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Tigers take second at Chippewa Falls

Junior Braeden Gefeke, shown during the recent New Richmond Invitational, (left) earned two wins for the Tigers at Chippewa Falls on Saturday. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

Saturday, Jan. 13 turned into an outstanding day for the New Richmond wrestling team.

The Tigers competed in the Chippewa Falls Invitational on Saturday. The Tigers came home with three individual champions, one runner-up finish, and a second place result in the team standings.

"It was probably the best we've wrestled this year," said New Richmond wrestling coach Jeff Swanson.

This was the final tournament of the season for the Tiger varsity before they compete at the Middle Border Conference tournament on Saturday, Feb. 3.

The individual championships were won by Brandon Dennis, Dylan Wachter and Nathan Fehlen. Tyler Dennis was the second place finisher.

Brandon Dennis was the fourth seed in the 126-pound bracket. He faced three quality Division 3 wrestlers and beat them all. He started with a technical fall win against Mondovi. In the semifinals he defeated top seed Jacob Nadeau of Glenwood City, 4-2. He faced second seed Nick Elmer of Clear Lake in the finals, with Dennis winning 6-3 to improve his season record to 17-9.

Wachter was the champion at 152 pounds. He won easily in his first two matches before facing Clear Lake's Gabe Colbeth in the finals. Wachter won 8-6 to improve his record to 16-3, while the loss put Colbeth at 21-5 for the season.

Fehlen upped his game this weekend to win the 160-pound championship. Fehlen scored in the final 10 seconds of his semifinal match to earn a 6-5 win over Ethan Heil of Edgar. In the finals, Fehlen faced Nathan Pelke of Mondovi, who came in with a 22-2 record. Pelke got the opening takedown.

"Nathan got the reversal and the switch flipped. He kept tilting the kid," Swanson said, as Fehlen rolled to a 14-3 victory. The win improves Fehlen's season record to 19-7.

Tyler Dennis also looked sharp. He pinned his first two opponents. He faced Glenwood City standout Carson Strong in the finals. This was a good battle, with Strong winning 6-0.

Jake LaVenture and Ryan Muller were third place finishers. LaVenture lost to Glenwood City in the 182-pound semifinals, but came back to pin a capable Chippewa Falls wrestler in the third place match.

Muller continues to astound the coaches. In his first match at 220 pounds, he technical falled an Osseo wrestler who has 18 wins. After losing to Clear Lake standout Noah Wieczorek in the semifinals, he pinned a Stanley-Boyd wrestler in the first period of the third place match. That opponent had beaten Muller earlier this season.

"He's a quick study," Swanson said of Muller. "He stays late after practice. He wants to learn."

Junior Braeden Gefeke, a first-year wrestler, earned his first two wins of the season in placing sixth at 170 pounds. His second win was a pin against a Mondovi wrestler with a 12-10 record.

The Tigers return to action this Thursday with a home match against Amery.

Last Thursday's dual match with Ellsworth was postponed due to the school closure for inclement weather. That match will be made up on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 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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