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New Richmond advances Blackman, Dowd; Somerset gets Praschak, White to state wrestling

New Richmond and Somerset both advanced two wrestlers through WIAA sectional tournament action into this week's WIAA state championships.

New Richmond senior Shane Blackman (27-2) is a four-time state qualifier after winning the 126-pound bracket at the Wausau West Division 1 sectional championship meet on Saturday.

Blackman will be joined at state by Tiger junior Derek Dowd, who took second place in the 138-pound bracket at Wausau West. Dowd opened the sectional with a pair of wins, before losing to Fritz Schierl of Stevens Point. Dowd then had to battle again with Hudson's Yuri Bronson, who Dowd defeated in triple overtime last week in the regional tournament. This time Dowd was able to defeat Bronson 3-0 to secure his spot in the state tournament.

Other Tigers who placed at the sectional tournament were Bryce Younger, who was fourth at 120 pounds, and John Keifer, who took fourth at 152 pounds.

Somerset is advancing both of the Spartan wrestlers who reached the WIAA Division 2 Amery Sectional Meet on Saturday. Spartan junior Max Praschak is the sectional champion at 182 pounds. He faced three good challenges, opening with a 7-0 win over St. Croix Central's Brian Gibb. Praschak edged Abbotsford-Colby's Cody Meyer in the semifinals 2-1. Praschak avenged his loss in the MIddle Border Conference finals, beating Ellsworth's Dennis Schutz 11-4 in the championship match.

Senior Bailey White is advancing as the second place finisher at 145 pounds. All of White's matches were close. He topped Medford's Tucker Peterson 4-2 in the opening round. In the semifinals, White edged St. Croix Central's Ryan Gulich 3-2. While was defeated by Luck-Frederic-Grantsburg's Tristan Brewer 4-3 in the championship match.  White faced a wrestleback for second place against Ellsworth's Jacob Fuchs, with White winning 5-3.

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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