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Three Somerset wrestlers make their way to Division 2 sectional meet

Somerset senior Josh Maack (right) gets ready to pin Osceola’s Andrew Montpetit in the 113-pound championship match at the St. Croix Central regional meet on Saturday. 1 / 2
Somerset junior Garret Hecht (left) lost a tough 6-5 decision in the semifinals at the regional meet.2 / 2

Senior Josh Maack, junior Steven Moncada and sophomore Jared Grahovac all won WIAA regional wrestling championships on Saturday and all three will be competing in this Saturday’s WIAA Division 2 sectional tournament at Amery High School.

Maack, Moncada and Grahovac all won their championships at the Division 2 regional meet held at St. Croix Central on Saturday. The Spartans finished in third place among the six teams at the regional meet, 26 points behind regional champion Osceola.

All three Spartans who advanced come from the lower weights. Maack wrestles at 113 pounds, Moncada at 126 pounds and Grahovac at 132 pounds.

Somerset coach Ali Peterson said he thought the bracket laid out well for Maack and Moncada to win regional titles, but the surprise was Grahovac. St. Croix Central’s misfortune was Grahovac’s opportunity. Grahovac and St. Croix Central’s Frank Holter were in the semifinals, with Holter leading. Grahovac was going for a takedown when the wrestlers tumbled to the edge of the mat. Holter landed on his elbow, causing it to dislocate. Holter had to default due to the injury.

That put Grahovac in the finals against the top seed, Amery’s Corey Grundner. Grahovac was relentless, earning the regional title with a 9-3 win.

“For him to (advance) was the highlight of the day for us,” Peterson said.

Grahovac may have Somerset’s best shot of qualifying for state. His opening draw is against Bloomer freshman Mitchel Harmon (23-7). If Grahovac can win his first two matches, his ticket is punched for Madison.

Maack had no problems getting through the regional. He pinned St. Croix Central’s Erik Collins in 38 seconds in the semifinals. He faced a familiar foe, Osceola’s Andrew Montpetit in the finals. Maack rolled up a healthy lead before pinning Montpetit in the third period to improve his record to 32-7.

Maack is part of a deeply talented 113-pound sectional bracket. His opening draw is a toughie, against Ellsworth’s Matthew Peterson (31-6).

Moncada has come a long way as a tactical wrestler and that showed in his actions at the regional meet on Saturday. He pinned St. Croix Central’s Braeden Bloom at the 1:31 mark of the semifinals. In the finals, Moncada faced Luck’s Landyn Johnson. Moncada got an early lead, then kept his hands and feet moving, not giving Johnson any openings, allowing Moncada to win the regional final 3-2.

Moncada (28-8) also faces a stacked weight class at the sectional meet. His opening match is against Medford freshman Zeke Sigmund (32-7).

The Spartans also hoped that junior Preston Anez would be among the sectional qualifiers. That hope ended last Wednesday when Anez suffered a concussion in practice, preventing him from competing in the regional meet.

Peterson said the Spartans had hopes to get more wrestlers to the sectional. Regional semifinal losses by Garret Hecht and Zeb Rivard both came in hotly contested matches and knocked them out of the running for sectional berths.

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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