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MADISON – Bloomer/Colfax’s junior duo of Mitchel Harmon and Sawyer Best fell short in their quest for medals at this year’s state wrestling championships.
In his second state go-round in three seasons, Harmon won his opening match in the Division 2 preliminaries held Thursday night, February 21 at the Kohl Center, to advance to Friday’s competition. But, a pair of loses in that second day of tournament action brought his season to an end.
Colfax High School classmate and fellow state entrant Sawyer Best lost his inaugural state match in Thursday’s prelims and was eliminated from further competition in the 2019 WIAA Individual Wrestling State Championship held last Thursday through Saturday, February 21-23 in Madison.
Harmon and Best, as second- and third-place sectional finishers respectively, had to start their state tournaments in the win-or-go home preliminary round.
Best boosted a fine 29-5 season record heading into his first state tournament and looked to advance deep into his Division 2, 132-pound bracket. Unfortunately, junior Alex Gundrum (38-13) of Lomira had other ideas. Gundrum took control of the match and went to post a 12-4 major decision over Best. Gundrum lost in the next round, beaten on a first-period pin by Lodi’s Garrett Moll.
Harmon’s first match of the 2019 tournament followed Best’s on the same mat. But Harmon exorcised any lingering bad luck with a third-period rally and a 5-2 win over Freedom sophomore Reece Manteuffel (24-13).
The win gave Harmon a spot in Friday morning’s quarterfinals where he was matched up against Traeton Saint (41-6). It proved to be no blessing for Harmon who lost via major decision, 11-3, to the Freedom sophomore.
Despite the loss, there was still a path to the awards podium for Harmon. Unfortunately, it was dead-ended by senior Graig Elsen (43-5) of Nekoosa/Wisconsin Rapids Assumption/Port Edwards. Tied at three early in the second period of their consolation semifinal, Elsen began to outpoint Harmon before pinning him at 4:47.
Harmon finished the season with a 33-4 record.