5:50pm — BOOMSHOCKALOCKA Burkhalter!!! Burkhalter comes through again pinning Allan Pratt of Wisconsin Dells and giving Sparta five team points to move ahead of Viroqua 193-190 in the team standings. It won’t matter what happens at 285 as the Spartans have won this regional in a very hard fought and competitive tournament. The top three teams will likely finish this tournament within five points of each other. I must now go eat Mexican with my fiance, but later tonight I will provide a complete update on today’s tense action.
5:35 pm — It’s coming down to the final two matches. Sparta trails Viroqua 190-188. Viroqua is done while Adams-Friendship is also done with 187 points. Sparta has Kyle Burkhalter at 171 and Chris Beeler at 285. On paper, Burkhalter has the better chance. He wrestles Wisconsin Dells’ Allan Platt (15-20). A win would net the Spartans three points. At 285 pounds, Chris Beeler has West Salem/Bangor’s Alex Arentz (33-10). Sparta needs to win one of these to advance to Tuesday’s team sectional in Mauston. Stay tuned to Spartanwrestling.com as we’ll have results from Burkhalter’s upcoming match as soon as it is done.
5:25 pm — With the championship round completed, Viroqua leads Sparta by one point 185-184. Derek VonRuden won his 125 pound championship bout by a score of 1-0 over Viroqua’s Erik Vesbach. At 145, Toby Mosley lost 7-6 to Viroqua’s Clay Fitzpatrick while at 152 pounds, Morgan Leis was caught and pinned by Alex Peters in 1:56. At 215 pounds, Tom Tourdot won the 215-pound bracket with a 12-4 major decision of Trent Vesbach and at 285 pounds, Chris Beeler won in overtime to pick up three huge team points for the Spartans.
In the wrestleback round, Sparta has five wrestlers going while Viroqua has three, one of which has already lost. Sparta has Nick Winchel, Toby Mosley, Morgan Leis, Kyle Burkhalter and Chris Beeler all wrestling for second place. The biggest match in the wrestleback round might be between Morgan Leis and Viroqua’s Jesse Sheldon (24-13). The team points on that line in the match could end up being huge.
3:04 pm — Opening match of round three saw Dylan Winchel pin his way to 5th place in 1:53 over West Salem/Bangor’s Jared Ammerman (25-17). The pin gives the Spartans 159 team points to 151 points for both Viroqua and Adams-Friendship. Wow. It’s going to be a big final round. Unfortunately, I’m going to be away from the computer for the next 90 minutes to two hours so you will have to get your updates at Trackwrestling.com. Go Spartans!!!
2:20 pm — Big matches in round three…
- Derek VonRuden vs. Viroqua’s Erik Vesbach (32-12) in the finals at 125 pounds, VonRuden defeated Vesbach 5-2 in the finals at the Lancaster Invite
- Nick Winchel vs. Viroqua’s Dylan Glass (15-21) for a chance to wrestle for 2nd place
- Toby Mosley vs. Viroqua’s Clay Fitzpatrick (25-8) in the finals at 145 pounds, Mosley beat Vesbach at the Lancaster Invite by pin in 3:52
- Morgan Leis vs. West Salem/Bangor’s Alex Peters (32-11) in the finals at 152 pounds
- Kyle Burkhalter vs. Adams-Friendship’s Dustin Kirsenlohr (36-4) in the finals at 171
- Tom Tourdot vs. Viroqua’s Trent Vesbach (31-9) in the finals at 215
If Sparta can win a few of these critical matches against Viroqua, I think that will be enough to propel them to the team title. The most critical matches in the championship round are at 125, 130, 145 and 215. Not much is separating Sparta and Viroqua and lots of team points are on the line in these matches.
2:11 pm — Round two is over. That was quick. The Spartans won matches at 119, 125, 145, 152, 171 and 215. Five Spartans are headed to the finals: Derek VonRuden, Toby Mosley, Morgan Leis, Kyle Burkhalter and Tom Tourdot. Nick Winchel lost his semifinal match 7-0 to Colin Dolata and will now wrestle Viroqua’s Dylan Glass (15-21) for a chance to wrestle for 2nd place. However, Winchel will need Dolata to lose to Adams-Friendship’s Jacob Volkey in order for that to happen.
Kyle Burkhalter came up big in his semifinal match defeating Viroqua’s Darren Johnson (13-17) by pin in 1:59. At 189, Ben Schaitel dropped a 3-0 decision to Wisconsin Dells’ Kyle Holzem (28-9). At 135 pounds, Paul Vantassel ran into a roadblock against Wisconsin Dells’ Nick Mor losing by technical fall 15-0. One weight class up at 140, Michael Murnane dropped a 7-5 decision to Wisconsin Dells’ Jon Mor. Morgan Leis won his semifinal match 16-3 while Xavier Lopez was pinned in 55 seconds in his semifinal match. At 215 pounds, Tom Tourdot won by pin in 3:03 over West Salem/Bangor’s Sam Stello (12-7). At 285 pounds, Chris Beeler lost an 8-2 decision to Viroqua’s Taylor Henry.
Sparta still holds the lead in team scoring with 153 points over Viroqua’s 144 points. Adams-Friendship’s is in third with 141 points.
1:32 pm — Wow. This is going to be a three-horse race to the end. As of now, the Spartans lead Viroqua and Adams-Friendship by one point 124-123. This round has seen Bryce Nowaczyk win by decision, Derek VonRuden win by major decision, Nick Winchel fall by decision, Paul Vantassel fall by technicall fall and Michael Murnane lose a close 7-5 decision. Toby Mosley just won his match to advance to the finals.
12:58 pm — First round is over. Viroqua leads all teams with 108 team points. Sparta is second with 104 points. Adams-Friendship hanging around in third with 85 points. Final match of the first round of the Spartans was a big one and it went in Sparta’s favor. Ben Schaitel major decisioned Viroqua’s Carl Fortney 8-0 to pick up 10 team points. Big wins in the first round include Nick Winchel’s pin at 130, Michael Murnane’s and Chris Beeler’s wins over Adams-Friendship wrestlers and Ben Schaitel’s victory over a Viroqua wrestler.
Sparta will need to continue to pick up victories here in the semifinals. At 130 pounds, Nick Winchel has his work cut out for him as Mauston’s Colin Dolata made the move down to 130 pounds and will now wrestle Winchel in the semis. Dolata and Jacob Volkey of Adams-Friendship are two of the top wrestlers in the state at their weight classes in D2. It’s going to be a fight up and down the weight classes going forward.
Some big matches going forward is Dylan Winchel wrestling for 5th place, Derek VonRuden wrestling Adams-Friendship’s Hunter Johnson (10-15) for a spot in the finals, Kyle Burkhalter wrestling Viroqua’s Dustin Johnson (13-16) for a spot in the finals and Chris Beeler wrestling Viroqua’s Taylor Henry (38-1) for a spot in the finals. These are the matches the Spartans need to win or conserve points in losses that will directly impact the team scores.
12:37 pm — Some big wins for the Spartans at 160 and 285. At 160, Xavier Lopez picked up nine team points with his 9-5 quarterfinal victory. Coming up even bigger at 285 was Chris Beeler’s pin in 5:41 over an Adams-Friendship wrestler that netted the Spartans 11 team points. A victory by the Adams wrestler in that match would have been at least an 18-point swing. Those are the stakes here in the first round. Lots of team points to be had and lots of chances to separate. As it stands now, the Spartans are still in first with 94 team points, which is eight points better than second-place Viroqua and 12 points better than Adams-Friendship.
12:08 pm — Back-to-back wins by Paul Vantassel (decision 6-0) and Michael Murnane (pin 2:22) have propelled the Spartans into first place. They now lead the team scoring by 11 points over Adams-Friendship. Murnane’s pin was big considering it was over an Adams-Friendship wrestler. The Spartans will need more of those to widen the gap and keep the Green Devils at bay.
11:48 am — Almost an hour into the tournament, Sparta sits in second place with 54 team points. The Spartans are six points back of Adams-Friendship and eight points ahead of Viroqua. Lots of byes so far in the first round as Sparta has a lot of wrestlers seeded high. In actual matches wrestled, the Spartans are 1-3 with Dylan Winchel losing 10-3, Bryce Nowaczyk losing 8-2 and Tristan Zurfluh dropping a close 4-3 decision. At 130 pounds, Nick Winchel picked up a quarterfinal round pin in 3:47.
I wouldn’t get too worried yet about the team score. The Spartans will really begin to pile on some points when they can actually wrestle. There are so many byes at the 112-pound weight class that Tristan Zurfluh lost his first match and is done for the day. He received two byes after the loss that propelled him to the 5th place match and the 5th place medal.
10:10 am — The Spartanwrestling.com reporting team of Mike Montgomery, Mike Roddick, John Roddick, Brock Polhamus and Alpha-Dog or the man formerly known as Andy Polhamus are en route to Adams-Friendship and will provide some updates throughout the day. Check back here every other hour on average for updates on this first day of postseason wrestling. We’ll also keep you up to date on the regional where River Valley wrestles because if the Spartans win the team title today, they’d face the winner of the regional where River Valley is favored.