B-T, WHS wrestlers qualify for WIAA state tournament

Logan Shramek of Blair-Taylor secured a pin during the sectional tournament in Westby on Saturday. (Times photgraph by Zac Bellman)

One wrestler from Blair-Taylor and one from Whitehall advanced to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Individual State Tournament with top-three finishes at the Division Three Westby Sectional on Saturday.

Logan Shramek (182), who took fifth at the 2019 state tournament, cruised to a sectional title while Liam Herrick (220) needed a little good fortune as he took second.

Herrick (34-7) will wrestle Thursday night during the 7:15 p.m. session at the Kohl Center in Madison. He will have a tough match to start, facing Reedsville’s Cole Ebert with a 44-2 record, coming off of a fourth-place finish in the 2019 state tournament. The winner will wrestle Lukas David (36-5) of Johnson Creek.  

As one of four top seeds, Shramek (34-2) has a bye in the first round and won’t wrestle until the 11:15 a.m. Friday session. He will take on the winner of the match between Steven Pfeiffer (26-8) of Cadott and Ben Strehlow (40-7) of Weyauwega-Fremont. Shramek lost to Pfeiffer at the state tournament a year ago.

Westby Sectional - Shramek had little trouble winning the sectional title.

The B-T wrestler pinned his first opponent, Evan Palamaruk of Royall in the first period. He then escaped Will Ahnen with a 6-2 in the semifinal, clinching a state tournament appearance. 

For a bye in the first round of the state tournament, Shramek pinned Mason Hughes of Mineral Point in the second period.

After a lost in the quarterfinal found, Herrick’s day went a little differently.

The Whitehall junior was pinned by Aaron Ragels of Fennimore, which meant he needed Ragels to win his second match or Herrick would’ve been eliminated.

Ragels did so — he went on to win the sectional title — and Herrick took advantage with a 46-second pin over Mason McCluskey of Royall. The Whitehall wrestlers still needed another win with a tough opponent on deck, but he defeated 31-4 Cole Straka of Lancaster 6-0 to clinch third place and a state tournament appearance.

Herrick then defeated Dylan Nottestad of Westby 9-7 to take second in the sectional. 

The only other area wrestler to place in the Westby sectional was B-T’s Colton Lejcher (113), who finished fourth.

Lejcher split his first two matches before winning to advance to the third-place match, but he lost to Justice Dilley of Riverdale 8-1. 

Noah Shepherd (160) and Matthew Betker (170) also wrestled for B-T, but both lost their first matches and did not get another chance.

Wylie Dunn (285) and Matthew Poulos (113) both won their first matches for Whitehall.

Dunn pinned Kenton Dvorak of Westby in the second period, but he lost a couple of close matches, losing 7-5 to Logan Klaas of Fennimore and 5-3 to Dawson Wilmot of Riverdale. 

Poulos pinned Marcus Forsythe of New Lisbon in 2:31, but lost his second match by major decision and was pinned in his third.

Connor Gleeson (138) and Brekken Kulig (145) both got second chances after losing their first matches, but both lost again, ending their tournaments. Alex Katzman (120) and Riley Orsch (195) lost in the first round and didn’t get wrestle-back matches. 

Independence/Gilmanton’s Ethan Severson (152) won his first match, topping Tristan Grant of Cashton 7-3, but he lost a pair of close matches, falling to Logan Schneider of Lancaster 6-4 and Jordan Keegan of Riverdale 9-7.

Gabe Rombalski was pinned in his first match and didn’t get a wrestle-back match. 


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