Somerset wrestling advances four to sectionalsThe four Somerset wrestlers who have been standouts all season continued their success at the WIAA Division 2 regional meet in Ellsworth on Saturday.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The four Somerset wrestlers who have been standouts all season continued their success at the WIAA Division 2 regional meet in Ellsworth on Saturday.
If they can maintain that level of success in this Saturday’s Division 2 sectional in Osceola, they will earn a place in the 2012 WIAA State Wrestling Championships.
Qualifying for the sectional meet from Somerset are seniors Austin Bushinger and Haydon Dvorak and juniors Bobby LeRoy and Gabe Flandrick. All four advanced as regional tournament champions.
Somerset coach Mitch Flandrick said he’s trying to remain cautious, but he sees big possibilities for the four Spartans in this Saturday’s meet.
“I think we have a good shot, if we wrestle as well as we can, of getting four sectional champions,” Flandrick said.
The top three wrestlers in each sectional weight class will qualify for state.
Dvorak finished in second place at state last year and he’s been relentless in his goal of reaching the state finals again. Dvorak dominated his opposition in the 182-pound bracket on Saturday. He pinned Middle Border Conference champion Mike Melstrom in the semifinals. Dvorak controlled the action in a 9-2 win over St. Croix Central’s Kyle Aaby in the title match. Dvorak’s win over Aaby gives him the Somerset school victory record. This was his 125th career win, breaking the record of 124 wins set by Andrew Neumann.
Dvorak’s opening draw at the sectional is junior Lance Neumann from Spencer, who carries a 25-10 record. Dvorak is currently 38-3.
Bushinger is 37-3 after winning the 152-pound title on Saturday. He needed just 28 seconds to pin St. Croix Central’s Brian Gibb in the semifinals. In the finals he handled Ellsworth’s Ryan Dickhausen, the same opponent he beat the previous Saturday for the MBC title. This time the result was a 6-0 win for Bushinger.
Bushinger’s opponent in the opening round at sectionals will be one of the better freshmen in the tournament, Stanley-Boyd-Thorp’s Ronny Ponick, who brings in a 30-11 record.
Flandrick’s regional championship at 138 pounds came against Durand’s Andrew Hartmann, who beat Flandrick in their two previous meetings this season. Those are Flandrick’s only losses, as he takes a 36-2 record into the sectional meet.
Flandrick was 3-0 against Hartmann until this season, so there were few surprises when they faced each other on Saturday. Flandrick got a quick first period lead with two takedowns, but Hartmann got a reversal at the end of the period to cut the lead to 4-3. Hartmann chose the down position for the second period and got an escape, tying the score.
Flandrick is working on patience and it paid off in the third period. He waited until the final 25 seconds to make his move, getting an escape to take the lead. He then patiently held Hartmann at arm’s length in the final seconds to finish out the 5-4 win.
Flandrick’s opening draw at the sectional meet will be Spooner sophomore Patrick Baker, who sports a 24-12 record.
It seems that wherever LeRoy has wrestled this season, he’s run up against top quality opponents. That happened again on Saturday. In the semifinals he pinned St. Croix Central’s Eman Peterson. That put him up against Bloomer’s Connor Stone in the finals.
LeRoy built a 9-5 lead, before Stone threw LeRoy to his back for four points to tie the match at 9-9. LeRoy was able to get a reversal and keep the lead to win the regional 120-pound title, 14-11.
LeRoy’s opening draw at the sectional meet is senior Chris Larson of Barron, whose record is 24-12.
The Spartans had hopes of getting more wrestlers to the sectional meet and several came close. Bailey White, Max Praschak, Anthony Doree and Alex Piletich all finished in third place in their weight classes.