Tomah won key matches and wrestled strong when they needed too en route to winning their fifth consecutive MVC title and 31st straight conference dual. Sparta won six matches including a big win by Adam Wiedl at 112 pounds, but it wasn't enough to overcome Tomah's eight victories on the night.
Sparta lost close matches at 130, 152 and 160 that proved to be the difference in the match. Senior Derek McDonald moved up two weight classes from 119 to 130 and that might have been a bit too much for him. He pulled to within 10-8 with 30 seconds to go before surrendering a takedown. The win seemed to swing the momentum in Tomah's favor. At 152 pounds, Tomah's Joey Organ defeated Jordan Stanek 4-1 in another match the Spartans were hoping to pick up. At 160 pounds, Nick Anderson wrestled a back-and-forth match with Travis Blinkiewicz before falling 6-4. While every match counted, one could look back and say that these three matches were the pivotal points in Tuesday's night dual.
As the match progressed and the score tightened, Sparta's Adam Wiedl picked up a huge victory in a well-wrestled match against a tough Zurik Adler. Adler beat Derek McDonald last year at Regionals so we know he had a lot of talent, but Wiedl wrestled a technically strong match from start to finish. After falling behind early, Wiedl rallied back to win the match 6-4 and put some wind back in Sparta's sails. However, in the end it wasn't too be and Sparta finished runner-up to Tomah for the third year in a row. Thanks to the 1,500 of you from both Tomah and Sparta who came to Sparta High School tonight and put on a great atmosphere.
Now for the full results…
145 – Morgan Leis major decisioned Connor Genrich (T) 14-4
152 – Joey Organ (T) decisioned Jordan Stanek 4-1
160 – Travis Blinkiewics (T) decisioned Nick Anderson 6-4
171 – Brandon Brueggen decisioned Ross Lynch 6-4
189 – Matt Tourdot won by forfeit
215 – Kevin Schmitz pinned David Pierce (T) 2:29
285 – Josh Van Gundy (T) major decisioned Aaron Freeman 9-1
103 – Kevin Betthauser (T) pinned Bryce Nowaczyk 0:54
112 – Adam Weidl decisioned Zurik Adler (T) 6-4
119 – Mike Linehan (T) pinned Derek VonRuden 3:31
125 – Ian Duncan (T) major decisioned Toby Mosley 15-5
130 – Tyler Von Haden (T) decisioned Derek McDonald 12-8
135 – Derek Scott (T) pinned Logan Denasha 3:03
140 – Tom Tourdot decisioned Kyle Laylan (T) 4-0
Final: Tomah 35 – Sparta 25
The loss drops Sparta's record to 10-2 overall and 5-1 in conference. With the win tonight, Tomah now holds the conference record for consecutive championships breaking Holmen's MVC championship run of four championships from 1993-94 through 1996-97. Tomah's streak might be more impressive considering the Timberwolves had to do it with an additional team in the mix in La Crosse Aquinas. In Holmen's run of four straight titles and Tomah's current run of five, Sparta has finished in the runner-up spot six times. In the history of the MVC, Sparta has finished second in conference ten times. That's consistency and it's the next best thing you can have if you can't have an MVC title every year.
We are currently uploading video from tonight's dual and working on a photo gallery. Check back later tonight or tomorrow for these additions.
While the outcome of tonight's dual wasn't what Sparta hoped for, it was a hard-fought match and Spartan fans have a lot to be proud of. Congratulations to Sparta on another fine season and the best of luck as they prepare for the tournament season. Sparta is off this weekend and all of next week as they prepare for the W.I.A.A. Regionals, which will be held in Tomah on Saturday, February 14.