevin Kitchen at the 5:52 mark. In the finals, Harmon battled fellow sophomore Jordan Bonte of Baldwin-Woodville for the title. Harmon controlled the match throughout claiming the gold medal and sectional berth with an 8-2 decision.

Harmon, who improved to 31-10 with his wins at regional, drew Northwestern senior Broday Burke (13-12) in his sectional quarterfinal pairing.

Unfortunately, the season came to end in for Colfax’ other two varsity wrestlers last Saturday in Baldwin.

Sporting 31 wins coming into the regional meet, Sawyer Best was unable to pick up a win in his three-man bracket at 120 pounds. Best lost a pair of close two-point decisions to finish third. Baldwin-Woodville’s Jacek Nickowski nipped Best 5-3 in the semifinal round and fell 7-5 to Charlie Stuhl of Ellsworth in the wrestleback for second place and a berth to the sectional meet.

Best finished his sophomore season with a 31-6 record.

Seeded second at 170 pounds, Colfax junior Thomas Anderson (15-7) earned an opening-round bye to the semifinals where he grappled Blaine Guthrie of Baldwin-Woodviulle. Gutherie scored the fall over Anderson with just nine second left in the match. Anderson rebounded in the third-place match sticking Prescott’s Ethan Luksich in 3:20. But  Anderson’s season ended when Guthrie lost in the finals to Ellsworth’s Dalton George thereby denying the Colfax wrestle a wrestleback opportunity for second.  

Ike Kramlschuster took the bronze at 126 pounds despite finishing without a win in the regional tournament. Kramschuster was pinned by Owen Matzek of Ellsworth at the 5:00 mark of the semifinal round but received a pair of byes including in the third-place match and had an opportunity to wrestle for second but was beaten 15-1 in the wrestleback by Alex McCray of Baldwin-Woodville.

Three other Bloomer/Colfax wrestlers placed at Baldwin. Nathon Roslowski (6-21) finished fourth at 160 pounds while Cal Lueck (11-15) and Kole Schmidt (6-7) both placed fifth at their respective weights of 138 and 145 pounds.

The meet was dominated by Middle Border squads from Ellsworth, Baldwin-Woodville and Prescott.

The two-time defending Division 2 state champion Ellsworth Panthers rang up 286 points and had 12 sectional qualifiers to win the regional team title and a berth in last night’s team sectional in Hayward. Host Baldwin-Woodville tallied 199.5 point to finish as the regional runner-up and will be sending nine wrestlers to Amery on Saturday. Prescott placed third with 129 points and four sectional qualifiers.

Osseo-Fairchild/Augusta/Fall Creek took fourth with 91 points, Bloomer/Colfax came in fifth after posting 74 points and Regis/Altoona was last in the six-team meet with a score of 54.5. All three of these teams had one sectional qualifier.

The top three individual finishers in each weight class at the Amery sectional will earn a spot in the state wrestling championships to be held February 22-24 at the Kohl Center in Madison. 

Wrestling begins at 10:30 a.m. in Amery this Saturday.