Area wrestlers place at state tournaments

While the field may have been limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Times-area wrestlers were still able to rise to the top as all three area competitors in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournaments placed in the top six.

Whitehall’s Wylie Dunn placed the highest, taking fourth at 285 pounds in the Division Three tournament held at Wausau East High School, while Blair-Taylor’s Chris Rogstad took sixth in the same weight class. Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro’s Tanner Andersen finished fifth at 126 pounds in Division Two.

Both of Dunn’s losses came to Spencer Karban of Coleman. The first came in the tournament’s opening round when Dunn just couldn’t quite get ahead.

Karban scored a takedown with 18 seconds left in the first period before Dunn escaped before the final whistle. Karban’s lead grew to 4-1 with a reversal, followed by another escape by Dunn.

Dunn escaped early in the third period to get within 4-3, but Karban scored a takedown with 40 seconds left in the match. Dunn responded with a reversal with 17 seconds remaining, but he wasn’t able to get the final takedown needed to get the win, falling 6-5.

The loss put Dunn in the consolation bracket, but he came through with two wins to put himself in a third-place match. He started by pinning Diego Morales of Cedar Grove-Belgium in the second period after taking a 4-1 lead.

The Whitehall wrestler then pinned Andrew Elmhorst of Manawa. Elmhorst took a 1-0 lead into the third period, but Dunn scored a reversal and turned Elmhorst to his back for a pin. That put Dunn in-line for third place, but he faced Karban again.

The second match started much like the first as Karban scored a takedown in the first period followed by a Dunn escape. Karban took control in the second period getting a reversal and a takedown with four seconds left as he took a 6-2 lead into the third. Dunn scored a couple of escapes in the third period, but they were followed by takedowns, including one with seven seconds left to clinch a 10-4 win for the Coleman wrestler.

Dunn finished the season with a 16-3 record and was the only non-senior wrestler to make the podium at 285 pounds in Division Three. All three of his losses came to wrestlers who placed at the state tournament, including one to Rogstad.

Rogstad won one match at the state tournament as he finished sixth out of eight wrestlers.

He was pinned by Elmhorst in the first match. Rogstad took a 1-0 lead into the third period, but the Manawa wrestler scored a reversal and turned the B-T heavyweight for the pin.

Rogstad responded with a 7-3 win over Jordan Arendt of Random Lake. Rogstad scored three points in the second period, including a takedown with 36 seconds left to take a 3-1 lead. The B-T senior then scored two takedowns in the third for the win.

The B-T wrestler then ran into Karban, who took him down and pinned him in the first period.

That set Rogstad and Elmhorst up with a rematch with the winner claiming fifth place. Elmhorst scored an escape in the second period then pinned Rogstad.

Rogstad finished his senior season with a 12-5 record with two of the losses coming to Dunn, though Rogstad defeated Dunn for the sectional title two weeks ago.

Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro’s Tanner Andersen finished fifth at 126 pounds in the Division Two tournament, held at Adams-Friendship High School.

Andersen drew a tough match in the opening round as he faced Caleb Meunier of Winneconne, the defending state champion at 113 pounds who had defeated Andersen in the last two state tournaments.

Meunier took the lead off a penalty point then scored an escape and a takedown with 19 seconds left in the second period to go ahead 4-0. The wrestlers started the third period from the neutral position, but Andersen couldn’t get his offense going as he was shut out, 4-0. Meunier went on to win the state championship.

Andersen responded by pinning Andrew Schad of Kiel. Schad had a 3-1 lead with a minute left in the second period before Andersen took him down and pinned him.

The G/M wrestler seemed to be in control of his next match when five nearfall points put him ahead 5-0, but Chandler Curtis of Lodi scored a reversal and pinned Andersen with nine seconds left in the second period.

That moved Andersen down to the fifth-place match where he defeated Jordan Dolata of A-F 9-0.

After a takedown in the first period, Andersen scored a reversal and three nearfall points in the second to take a 7-0 lead. He got another takedown in the third period.

Andersen finished his junior season with a 21-2 record.

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