Norse cruise through Durand wrestling regional

            Whitehall’s Brock Johnson tried to secure a pin against Charles Baize of Independence/Gilmanton during the Durand regional on Saturday.            (Times photograph by Andrew Dannehy)

            Max Marsolek of Independence/Gilmanton worked to get his opponent to his back during the Durand regional on Saturday.            (Times photograph by Andrew Dannehy)

            Blair-Taylor’s Gunar Koxlien attempted to turn Independence/Gilmanton’s Gabe Pietrek to his back during their match at the Durand regional on Saturday.            (Times photograph by Andrew Dannehy)

With more than half the team advancing to the sectional round, the Whitehall wrestling team won the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division Three Durand regional by more than 30 points on Saturday.

The Norse scored 219 team points, well ahead of second-place Durand’s 187. Independence/Gilmanton finished third, 157; followed by Mondovi, 116; Blair-Taylor, 108 and Cochrane-Fountain City, 44.

With the tournament win, the Norse qualified for the WIAA Team Sectional at Cadott on Tuesday of this week. They’ll take on Cadott with the winner of the dual advancing to the sectional final that same night. The sectional champion will wrestle at the team state tournament in Madison on March 4 and 5.

By taking either first or second place, seven Whitehall wrestlers advanced to the individual sectional at Saint Croix Falls this Saturday. They will be joined by five wrestlers from I/G and five from Blair-Taylor. 

There, the top three wrestlers in each weight class will qualify for the individual state tournament in Madison Feb. 24 to 26. 

Durand Regional

Four of the seven Whitehall wrestlers to qualify for the sectional did so as regional champions.

Among the regional champions was Wylie Dunn (285) a state qualifier a year ago. Dunn received a bye in the first round before his next two matches lasted a total of 90 seconds. First he pinned Jonah Linse of Mondovi in 17 seconds then topped I/G’s Blaine Severson in 1:13 to win the title.

Matthew Poulos (132) had less time on the mat than Dunn, though he only wrestled one match. Poulos had two byes before pinning Cody Vollmer of Mondovi in 1:21.

Nolan Thompson (106) also only had one match, a pin over I/G’s Gracie Rombalski in 3:51.

Alex Katzman (138) won both of his matches by pin, taking down Roy Cooper of Durand in 1:13 and Gunar Koxlien of B-T in 2:46.

Brock Johnson (113), Marcus Petersen (120) and Brian Flores (145) all finished second. 

Flores had to win a wrestle back match to get into second. He lost his first match to B-T’s Ryan Flynn before beating Lucas Train of Durand in overtime. He then pinned I/G’s Max Marsolek in 2:25 to win second place.

Petersen pinned I/G’s Alex Johnson in the second round before falling to Durand’s Joey Baker. He kept second place as Johnson was the third-place wrestler. 

Brock Johnson had a similar tournament as he won his second match and lost in the championship, but held on to second place because a wrestler he already beat took third.

Brekken Kulig (170), Eric Kleinhans (182), Adam Kleinhans (195) and Taevyon Saintfort (220) all finished third for the Norse, Broc Coburn (152) and Lukas Paske (160) both finished fourth.

I/G advanced five wrestlers with Gavin Bragger (182) winning his weight class. 

Bragger pinned Mitchell Fedie in the semifinal round then took down B-T’s Bryan Rogstad in the championship.

Severson (285), Drew Bragger (220), Gael Leon (126) and Gracie Rombalski (106) all finished second.

Severson beat Durand’s Ubaldo Martinez 1-0 in the semifinal before losing to Dunn. He held onto second place as Martinez was third. 

Drew Bragger pinned Whitehall’s Saintfort before losing to Durand’s Ethan Brunner. Saintfort took third so Bragger didn’t have to wrestle again.

Rombalski and Leon both lost their only matches in the championship round, but there were only two wrestlers in their weight classes. 

Charles Baize (113), Alex Johnson (120), Gabe Pietrek (120), Max Marsolek (145) and Clay Herdahl (160) all finished third. Mason Gierok (170) was fourth.

All five of B-T’s wrestlers advanced including two champions.

Ryan Flynn (145) and Dylan Elvaker (195) both won their weight classes.

Elvaker only needed one win as he pinned Mondovi’s Tristen Teigen in 1:26. 

Flynn pinned Whitehall’s Flores and I/G’s Marsolek to win his weight class.

Gunar Koxlien (138), Jackson Shramek (170) and Brian Rogstad (182) all took second.

Koxlien pinned I/G’s Pietrek before losing to Whitehall’s Katzman. He did not have to wrestle again.

Shramek scored a 9-6 win over Whitehall’s Kulig before falling 5-3 to C-FC’s Sam Schutz. He did not have to wrestle again as Kulig took third. 

Rogstad beat Whitehall’s Eric Kleinhans 9-3 before falling to I/G’s Gavin Bragger. He did not have to wrestle again.

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