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The new year brought with it the start of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference’s dual meet wrestling competitions.
As the schedule makers would have it, Boyceville and Spring Valley/Elmwood, who have either won or shared the conference’s past 13 championships, met in this year’s D-SC opener for both squads last Thursday evening, January 6 in Boyceville.
The host Bulldogs, last year’s conference champion and holders of three of the past four season titles, would end up prevailing 42-34.
Then, just two days later, Boyceville traveled to Merrill where they finished 13th in the Bluejay Challenge.
The Bulldogs have just one competition slated for this week, a quad meet in Osceola this Thursday, January 13. It features the host Chieftains along with Ellsworth and Ladysmith.
In a dual that lasted less than half an hour and featured several pins and forfeits, Boyceville earned three of the former and received four of the latter as it won seven matches in its home confines of the gymnatorium to prevail 42-34 over Spring Valley/Elmwood last Thursday.
The Cardinals won six matches, four via pins and one on a forfeit. There was a double forfeit at 106 pounds.
The win has the Bulldogs off to a 1-0 start in this season’s conference title chase.
Freshman Jake Bialzik opened the dual with a 1:36 pin of the Cardinals’ Aiden O’Meara at 138 pounds.
Spring Valley/Elmwood responded with a score tying pin at 145 pounds where Frank Weix pinned another Boyceville freshman Jeffrey Rubusch in 1:13.
Kyle Lipke received a forfeit for Boyceville at 152 pounds but Cardinal senior Max Schmitt knotted the score at 12 all with a quick 22 second pin of Boyceville junior Brayan Vasquez at 160.
But, the Bulldogs would go on a five-match winning streak beginning with back-to-back pins by freshman Jack Gruenhagen and senior Ira Bialzik.
Gruenhagen put SV/E’s Joel Anderson to the mat just 1:19 into their bout at 170 pounds. Senior Ira Bialzik followed with the evening’s quickest pin, a 14 second fall of Cardinals’ freshman Lyndsey Stark at 182.
Tyler Dormanen, Sebastian Nielson, and Keegan Plemon each received forfeits at 195, 220, and 285 pounds, respectively, to make the score 42-12 in the Bulldogs’ favor.
Following a double forfeit at 106 pounds, Spring Valley/Elmwood would go on a four-match winning streak to make things a bit interesting although the Bulldogs had already assured themselves the victory.
Haeli Casey started the Cardinal run when she majored Bulldog sophomore Wyatt Sell 16-8 in an 113-pound match. Tyler LaCroix then picked up a forfeit for SV/E at 120 pounds. Finally, the Cardinals’ Avery Huebel and Tristan Neisinger scored respective pins over Emma Gruenhagen at 126 pounds and Ryker Benitz at 132 pounds to wrap up the dual making the final score – Boyceville 42 and Spring Valley/Elmwood 34.
Boyceville 42, Spring Valley/Elm 34
138-Jake Bialzik (BV) pinned Aiden O’Meara (SVE), 1:36; 145-Frank Weix (SVE) pinned Jeffrey Rubusch (BV), 1:13; 152-Kyle Lipke (BV) received forfeit; 160-Max Schmitt (SVE) pinned Brayan Vasquez (BV), 0:22; 170-Jack Gruenhagen (BV) pinned Joel Anderon (SVE), 1:19; 182-Ira Bialzik (BV) pinned Lyndsey Stark (SVE), :14; 195-Tyler Dormanen (BV) received forfeit; 220-Bash Nielson (BV) received forfeit; 285-Keegan Plemon (BV) received forfeit; 106-Double Forfeit; 113-Haeli Casey (SVE) majored Wyatt Sell (BV), 16-8; 120-Tyler LaCroix (SVE) received forfeit; 126-Avery Huebel (SVE) pinned Emma Gruenhagen (BV), 2:27; 132-Tristan Neisinger (SVE) pinned Ryker Benitz (BV), 0:43.
Although Boyceville finished 13th out of the 16 schools that competed in the Bluejay Challenge, held Saturday, January 8 at Merrill High School, eight Bulldog wrestlers placed in the tournament highlighted by senior Tyler Dormanen’s runner-up finish at 182 pounds.
Fellow senior Ira Bialzik along with junior Sebastian Nielson each took fourth in their respective weight classes.
Dormanen improved to 23-3 on the season as he finished 4-1 in the Bluejay Challenge. He opened the tournament with a first-round bye and then registered first-period pins over Barron’s Daniel Senneff and Tommy Howard of Lakeland Union/Mercer in the next two round to qualify for the championship bracket.
In his first championship round match, Dormanen, ranked fourth in the Division 3, 182 pound state field, took on Division 2’s eighth-ranked wrestler Blake Thiry of Prairie du Chien and prevailed 5-2 to earn a berth in the first-place match opposite Gavin Osterman of Rhinelander. Osterman would win his 20th victory of the season and the 182-pound gold with a 10-7 decision over Dormanen.
Ira Bialzik and Sebastian “Bash” Nielson, like Dormanen, would claim wins in the first three rounds of the Bluejay Challenge. But, each would fall in their two championship-round matches to finished 3-2 and in fourth place. All five of Ira Bialzik’s matches at 170 pounds were determined by pins as he won the first three. Nielson had a pair of pins among his trio of victories at 195 pounds.
Seniors John Klefstad (220) and Keegan Plemon (285) also finished their day in Merrill with 3-2 marks each placing seventh.
Other Bulldog place winners were: Wyatt Sell, tenth at 106 pounds; Kyle Lipke, 12th at 152 pounds; and Jake Bialzik, 15th at 132 pounds.
Boyceville finished with 188 points to take 13th in the 16-team meet. Wausau West, ranked eighth in Division 1, took the championship with 505 points, St. Croix Central was second with 432, and Prairie du Chien came in third with 400 points.