Iowa’s Southeast Polk and Illinois’ Montini Catholic ran away from the field at this year’s Cheesehead to finish 1-2. Southeast Polk won the tournament with 593.5 points to Montini Catholic’s 575. They were the only two teams to finish above 500 points.
The Spartans finished 18th in their debut at the Cheesehead with 204.5 points, which was 20 points ahead of Ellsworth’s 184.5 points and 100.5 points more than Wisconsin Rapids. Still hard to believe Rapids, who finished 27th out of 28 teams, has fallen that much in the space of a couple years. The finish could have been even better had Dylan Winchel wrestled on the second day and Daniel Dawley competed at all. Dawley was out with an injury while Winchel wasn’t able to make weight on Saturday.
Pacing the Spartans was Kyle Burkhalter, who finished 6th. Burkhalter was leading his 5th place match before injuring his shoulder. Tristan Zurfluh, in his first competition of the year, finished 11th. In all, 10 Spartans placed with Burkhalter (6th), Zurfluh (11th), Michael Murnane (11th) and Greg Skon (11th) leading the way. Below are summarized results for the Spartans over two days of action…
106 – Corey Zimmerman, Did Not Place, 0-3
113 – Dylan Winchel, Did Not Place, 0-2
120 – John Roddick, 12th Place, 4-4 with two pins and a technical fall
126 – Steven Kelly, 14th Place, 2-6
132 – Brock Polhamus, 14th Place, 2-6
138 – Tristan Zurfluh, 11th Place, 5-3 with a pin
145 – Michael Murnane, 11th Place, 4-4
152 – Dillon Erickson, Did Not Place, 1-3 with a pin
160 – Walker Polhamus, Did Not Place, 0-3
170 – Greg Skon, 11th Place, 4-4 with two pins
182 – Kyle Burkhalter, 6th Place, 5-3 with a major decision
220 – Chase Bernett, 12th Place, 4-4 with four pins
285 – Joseph Benish, 16th Place, 0-6
Full team scores are below…
The Spartans finishing ahead of Ellsworth without their full compliment of wrestlers is pretty impressive. Ellsworth, currently ranked 4th in division two, has been a perennial power and regular in the state team tournament finals for a long time. It will be interesting to see what the Spartans can accomplish once they get everyone healthy and wrestling at the same time. Hopefully that happens by the time Holmen comes to Sparta on January 17th. Other interesting items from the team score standings was Luxemburg-Casco (D2 #1) finishing just ahead of Kaukauna (D1 #1). Sparta also finished well ahead of the 6th ranked team from Oklahoma in Planinview.
To see how the Spartans did in each individual match, click here.
The much anticipated matchup between Apple Valley’s Mark Hall (national #1 at 152 pounds) and Simley’s Jake Short (national #1 at 145 pounds) never materialized. Hall was upended in the semifinals by Glenbard North’s Brian Murphy 3-2 in overtime. Hall went on to place 3rd while Short won in the finals 3-1 in overtime.
Sparta is off until Thursday when they face Aquinas at home.