Middleton wrestlers win critical Big Eight meet
JANESVILLE The starting weight is often pivotal in a high school wrestling meet.
A team can build needed momentum if it can get off to a strong start.
And that's exactly what Middleton did Tuesday night.
The Cardinals won by pin in the first three weight classes and coasted to a 45-24 Big Eight Conference dual meet win over Janesville Craig.
Tenth-ranked Middleton and Craig are expected to be the top teams in the conference, along with Sun Prairie, but Tuesday night it was all Cardinals early on as they jumped out to an 18-0 lead.
"It was not a good weight class to start at for us," Craig coach Mark Mullen said of the 182-pound opening match. "But that's no excuse for not wrestling better as a team than we did. We have to become a tougher team if we want to have success.
"Middleton's got a good team, but I don't think they're that much better than us. Unfortunately, they were tonight."
Trailing 18-0, Craig made it interesting with two quick pins from 285-pounder Dakota Pearson and 106-pounder Airk Furseth—who both pinned their opponents in the first period—to make it 18-12.
Unfortunately for Craig, Middleton responded with three straight wins to push the lead back to 30-12.
Anthony Skrede got a 27-second pin at 132 for Craig to cut the margin to 30-18, but Middleton countered with a pin at 138 to make it 36-18. Craig's Kyle LeCaptain picked up the team's last win of the meet with a pin at 145, but Middleton won the last three weight classes.
"We were missing three varsity wrestlers tonight, another one was sick yesterday and another one barely made weight tonight," Mullen said. "We needed some kids to step up tonight, but unfortunately, that didn't happen enough.
"My hat's off to Middleton. They're ranked No. 10 for a reason, but I'd like to wrestle them again when we're at full strength."
Craig competes at the E.H. Stech Invitational on Friday and Saturday in West Allis.
MIDDLETON 45, CRAIG 24
106—Airk Furseth (JC) pinned Shamar Madlock, 1:16; 113—Brett Cain (M) pinned Jarrett Burke, 2:44; 120—Justin Swiersz (M0 dec. Aaron Wehrwein, 8-6 (OT); 126—Mike O'Shea (M) dec. Sam Quinn, 10-4; 132—Anthony Skrede (JC) pinned Shane Bishop, :27; 138—Jake Cain (M) pinned Christian Wright, :34; 145—Kyle LeCaptain (JC) pinned Josh Watts, :25.
152—Grant Laurent (M) dec. Zach Mulrooney, 2-1; 160—Brandon Best (M0 dec. Alex Zimmerman, 10-8; 170—Taggert Haase (M) dec. Noah Vandenlangenberg, 5-0; 182—Nathan Dresen (M) pinned Matt Plewa, 1:31; 195—Wyatt Cory (M) pinned Tyler Chilson, :13; 220—Lon Yeary (M) pinned Brock Bennett, :53; 285—Dakota Pearson (JC) pinned Sean Benedict, :33.
-- Starting weight—182.
-- Sun Prairie 52, Parker 26—The Vikings fell behind 36-0 in the Big Eight Conference dual meet and could not recover.
Parker (0-2) got pins from Gage Burdick at 132 and Tyler Jelinek at 285, and wins from Michael Roca (106), Tyler Thornton (126) and Zach Redieske (138).
SUN PRAIRIE 52, PARKER 26
106—Michael Roca (P) dec. Abe Rossmiller, 7-6; 113—Phil Berge (SP) pinned Tristan Grams, 1:22; 120—Travis Bouzek (SP) major dec. over Dylan Siener, 8-0; 126—Tyler Thornton (P) won by forfeit; 132—Gage Burdick (P) pinned Chewy Vang, 4:55; 138—Zach Redieske (P) tech. fall over Trent Zweifel, 16-0; 145—Cody Pastorius (SP) pinned Julio Sanchez, 3:46.
152—Jared Sharenbrock (SP) pinned Mat Pakes, :36; 160—Forrest Hawkinson (SP) pinned Stephen Presti, 2:43; 170—Wesley Schultz (SP) pinned Alex Miller, 4:54; 182—James Pntius (SP) pinned Brandon Fryda, 2:25; 195—David Pontius (SP) won by forfeit; 220—Mitch McCluskey (SP) pinned Scott Van Der Haegen, 3:20; 285—Tyler Jelinek (JP) pinned Jesse Masnak, 1:32.
-- Starting weight—152.