The Spartans won nine of 14 matches Thursday evening to defeat Tomah 42-21 in Tomah. The Spartans jumped out to a 19-0 lead after four matches and never looked back as they avenged last season’s 46-24 loss to the Timberwolves. In the process, junior Hayden Krein picked up his 100th career victory and became the 23rd Spartan to reach that mark for their career.
Spartan wrestlers were solid in short-time situations, earned important bonus points and picked up victories in matches they needed to win. The marquee matchup of the night featuring the top-ranked wrestler at 160 pounds in division one in Hayden Krein and honorable mention at 160 pounds in Tomah’s Casey Curran was dominated by Krein who won 10-1 and picked up bonus points with a near fall in the final seconds of the match to secure four points for the Spartans. The 10-1 victory was in stark contrast to the 2-0 victory Krein earned over Curran last week at Bi-State.
Krein’s victory was followed by a huge 7-4 win at 170 pounds for Sparta’s Matthew Fahning in a match that could have gone either way. With under 30 seconds to go, Fahning landed a four-point move to pick up the 7-4 victory and give Sparta a 7-0 lead. That was followed by a big pin at 182 pounds by James Gann over Tomah’s Connor Von Haden to put Sparta up 13-0.
The victories for Sparta continued at 195 pounds with Austin Zwiefel picking up another Spartan pin in 1:20 to make it 19-0 in favor of the visitors. Tomah would win the next two matches by pin and decision to pull within 19-9, but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the night. At 220, Garet Pfaff was in a one-point match with Tomah’s Kaden Herricks before being pinned and Dearman avoided surrendering bonus points at 285 in his 7-1 loss.
Going into the 106-pound match, Sparta led 19-9 as freshman Vince Polhamus came up big with a pin over Tomah’s Adam Osmand in 2:31. At 113 pounds, Blake Brooks picked up Sparta’s sixth victory of the night to give Sparta a 28-9 lead. Brooks and Tomah’s Cody Zimmerman were tied 2-2 before Zimmerman let Brooks escape. Brooks returned the favor with a big takedown to go up 5-2 and three more near fall points in the final seconds of the second period that enabled Brooks to come away with the 8-2 victory.
At 120 pounds, Jakob Larson wrestled one of Tomah’s toughest wrestlers, Nate Boulton, to overtime. It was tied 4-4 going into the third period with Larson in the down position, but he could not escape Boulton. That set up overtime and the first 30 seconds were a mad scramble with Larson extremely close to earning a takedown before Boulton emerged out of the scramble with a takedown and the victory to pull Tomah to within 16 at 28-12.
Wrestling two weights up, Jon Bailey would get those points back and more with a 13-0 major decision victory that he led 5-0 after one and 10-0 after two. With the 13-0 victory, Bailey gave Sparta a 32-12 lead. Tomah would take the next two matches, but not without some drama. At 132 pounds, Kyle Erickson would push 132-pound D1 honorable mention Tommy Repka to overtime before falling via ultimate tiebreaker 4-3. That was followed up by a first period pin by Tomah’s Hunter Pierce over Sparta’s Cole Clark to make it 32-21 Sparta.
Jaden Winchel would clinch the victory for the Spartans with a first period pin of Tomah’s Bobby Bemis to put the match out of reach for the Timberwolves with Sparta up 38-21 and only one match to go. In the final match of the night, Brett Von Ruden was dominant from start to finish en route to the 12-2 major decision victory to put the final score at Sparta 42 and Tomah 21.
Match-by-match results are below…
160 – Hayden Krein wins by major decision over Casey Curran (Tomah) 10-1
170 – Matt Fahning defeats Justice Blackhawk (Tomah) 7-4
182 – James Gann pinned Conner Von Haden (Tomah) in 3:41
195 – Austin Zwiefel pinned Gunnar Boetcher (Tomah) in 1:20
220 – Kaden Herricks (Tomah) pinned Garet Pfaff in 2:53
285 – Jake Tahtinen (Tomah) defeats Gabe Dearman 7-1
106 – Vince Polhamus pinned Adam Osmand (Tomah) in 2:31
113 – Blake Brooks defeats Cody Zimmerman (Tomah) 8-3
120 – Nate Boulton (Tomah) wins in sudden victory OT against Jakob Larson 6-4
126 – Jon Bailey wins by major decision over Owen Walters (Tomah) 13-0
132 – Tommy Repka (Tomah) wins via ultimate tie breaker over Kyle Erickson 4-3
138 – Hunter Pierce (Tomah) pinned Cole Clark in 1:23
145 – Jaden Winchel pinned Bobby Bemis (Tomah) in 1:16
152 – Brett Von Ruden won by major decision over Travis Von Haden (Tomah) 12-2
FINAL: Sparta 42 – Tomah 21
With the victory, Sparta improves to 4-0 on the year and 2-0 in the MVC. There isn’t much of a break for Sparta as they travel to Lancaster on Saturday for the Lancaster Invitational. JV will be at the Wisconsin Wrestling Challenge Series regional at Mineral Point. Varsity action begins at 9:30am with JV action slated to kick off at 10am.
It was a solid victory by the Spartans and could have been much more lopsided with two of Sparta’s losses coming in overtime. Sparta picked up bonus points when they needed them and won the critical matches that could have swung this match and made it much closer. With the win over the Tomah, Sparta has won seven of the last eight duals against the Timberwolves. Great job, Spartans!!