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WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament Preview

Monday, February 21, 2022

WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament Preview

THE TOURNAMENT:  The 79th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Individual Wrestling Tournament will be held Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 24-26, at the Kohl Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.

TICKET INFORMATION:  Ticket prices per tournament session are $11 plus online fees. Tickets are available on-line on the WIAA website prior to any respective session with the printing of the ticket by the purchaser. Tickets are also available at the Kohl Center during the tournament.

THE SCHEDULE:  Below is the schedule of competition for the individual tournament. All weight classes will be wrestled in consecutive order through the classes on a “next available mat” basis within the mat assignments.

Thursday, Feb. 24

Session 1:
Division 1 Preliminaries - 3 p.m.
Division 1 Quarterfinals - approximately 5:15 p.m.
Divisions 2 & 3 Preliminaries - approximately 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 25

Session 2:
Division 1 Consolations - 10 a.m.
Divisions 2 & 3 Quarterfinals - approximately 11:15 a.m.
Division 1 Consolation Quarterfinals - approximately 1:45 p.m.
Divisions 2 & 3 Consolation Quarterfinals - approx. 2:45 p.m.

Session 3:
Division 1 Semifinals at 7 p.m. on mats 1 & 2
Division 2 Semifinals at 7 p.m. on mats 3 & 4
Division 3 Semifinals at 7 p.m. on mats 5 & 6

Saturday, Feb. 26

Session 4:
Divisions 1, 2 & 3 Consolation Semifinals - 10 a.m.
Divisions 1, 2 & 3 Fifth-place Matches*
Divisions 1, 2 & 3 Third-place Matches*

* Third-place and fifth-place matches will run concurrently by weight class within divisions after all consolation matches are completed.

Session 5:
Division 1 Championships at 5:30 p.m. on mat 1
Division 2 Championships at 5:30 p.m. on mat 2
Division 3 Championships at 5:30 p.m. on mat 3

FINALS ON BALLY SPORTS WISCONSIN:  The championship final matches of all three divisions will be aired live on Bally Sports Wisconsin. Please check local cable listings for the Bally Sports Wisconsin channel in your area. The live programming aired on Bally Sports Wisconsin will also be streamed on Bally Sports Wisconsin app with cable provider authentication.

PRE-FINALS; THIRD & FIFTH-PLACE MATCHES STREAMED LIVE:  All mats of the pre-finals matches and the third- and fifth-place matches will be streamed live on WIAA.TV with a subscription to the NFHS Network. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for only $10.99 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscription button at the top right of the page.

2022 TOURNAMENT BY THE NUMBERS:  There will be champions crowned in 14 weight classes in three divisions. Wrestlers who finished first or second in each weight class at last weekend’s eight Division 1 sectionals qualified for the State Tournament. The top three finishers in each weight class at the four Division 2 and 3 sectionals qualify for the tourney. There are 224 qualifiers for the championships in Division 1 and 168 in both Divisions 2 and 3. There are 207 programs represented at this year’s individual championships, including 84 from Division 1, and 67 in Division 2 and 56 in Division 3.

MORE NUMBERS:  Nicolet has qualified the most wrestlers in the Division 1 field with 10. Holmen and Milton are next on the list with seven, followed by Arrowhead, Marshfield, Muskego, Stoughton and Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln with six. Amery has the distinction of qualifying the most individuals in Division 2 with nine. Luxemburg-Casco and Winneconne have eight, and Prairie du Chien has seven qualifiers. In Division 3, Fennimore claims the most qualifiers with nine, followed by Coleman, Random Lake and St. Croix Falls with eight, and then Aquinas, Cadott, Mineral Point, Reedsville and Stratford with seven. There are 23 former champions in the tournament field this year.

TOTAL INDIVIDUAL TITLES BY SCHOOL:  Stoughton has produced the most individual championships with 54. Mineral Point is next with 53, followed by Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln with 44 and then Luxemburg-Casco with 43. Others with significant totals are Milwaukee South with 39 and Coleman with 38.

DIVISION 1 NOTES:  The Division 1 field features six former champions on a quest for another crown. Three of the returning champions are in pursuit of their third State title. Senior Nicolar Rivera of Stoughton won at the 106-pound weight class in 2019 and at 120 in 2020. Rivera slipped to second last year at 132. He moves down a weight class to 126 this season with a 49-0 record entering the State Tournament. He has compiled a 180-2 mark during his prep career. Junior Greyson Clark of Kaukauna won the championship at 126 a year ago after capturing the 106 title as a freshman in 2020. He moves up a pair of weights this season to 138 sporting a 43-1 record, which gives him a 111-7 career mark to this point. Senior Mitchell Mesenbrink of Arrowhead has made it to the award stand in each of his previous three seasons. He won the gold medal at 152 last year and at 138 in 2020 to go with a third-place finish at 120 in 2019. He remains at 152 this season to defend his title. Mesenbrink appears poised to repeat, entering the tournament with a 38-0 record this year, which gives him a 115-4 tally in his career, including a 69-0 mark the last three seasons. Senior Noah Tonsor of Slinger is the returning champion at 113 after winning the title last season and placing sixth at 106 in 2020. He has compiled a 37-5 record this year and a 99-19 mark over the last three years. If he’s going to successfully defend his title, he’ll need to contend with junior Ben Bast of West Bend West, who moves up a weight class to 113 after winning gold at 106 last season. He enters the State Tournament with a 37-1 record this season and a 57-1 mark over the past two seasons. Sophomore Connor Mirasola of West Bend West climbs a weight class to 182 following last season’s title run at 170. His 46-2 record this year gives him a 66-2 mark in his first two seasons. There will be a historic first in Division 1 this week as sophomore Josephine Stachowski of Mukwonago becomes the first girl to qualify in the division. She has advanced to the State individual tournament in the 106-pound weight class.

DIVISION 2 NOTES:  The Division 2 field has eight former champions, including senior Clayton Whiting of Oconto Falls, who is attempting to become the 20th wrestler to win four State individual titles in a career. He enters the 182 bracket with a 47-1 after winning the title last year. Whiting also earned the title at 170 in 2020 and the 152 championship in 2019. He has compiled a 160-5 career record entering the tournament this week. An additional three wrestlers are pursuing their third State individual championship. Junior Rhett Koenig of Prairie du Chien moves up three weight classes to 132 this season after earning championships at 113 last year and at 106 in 2020. He is 47-2 this season heading into State Tournament competition, which gives him a 120-9 in his three seasons. Another champion moving up to the 132-weight class is sophomore Brody Hart of Winneconne, who won the title at 120 last season. With his 39-2 record this season, he has compiled a two-season career mark of 59-2. Senior Caleb Meunier of Winneconne won the 126 title last year and the 113 championship in 2020 after finishing runner-up at 106 as a freshman in 2019. He moves up to 145 this season with a 47-0 record. He has compiled a 161-6 record in his career heading into the individual tournament. Junior Braeden Scoles of Kewaskum returns in pursuit of his third title as well. He returns to the 160 weight class to defend the title he won a year ago. He made quite an impression his freshman season in 2020 by winning the 145-pound title. This season, he has compiled a 42-0 record, which gives him a 99-3 career mark. Junior Easton Worachek of Luxemburg-Casco moves up two weight classes to 120 after winning the 106 bracket last season, which followed a sixth-place finish in 2020. He has a 44-6 record this season and has compiled a 105-17 mark in his three seasons. Senior Kale Hopke of Amery returns to defend the title he won at 195 last season after finishing sixth in the same weight class in 2020.  He comes into the State individual tournament with a 38-9 record this year and is 134-25 in his four seasons. Sophomore Koy Hopke of Amery went undefeated as a freshman with a 22-0 record in winning the 220-pound weight class a year ago, and he returns to the weight this season with a 50-0 mark looking for a repeat title. He has yet to lose a match in his high school career at 72-0.

DIVISION 3 NOTES:  The Division 3 field has nine former champions looking to add another gold medal to their collection, including a pair of wrestlers seeking to win their fourth titles and two others seeking a third crown. Senior Tanner Gerber of Cameron moves up a weight class to 132 seeking to gain a fourth title. He won at 126 last season after winning the 113 title in 2020 and the 106 championship in 2019. Gerber has a 46-1 record heading into competition this week, which gives him a 159-4 career record. Senior Kole Marko of St. Croix Falls is also pursuing his fourth championship. He won the crown at 152 last season, the 145 gold medal in 2020 and the 138 crown in 2019. Marko moves up a weight to contend for the 160 title this year with a 39-0 record heading into the tourney, which gives him a 139-4 record during his career. Another former champion in the mix for the title at 160 is Senior Cash Stewart of Poynette, who placed third at 138 last year after winning the 120 title in 2020 and placing fourth at 113 in 2019. He moves up three weight classes this year and has compiled a 40-1 mark this year, giving him a career record of 133-5. Junior Brayden Sonnentag of Cadott moves up to the 126-pound bracket this season after winning the title at 120 in 2021 and at 106 in 2020. He begins his quest for a third straight title with a 42-1 mark this season. Sonnentag has amassed a 101-2 career record. Senior Gavin Drexler of Stratford is the defending champion at 138, and he is in a position to retain the title. He also claimed the title at 126 in 2020. Drexler has wrestled to a 35-1 record this season to improve his record to 107-1 since the start of his sophomore campaign. Sophomore Dawson Johnson of Cumberland jumps up two weight classes to 120 this season after earning the title at 106 as a freshman last season. He has yet to lose a match this season at 45-0 after posting an 18-1 record last year. There is a pair of champions in the 145 bracket. Senior Cael Erickson of Cedar Grove-Belgium is the returning champion in the weight class, winning the title last season after placing third at 132 in 2020 and fourth at 120 in 2019. He enters his first match this week with a career mark of 154-8, including a 48-0 record this season. He’ll need to contend with, among others, senior Karson Casper of Coleman, who finished runner-up to Erickson last season after capturing the title at 138 in 2020. He is 44-3 to this juncture of the season to give him a 144-21 career record. Senior Gavin Tegels of Cadott is back at 220 after winning the title last year. He is 45-1 this year to give him a 64-2 record over the past two seasons.

UNBLEMISHED MARKS:  There are 19 undefeated wrestlers that have qualified for the State individual championship. In addition to the eight former champions that enter the tournament without a loss, the other 11 undefeated wrestlers by division, beginning with Division 1 are senior Shane Corrigan of De Pere (47-0) at 120, sophomore Wyatt Duchateau of Arrowhead (43-0) at 132, sophomore Charlie Millard of Homestead (47-0) at 152, senior Magnus Kuokkanen of Waukesha West (35-0) at 160 and junior Jackson Mankowski of Madison La Follette (40-0) at 220. Other wrestlers without a loss in Division 2 include sophomore, Reid Spurley of Dodgeville (41-0) at 113, junior Ostin Blanchard of Campbellsport (47-0) at 126, senior Taedon Nichols of Luck/Frederic/Grantsburg/Siren (50-0) at 138, as well as junior Owen Heiser of Evansville (51-0) and senior Devin Wasley of St. Croix Central at 170. In Division 3, the one undefeated wrestler without a previous championship is freshman Co’Ji Campbell of Kenosha St. Joseph (29-0).  In addition, there are 29 individuals in the tournament with just one loss on their ledger.

ORDER STATE MEET APPAREL ONLINE:  Fans can commemorate their experience at the 2022 individual wrestling championships at the Kohl Center with exclusive souvenir merchandise for sale at Bucky’s Locker Room located in the concourse outside Section 101. Additional WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament merchandise is available online now through Monday, March 7 prior to midnight. Access the individual and team wrestling tournaments online store through a partnership with Games People Play at https://gppsports.chipply.com/boysstatewrestling/.

NEED LIVE RESULTS?:  Access results through the WIAA website by navigating to the wrestling homepage and selecting the Tournament Information option in the right column or by accessing the Trackwrestling.com website.

FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA:  Receive updates of the State Individual Wrestling Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaawr. Also follow daily recaps on Facebook.

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