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Spartan sophomores take fourth at Northern Badger

Two Somerset sophomores, Drew Baillargeon and Justin Neumann, took second place in their weight brackets at the 2003 Northern Badger Wrestling Invitational.

The Northern Badger was wrestled on Dec. 29-30 at UW-River Falls.

Baillargeon was one of the surprises of the tournament. He was seeded 11th in the 125-pound bracket. Neumann was seeded fifth at 189 pounds.

Also placing for the Spartans were Ambrose Martell, who took sixth at 215 pounds; Tyler LeRoy who took ninth at 112 pounds; and Andy Nash who took 11th at 152 pounds.

Baillargeon knocked off the sixth seed to reach the quarterfinals. There he faced Brady Behrendt of Prescott, the third seed who has already beaten Baillargeon this season. This time Baillargeon was able to come through with a 6-4 win in overtime.

In his final two matches Baillargeon was beaten by the second and fourth seeds.

"Drew is real good from his feet and he just keeps scrapping," said Somerset assistant coach Mike Kappers.

Neumann had his hands full in his opening match, before pinning Durand's Kaleb Speiker in the third period. Neumann followed with two more impressive wins to reach the semifinals. He was pinned by undefeated Matt Robinson of Crivitz in the semifinals. In the third place match Neumann lost to Fred Steffen of Osceola 9-2.

"Justin's still growing into his body, but he's going to be a good wrestler," said Kappers. "When he gets his legs in, he can ride anybody."

Martell went 4-2 in the tournament to take sixth place. Kappers said Martell is a student of the sport of wrestling.

"You teach him something in practice and he's using it the next day and is teaching it to the other guys in practice," Kappers said.

LeRoy was in the toughest weight class of the tournament at 112 pounds. He went into the tournament with a 12-0 record and he was seeded seventh.

Nash was ranked 17th in the 152 bracket. He won four matches in the tournament to move up to 11th place.

The Spartans return to Middle Border Conference action this Thursday with a meet at Durand. A week later the Spartans will wrestle at home against New Richmond.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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