Neumann gets sixth at state wrestling meet
Other local wrestlers all defeated in first round at state
Somerset's Justin Neumann was the lone place winner among the five local wrestlers who qualified for the 2005 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Championships.
Neumann made the awards podium by placing sixth in the Division 3 189-pound bracket at the state meet.
Also competing at the state meet were New Richmond's Brian Volkert and Israel Neumann and Somerset's Andy Hecht and Drew Baillargeon.
Neumann went 2-2 in his four matches at state to earn sixth place. In his opening match he faced Jordan Vanderwilt of Poynette. Neumann was very sharp in this match, controlling what went on at all times. He was able to take a 7-0 win in the match.
That put Neumann in the quarterfinals against Dustin Bauman of Stratford. This name should be familiar to Somerset fans. Bauman's older brother beat Neumann's older brother, Andrew, in the 2002 state championship match.Bauman, who was 30-0, was able to pin Neumann at the midpoint of the match.
This meant the best Neumann could do in the tournament was fifth place. In the first match of the wrestlebacks, Neumann faced Jordan Seufzer of Dodgeland. This was no contest, with Neumann scoring a 13-2 win.
"Justin wrestled probably his best match of the year," said Somerset coach Dennis Potter. "He took calculated risks and he wasn't afraid to mix it up."
That put Neumann in the fifth place match against Jordan Gajewski of Athens. Gajewski was able to throw Neumann with a victory roll move, pinning him at the 31-second mark.
Potter said the coaches will work with Neumann for next year on breaking out of pinning situations. Four of his five losses this season came via pins.
Baillargeon had another of the tough draws of the tournament, in Curtis Fiedler of Mineral Point. Fiedler would go on to win the 130-pound state championship in Division 3. Baillargeon nearly came out with a win in this match. The match ended with Fiedler winning 7-3. But at the end of the match Baillargeon had thrown Fiedler to his back, but no points were awarded on the move.
Potter said Baillargeon had mixed feelings watching Fiedler go onto the state championship, knowing that his loss was not a fluke, but also knowing how close he was to being in Fiedler's position.
Hecht's opening draw was Dusty DeLorme of Bonduel. Potter said Hecht, who tends to be an emotional wrestler, was very composed in his state match. Hecht went into the match aggressively, but DeLorme was able to score a pin at the 3:33 mark in the 160-pound match.
Hecht finishes his season with a 26-10 record. Neumann ends the year at 21-5 and Baillargeon's season ends with a 31-10 record.
Brian Volkert and Israel Neumann both had difficult opening draws at the state tournament.
Volkert's opening draw was Blake Roemer of Ripon, who would go on to win the state championship in Division 2 at 215 pounds. Volkert went out aggressively, but ran into an opponent with more physical maturity. Roemer pinned Volkert at the 2:49 mark of the match.
Neumann was a sophomore in a class of older and physically mature wrestlers in the Division 2 189-pound class. Neumann faced Josh Dunn of Brown Deer and was defeated 8-2.
Neumann's strength is his ability to get his legs in from the top position and turn his opponents. In the only time Neumann was on top, Dunn was able to get a quick reversal, taking away Neumann's best chance to roll up some points in the match.
Volkert finishes the season with a 17-7 season and Neumann finishes with a 29-10 record this season. With two wrestlers returning next season with state experience, the Tigers are in better shape for the upcoming season than they have been in for several years.