The Rhinelander High School wrestling team sent five seniors to the 2018 WIAA Division 1 State tournament, and finished with three top-five finishes to cap off their stellar season and final high school meet at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Jacob DeMeyer and Alec Kurtz each finished their season placing third in their brackets at state. While Reuben Guzik finished fifth overall. Colton Krueger and Tyler Olson also advanced to state, but both lost Friday morning in the first round of the consolation bracket.
In the opening round on Thursday afternoon, DeMeyer defeated senior Zach Gordon (Holmen) in an 8-1 decision. In the second round Thursday evening, DeMeyer found himself up against Great Northern Conference rival Brandon Lucht of Antigo. DeMeyer cruised to a 12-2 major decision before falling 5-1 to senior Drew Scharenbrock (Sun Prairie). Scharenbrock went on to win his second state title and finished the season with an impressive 51-0 record.
Saturday in the wrestleback round, DeMeyer edged senior Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) in a 3-2 decision to advance to the third/fourth place match. And in the third-place match, DeMeyer found himself facing Lucht for the third time this season. DeMeyer ended his high school career with a 9-0 major decision win over Lucht to earn third place.
DeMeyer would finish the season with a 47-2 record and went 162-20 throughout his high school career. He also was also able to finish one position higher than last season at state and also marked the best Rhinelander finish at the WIAA state tournament since 2005 when Eddie Stefonek earned runner-up at 152 pounds. Kurtz
At 195, Kurtz won his opening round Thursday afternoon and pinned Kyle Bowens (Kenosha Bradford/Reuther) at 3:31. In the Thursday evening match, Kurtz was placed in the wrestleback after falling in a close 7-5 decision to Alex Mischka (Kimberly).
Friday Kurtz made his way through the wrestlbeback and would make short work of senior Derek Polczynski (Arrowhead) and pinned him in just 50 seconds. He would then fend off senior Josh Nowak (Kettle Moraine) for a 2-1 decision and made it the placement rounds.
Kurtz would then pine Adam Jones (South Milwaukee) only 19 seconds into the second period Saturday morning and would advance to the 3rd place match in a rematch against Mischka. Kurtz turned the tables after falling earlier in the tournament and earned a physical 3-1 decision over Mischka to earn third place at 195.
Overall Kurtz went 48-2 his senior season and also finished his high school wrestling career as Rhinelander's all-time pin leader with his other accomplishments.
Guzik started the day strong with two straight wins in the opening rounds; first pinning Jake Stritesky (Badger) only 16 seconds into the second period. The second win was against Michael Parker (Slinger) in close 10-9 decision. He then fell in a 15-0 technical fall to junior Eric Barnett (Hortonville). Barnett, a Unviersity of North Carolina recruit went on to win the 113 D1 title and finished the year with a 46-0 record.
Saturday morning, Guzik was looking to push for a third-place finish, but was majored 12-2 by Noah Leisgang (Ashwaubenon). But still in the placement rounds, Guzik rallied back strong and finished his senior season with a 7-4 decision over Mason Dutcher (Milton) to finish in fifth place. Guziik would finish this season with a 38-12 record. Olson
At 120 pounds, Olson was unable to advance to the placement rounds. After winning his opening match with a 6-4 decision over senior Sam Winski (Waterford), Olson would fall to runner-up Dominic Dentino (Arrowhead) to be put in the consolation bracket. Olson would then finish his run at state after falling to Edward Wilkowski (Watertown) by technical fall. Olson would finish his senior year with a 41-8 record.
Krueger was also unable to join his teammates in placement rounds, and fell in his opening match. Brock Danielski (Appleton North) defeated Krueger by a 12-4 major decision to send him to the consolation bracket. Krueger would then fall Friday morning to senior John Wright (Oak Creek) in a 9-4 decision. Krueger finished his senior season with a 37-9 record.
All five seniors have made a huge mark on RHS wrestling program and helped lead the team to three Great Northern Conference championship titles and also added an impressive 10 WIAA state appearances.
All 2017-2018 season, the Rhinelander High School wrestling team was led by a core group of seniors with high expectations. On Saturday five-ranked Hodag seniors advanced to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament after finishing top-two in their weight classes. Jacob DeMeyer, Alec Kurtz, and Tyler Olson all earned individual sectional titles. And the trio will be joined by Reuben Guzik and Colton Krueger who each finished runner-up.
It was no surprise the five ranked seniors punched their tickets to the Kohl Center in Madison after all five earned Great Northern Conference titles, WIAA regional titles, and now three recorded sectional titles. DeMeyer, Kurtz, and Olson each controlled their three matches to earn first. While Guzik and Krueger proved to have a more difficult path. Guzik battled through the wrestleback after falling in the semifinals and Krueger fell in the championship match.
Olson at 120 proved why he has a 40-6 record and started the day off strong and pinned sophomore Cayden Henning of New Richmond at 3:11. In the semifinals Olson then downed D.C. Everest freshman Freddy Lehrke 12-4. And in the championship match, Olson held on in a 4-0 decision of Wausau West junior Cameron Schmeiser for the title.
At 145 pounds, DeMeyer started the day off by defeating Eau Claire Memorial sophomore Brady Guibord by technical fall (19-2). He then went on to shutout River Falls sophomore Garrett Borth in a 13-0 major decision. And in the finals DeMeyer downed junior Nolan Hertel of Marshfield 7-1 for the title. DeMeyer now has a 43-1 record this season and will make his fourth straight appearance to state.
Kurtz at 195 needed less than two minutes to finish off his first two opponents of the day. First, Kurtz pinned junior Madsen Alonzo of Hudson in 1:32. But the most dominating finish was when Kurtz only needed 20 seconds to pin Wisconsin Rapids junior Kalata Layne. And in the finals Kurtz took down eighth-ranked senior Chance Kamrowski of River Falls in a 12-4 major decision. After his sectional title, Kurtz now is 43-1 in which 40 wins were pins.
While Guzik had to battle his way through the wrestleback to earn runner-up and collect his ticket to state. Guzik started out pinning New Richmond freshman Tyler Harris in just 50 seconds. But Guzik then was in a rematch against freshman Gabe Pugh of Marshfield, who he defeated in the regional finals. But this time Pugh turned the tables and won the 5-3 decision.
Guzik was then sent to the wrestleback bracket where he needed to win the third-place match combined with Pugh defeating Cale Benitz of Wisconsin Rapids. Guizk pinned Jakob Anderson of Chippewa Falls in under a minute and then earned an 8-2 decision over Benitz for runner-up and last state qualifying spot. Guzik is now 35-10 on the season.
While Krueger at 220 started the day with two straight pins to wind up in the championship match. First Krueger pinned Ryan Muller of New Richmond in 2:39 and then took down senior Timothy Mineau of Wausau West in the second period. But after being tied 5-5 to Superior senior Oscar Flaherty, Krueger gave up a takedown with under 30 seconds remaining and fell 7-5.
But in the third-place match Mineau pinned Alex Brost of Marshfield and Krueger would then automatically take the second-place position after already defeating Mineau earlier.
Rhinelander also had three other wrestlers compete at sectionals, who did not qualify for state. Tim Fox finished fourth at 106-pounds and Walker Hartman and Eric Grulke both ended their season to wrestlers who would went on to earn sectional titles.
The 2018 WIAA Division 1 State Wrestling Tournament will begin on Thursday at the Kohl Center in Madison. The five Hodag seniors will all begin their matches at 3:00PM on Thursday afternoon. The winners will wrestle again Thursday evening and if they lose they will wrestle Friday morning at 10:00AM.
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