New Richmond's Bryce Younger reaches Bi-State Classic championship round
New Richmond senior Bryce Younger topped one defending state champion, but was edged by another in the 138-pound championship at the Bi-State Classic in La Crosse last Friday.
Younger was the only New Richmond wrestler who was able to finish among the placewinners in the heavily talented tournament last week.
Younger faced defending WIAA Division 1 state champion Kevin Meicher of Middleton in the 138-pound weight class finals on Friday. Meicher won the Division 1 state title at 126 pounds last year, while Younger was the fourth place finisher at 132 pounds in last year’s state tournament.
To reach the finals, Younger had to face defending Division 2 132-pound state champion Ryan Hannah of Viroqua. Younger was able to reach the finals by beating Hannah, 4-3. And the competition was just as strong in the quarterfinals, where Younger posted a 7-5 win over Nekoosa’s Jordan Sarver, who placed third in the Division 2 132-pound state bracket last year.
“His bracket was stacked,” New Richmond coach Jeff Swanson said of Younger’s trek to the Bi-State finals.
In the finals, Meicher got a first period takedown and a second period escape. Younger was able to get a reversal in the third period, cutting the score to 3-2. He then released Meicher, hoping to get a takedown to send the match to overtime.
While second place in a tournament featured many of the top wrestlers in Wisconsin and neighboring states might make some wrestlers happy, New Richmond coach Jeff Swanson said Younger wanted more from himself.
“He’s not going to be happy until he’s at the very top,” Swanson said. “He wrestled well to get to the finals. To get through his half of the bracket was tough sledding.”
Two Tigers fell one match short of being placewinners. Dylan Wachter at 152 pounds and Nathan Fehlen at 170 pounds both went 4-2 in their bracket, falling one win short of placing. Fehlen dislocated his pinky finger in his second match, but continued to wrestle through the two days of the tournament.
“He’s a tough son of a gun,” Swanson said.
Brandon Dennis and Dylan Minke both posted two wins in the tournament. Joe Powers earned his first career varsity win, competing in the 132-pound class.
New Richmond wrestling fans can see plenty of wrestling on the Tigers’ home mat this week. The Tigers will host Somerset in a Middle Border Conference dual match at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
This Saturday, the Tigers will host the 48th annual New Richmond Invitational. Teams joining the Tigers in the tournament include Somerset, Clear Lake, Amery, La Crosse Central, Rice Lake, River Falls and Spooner. Wrestling is slated to begin at 9:30 a.m.