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OCONOMOWOC — Boyceville sophomore Emma Gruenhagen returned home a state place winner following this past Sunday’s WWF Folkstyle State Wrestling tournament.
Gruenhagen, who recently finished her second year on the Bulldogs’ varsity wrestling squad with a fourth-place showing at the WIAA Division 3 St. Croix Falls Individual Wrestling sectional, earned the bronze medal after placing third at 126 pounds in the 2021 Wisconsin Wrestling Federation’s (WWF) Women’s High School Folkstyle State Wrestling tournament held February 21 at the Thunderdome in Oconomowoc, WI.
In the one-day meet, Gruenhagen, who wrestled under the United State Women’s Wrestling banner, went 5-1 (which included a pair of byes) in her 9-woman bracket to capture third place in her weight division and earn a spot on the awards podium.
After losing her opening match in the second round to Hanna Errthum of Mount Horeb High School, who went on to win the gold medal, Gruenhagen rebounded in a big way, winning her final three competitive matches – all by pinfalls – to claim the bronze medal.
“Emma’s dedication, hard work, and passion for the sport of wrestling are really starting to show,” stated her high school wrestling coach Jamie Olson. “She had a great high school season, being one of a few girls that made the sectional tournament.”
That “great season” continued this past Sunday in southeastern Wisconsin as Gruenhagen demonstrated just how accomplished a young wrestler she has become.
Shaking off the second-round loss to Errthum in 2:41, Gruenhagen came back with a vengeance, burning through the consolation bracket and her competition with three straight pins.
After an initial bye to open the consolation rounds, Gruenhagen took on Riley Fink of Brookfield East High School and needed just 55 seconds to nail Fink’s shoulders to the mat.
That victory earned Emma a showdown with Beloit Area Wrestling’s Sydney Andrews, who fell to 126-pound finalist Kylie Rule of Mineral Point by pinfall in the semifinals. Gruenhagen pinned a second straight fall on Andrews as she took the Pointer wrester to the mat at the 3:41 mark of the second period.
That win propelled Gruenhagen into the third-place match where she faced off against Katelyn Richter, a member of the Tigersharks Wrestling Club. Gruenhagen controlled the mark before working and getting the pin of Richter at 4:47 of the 126-pound, bronze-medal match.
“Emma had some great practices leading up to Sunday, and I’m very proud of her accomplishments and all the hard work she put into this past season,” concluded Olson.
Gruenhagen finished the 2020-21 COVID-19 shortened high school season with a 7-10 record after taking fourth place in the 126-pound weight class at the St. Croix Falls sectional on February 6.