6:00 pm — Merrill, Iowa Grant and Stoughton are pulling away from the rest of the field while the Spartans continue battling in a tight foursome of teams all vying for 4th place. Merrill leads all teams with 167.5 points followed by Iowa Grant with 146 and Stoughton with 143. Sycamore is 4th with 117 points followed by the Spartans with 113, Owatonna with 111 and River Valley with 109.
Dylan Winchel became Sparta’s first finalist with a pin in 3:20 over Merrill’s Nathan Beyer. At 113, John Roddick fell 12-0 to Waukesha South’s Bill Prochniewski while Brock Polhamus dropped to 0-2 on the day with a loss to Merrill’s Scott Arneson by pin in 4:49.
Derek VonRuden picked up a solid consolation semifinal win over Lomira’s Casey Seltrecht (18-4) by pin in 2:53 while Michael Murnane lost 6-4 to Sauk Prairie’s Mike Miller (17-5).
At 152 pounds, Toby Mosley is a consolation finalist with a 11-1 major decision victory over Janesville Craig’s Zack Mulrooney and at 160 pounds, Robert Ragan’s day ended with a 3-1 loss to Sycamore’s Austin Armstrong. At 170 pounds, Greg Skon improved to 3-1 on the day and earned a spot in the consolation finals with a 9-7 victory over Janesville Craig’s Nate Mather.
In the 182 pound semifinal bout, Kyle Burkhalter was pinned in 1:11 by Iowa Grant’s Blake Welu, the top ranked wrestler in division three. At 220 pounds, Chase Bernett’s day ended as he defeated Madison Lafollette’s Isaac Schaefer 10-6 and then lost to Waukesha South’s Frank Stackhouse by pin in 2:30.
In the last semifinal match for Sparta, Chris Beeler was pinned in 2:52 by Waukesha South’s Brock Milkent. Beeler, Roddick and Burkhalter will all be wrestling for third.
4:12 pm — Sparta is now in 4th place with 85 team points. Merrill leads all teams with 124.5 followed by Stoughton with 110 and Iowa Grant with 88. After Sparta, it’s pretty tight. Owatonna has 84 points, River Valley 80, Sycamore 77, Waukesha South 76.5 and Lomira 75.
So what’s happened in the hour since our last update? Brock Polhamus lost to Merrill’s Scott Arneson (13-1) by pin in 4:49. Tristan Zurfluh lost his second match of the day in overtime 5-3 to Owatonna’s Corey Goetsch while Derek VonRuden rebounded nicely with a pin in 4:47 over Sauk Prairie’s Dallas Breunig.
Michael Murnane bounced back from his technical fall defeat to beat up on Stoughton’s Kyle Moore 17-7. At 152 pounds, Toby Mosley picked up a pin over Madison Lafollette’s Jeremy Johnson in 1:42. Chris Beeler won his quarterfinal match 3-2 over Lomira’s Justin Michael (16-3).
Some big tests await Sparta’s wrestlers in the semifinals. At 113, John Roddick will wrestle Waukesha South’s Bill Prochniewski who entered today’s tournament ranked third in division one. At 182 pounds, Kyle Burkhalter will wrestle the top ranked wrestler in division three in Iowa Grant’s Blake Welu. Finally, at 285 pounds, Chris Beeler will face off with Waukesha South’s Brock Milkent (15-1).
3:17 pm — Sparta hasn’t wrestled much since the last time we updated and when they have, it’s not been in Sparta’s favor. As a team, the Spartans are sitting in 8th place with 65 points. Stoughton leads all teams with 110 points.
Since we last updated you, Derek VonRuden lost to Waterford’s Cody Dolata 5-0 while Michael Murnane fell by technical fall 16-0 to Sycamore’s Steven Lalowski. At 152 pounds, Toby Mosley lost a 5-2 decision to Merrill’s Ray Paul.
Robert Ragon rebounded with an 11-4 victory over Stoughton’s Aaron Knudtson while at 170 pounds, Greg Skon dropped to 1-1 on the day losing 17-6 to Campbellsport’s Zach Gassner. At 182 pounds, Kyle Burkhalter remained undefeated on the day winning by injury default over Menomonee Falls’ Ayola Olapo while Erik Larsen fell to Iowa Grant’s Derek Peat by pin in 3:08.
We’ll keep you updated as results continue to filter in…
1:47 pm — Sparta is in 2nd place, 2.5 points ahead of Merrill and eight points back of host and team leaders Stoughton through one and a half rounds of wrestling.
At 113 pounds, John Roddick is Sparta’s only 2-0 wrestler, but six other wrestlers are still 1-0 on the day. Roddick picked up a 6-0 victory in the quarterfinals over Campbellsport’s Nick Stahl (11-3) who entered the tournament as an honorable mention in D2 according to Wisconsin Wrestling Online. Dylan Winchel picked up a pin in 1:41 over Menomoniee Fall’s Aaron Daly (7-3) to improve to 16-1 on the year.
At 126 pounds, Tristan Zurfluh ran into a tough match in Stoughton’s Nick Urso and fell by pin in 53 seconds. Urso entered the tournament ranked 6th at 126 in D1. Julius Julson fell 11-0 to Oak Creek’s Alex Ferreira while Robert Ragan also lost by pin in 1:25 to Merrill’s David Pophal.
Greg Skon picked up a 9-6 victory at 170 pounds over River Valley’s Garret Riek and at 182 pounds, Kyle Burkhalter won by pin in 1:21 over Horicon’s Ryan Miller. Erik Larsen followed up his first varsity win of 2011 by losing to Sycamore’s Jake Davis (17-0) by pin in 45 seconds while Chase Bernett lost 17-5 to River Valley’s Zach Koch. Finally, at 285 pounds, Chris Beeler pinned Oak Creek’s Nick Gottfriend in 1:40.
Sparta is doing very well against competition from River Valley. So far on the day, Sparta is 3-1 against River Valley wrestlers. This is important because they will be in Sparta’s sectional and could be a possible team sectional opponent should Sparta win their regional. We’ll keep tabs on how the Spartans are doing against them as the day progresses.
11:20 am — Action is underway in Madison at the Badger State Invite. It’s still early, but Sparta finds itself in 4th place as a team with 15 points. Merrill leads all teams with 17 points followed by Owatonna, MN with 16 and Stoughton with 16.
First round action for the Spartans saw John Roddick pick up a first period pin in 1:53 over Janesville Craig’s Chris Reynolds, Tristan Zurfluh scoring a 14-4 major decision victory over River Valley’s Hunter Ring, Derek VonRuden pinning Iowa Grant’s Murilo Luques in 1:36 and Michael Murnane pinning Waukesha South’s Christian Peterman in 2:59. At 195, Erik Larsen defeated River Valley’s Jacob Heiser 5-2 in his 2011 varsity debut. At 152 pounds, Toby Mosley pinned Sauk Prairie’s Christopher Chrisler in 1:31.
In the loaded 120 pound weight class, Brock Polhamus fell 8-1 to Seth LaBodda of Oak Creek while Julius Julson dropped his first match by 17-2 technical fall to Sycamore, Illinois’ Zach Munro.
More updates to come throughout the day…