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EAU CLAIRE — Despite wrestling tough throughout the competition, Colfax’s trio of wrestlers saw their abbreviated seasons come to an end in last Saturday’s regional meet.
Colfax’s Julio Hernandez, Luke Blanchard, and Brison Tuschl all come up short in their bids to move on to the individual sectional tournament.
Junior Luke Blanchard finished in third place at 132 pounds in the WIAA Division 2 wrestling regional held January 30 at Regis High School. Senior Julio Hernandez came in fourth at 126 pounds and sophomore Brison Tuschl placed sixth in the 113-pound weight bracket. Only the top two finishers in each weight class earned a sectional berth.
“All the boys wrestled tough,” said assistant coach David Blanchard. “Both Brison and Luke battled through earlier injuries,” he added.
The Raptors, however, were not shut out of the individual sectional meet, which will be held this Saturday, February 6 at Neillsville High School. Bloomer wrestlers Ethan Rubenzer and Bowen Rothbauer both earned sectional berths. Rubenzer won the regional championship at 160 pounds while Rothbauer, who placed third at state a year ago, took second at 152 pounds.
As a team, Bloomer-Colfax finished sixth in the seven-team regional tournament with 90 points, just one point behind fifth-place Spencer/Columbus Catholic and a point ahead of Abbotsford/Colby. Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal, who is ranked seventh in the most recent wiwrestling.com Division 2 online poll, captured the regional team title with 239 points. Host Regis/Altoona was a distant second with 173 followed by third-place Medford Area with 160 and fourth-place Stanley-Boyd who tallied 133 points.
Luke Blanchard, who was wrestling for the first time in a couple of weeks after suffering a knee injury in practice, made it to the championship match before that injury sideline him and he ended up taking third place.
Blanchard (4-3 on the season) won his first two regional matches at 132 pounds, earning a bye in the quarterfinals round and then majored Cory Lindahl of Medford Area 15-6 in the semifinals to earn a spot in the title bout. But the lingering injury forced Blanchard to forfeit the title match which gave Stanley-Boyd’s Blaine Brenner, who is unbeaten at 12-0, the victory and gold medal.
Blanchard’s hopes to compete in the wrestleback and retain second place along with a sectional berth were dashed when he was disqualified due to a technicality on how his injury default was reported in the finals according to his father and coach David Blanchard. Luke finished in third place following the disqualification.
In what turned out to be the final wrestling tournament of his prep career, Julio Hernandez took fourth place at 126 pounds. Hernandez received a bye in the first round but was then pinned in his m two matches and was eliminated. The senior lost both matches in the middle stanza as he was pinned by Breckin Burzynski of Stanley-Boyd in 3:11 of their semifinal match and at the 3:39 mark in his third-place match against Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal’s Jarick Young. Hernandez finished his final season with a 4-5 record.
Sophomore Brison Tuschl was victimized by a pin fall in his opening match at 113 pounds with Medford Area’s Ty Sova getting the call at the 3:00 mark. Tuschl then received a bye into the fifth-place match where he dropped a 14-10 decision to Brandon Myher of Regis/Altoona to finish in sixth place. Tuschl finished with a 6-5 mark this season.
“I was proud of how all the boys battled and how they handled themselves both on and off of the mat,” stated Coach Blanchard.
“There is so much more kids learn from the sport of wrestling than just wins and losses. I look forward for the opportunity to coach all of the returning boys and know they will all come back even stronger next year,” he added.