The 2019-2020 Rhinelander High School wrestling season will continue for four wrestlers after competing at the WIAA Divison 1 meet at D.C. Everest on Saturday. Junior Tim Fox, junior Walker Hartman, senior Trevor Knapp, and junior Ben Sinclair each earned runner-up finishes in their weight classes to advance to sectionals in Wisconsin Rapids.
Overall, RHS had 10 wrestles battle at regionals and would finish seventh out of eight team against all the the Wisconsin Valley Conference teams. The Hodags also had two wrestlers just barely miss qualifying for sectionals
At the 113-pound bout, Fox would start off 2-0 on the day. He earned a pin over Ze Yang of Wausau East before getting a big 3-0 victory over Shane Westerhausen of Marshfield, who was ranked higher than Fox. And in the championship match, Fox fell to the No. 3 wrestler (WI Wrestling Online rankings) Justin Groshek of Stevens Point.
While at 170-pounds Hartman pinned Stevens Point’s Josh Kolodziej at 1:10 in the first round before grinding out a 5-3 sudden victory over Casey Hoffman of Merrill in the semifinals. In the finals Hartman would fall to No. 5 wrestler Gabe Carter of D.C. Everest (39-1) in a 5-1 decision to place second.
Knapp was the top seed and earned a first-round bye at 195-pound bracket. In his first match, Knapp pinned Joseph Nienow of Wausau West in only 48 seconds to advance to the championship match. In the semifinals, Knapp fell in a 3-0 decision to Andrew Schultz, ninth ranked wrestler from Wisconsin Rapids. Knapp pinned Walker Bathke of Merrill in the wrestleback to finish runner-up.
Sinclair dropped to 220 for regionals and received a medical forfeit over Adrian Krueger of Marshfield. From there, Sinclair earned a first period pin over Ben Raczek of Stevens Point to reach the championship match. In the finals Sinclair was pinned in 31 seconds to the fourth-ranked Orion Boe from D.C. Everest.
Freshman Tanner Schmidt (106) and senior Connor Lund (182) just missed out on sectionals after finishing fifth. Schmidt started strong with a 15-10 decision over Wausau East senior Ryan Jaeger before falling 8-6 to Wisconsin Rapids sophomore Preston Spray (39-3). Schmidt was then eliminated after being pinned by Marshfield's Alex Westlund.
In the first round, Lund fell 16-10 to Nathan LaRue of Wausau West before clawing his way back in the consolation bracket. Lund defeated Wyatt Bathke of Merrill 15-6 but was denied a chance to wrestle for fourth after LaRue was pinned in the third place match. Because LaRue previously defeated Lund that day he was automatically awarded fourth and the final sectional spot.
Junior Hugh Wiese (120), sophomore Cayden Neri, and senior David Schramke (285) all finished sixth in their brackets for the Hodags. And sophomores Cole Lehman (126) and Joe Fugle (160) both lost their first two matches.
The WIAA Division 1 sectional will be held this Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids, where the Hodags will have four wrestlers compete for a chance at state. The state meet will be held February 27th-29th at the Kohl Center in Madison.