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Seven local youth wrestlers are medalists at state folkstyle meet

New Richmond wrestlers who placed at the state youth wrestling championships include (l-r) Tyler Dennis, Jake LaVenture, Bode Gabriel, and youth coach Tom Fehlen.1 / 3
Somerset was represented at the state meet by (l-r) Julianna Belisle, Abby Bushinger, Hunter Neubarth and Ellie Melvin.2 / 3
Myah Olson is shown with St. Croix Central youth coach Mark Delander.3 / 3

The youth wrestlers from our three local school districts put together an outstanding performance, with seven of nine reaching the awards podium, at the 2014 Wisconsin Wrestling Federation Folkstyle Kids State Tournament held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison over the weekend.

Three of the four wrestlers from New Richmond were able to place in the tournament, and the same count went for the wrestlers from Somerset. St. Croix Central's only wrestlers in the state tournament was also able to place.New Richmond was represented at the state tournament by Jake LaVenture, Bode Gabriel, Tyler Dennis and Tyler Larson.Somerset's wrestlers in the tournament were Julianna Belisle, Hunter Neubarth, Ellie Melvin and Abby Bushinger. St. Croix Central was represented by Myah Olson. New Richmond
The New Richmond wrestlers all had strong performances, with three of the wrestlers reaching the state tournament podium and the fourth barely missing it.LaVenture was New Richmond's top finisher with his third place performance in the 2001-02 140-pound weight class. LaVenture opened the tournament by pinning his first opponent in 57 seconds. He ran into a challenge in the quarterfinals, but was able to hold on for a 2-0 win. LaVenture's only loss of the tournament came in the semifinals against Will Raatz of Edgar. In the consolation semifinals LaVenture earned a 5-0 win. That put him into the third place match, which he won in dramatic form. LaVenture and Eric Gonzalez of Delavan-Darien were tied at the end of regulation. LaVenture scored a takedown in the first overtime period to earn the third place medal.
It took a four-match winning streak for Gabriel to get on the podium after he was defeated in his opening round match in the 2005-06 63-pound class. Gabriel lost his opening match 7-2. He then got on a roll. He pinned his first two opponents in the consolation bracket. He won decisions by 7-0 and 6-3 scores to advance him into the third place match. Gabriel was defeated by Tanner Halopka of Abbotsford-Colby in the third place match 9-0.Dennis placed fifth in the 90-pound class for the 2003-04 birth years. Dennis opened the tournament with a pair of wins. He pinned his opponent at 2:59 of the opening round and he scored a 4-0 win in the quarterfinals. Dennis suffered his first loss to Aaron Dobbs of Viroqua in the semifinals 7-0. Dennis had a close battle in the consolation semifinals, but lost to Tristan Scott of Waunakee 8-4. Dennis finished with a win, topping Drake Hayward of Neenah 6-2 in the fifth place match.
Larson opened his tournament with a win in the 95-pound class of the 2003-04 year birth year bracket. He defeated Jackson Mankowski of the Lancer Wrestling Club 3-0. Larson then lost a pair of close matches. He was topped in the quarterfinals by Cayden Popp of Chilton 8-3. He was knocked out of the tournament when he was edged by Tristan Ott of the Askren Wrestling Academy 4-2. SomersetSomerset's top finishers in the tournament were Belisle and Neubarth, who both earned fifth place medals. Belisle competed in the girls 85-pound class for the birth years 2002-04. Neubarth competed at 185 pounds in the boys 2001-02 birth year bracket. Melvin was a sixth place finisher in the 65-pound girls 2002-04 birth year bracket. Bushinger lost a couple close matches, preventing her from placing in the girls 105-pound 2002-04 birth year bracket. St. Croix CentralOlson, a seventh grader, received a bye in the opening round of the 1999-2001 115-pound bracket in the state tournament. She wasted no time when she finally got to wrestle, pinning Hallie Bell of Boscobel in 15 seconds. Olson suffered her first loss in the semfinals when she was defeated by Ashton Cadman of Higher Level Wrestling 7-1. Olson moved to the consolation bracket, where she controlled her match with Allie Grobarchik, winning 9-0. That moved Olson into the third place match, where she faced Samantha Hisel of Weston/Ithaca. Hisel was able to pin Olson 1:41 into the match.By placing third, Olson became the first St. Croix Central girl to reach the podium at the state wrestling meet.
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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