LA CROSSE — Though both fell just short of claiming first place, Mauston’s Teagen Miller and Jarrett Dolata each had strong showings on their way to second-place finishes at the Bi-State Classic held in La Crosse Friday, Dec. 29 and Saturday, Dec. 30.
In the 145 weight class, Miller earned pinfall victories over his first two opponents and then a win by decision to advance to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, he defeated South Saint Paul’s Antonio Cortez by a 5-0 decision and followed it up with a 4-2 win by decision over Viroqua’s Ryan Hannah in the semifinals.
This set the stage for a championship bout against Stratford’s Jake Drexler. It was a tightly contested match that required overtime to determine a winner. Once there, Drexler got the best of Miller, earning a 5-3 sudden victory to claim first place.
“I wrestled well, I beat some good guys, but not quite what I wanted,” Miller said of his second-place finish. “I wanted to win the whole thing. I’m happy, but not fully happy.”
In the 152 weight class, Dolata breezed to three consecutive pinfall wins on his way to a spot in the quarterfinals. He defeated Kenyon-Wanamingo’s Nathan Bauer by pinfall in 3:23 to move on to semifinals, where he bested Lakeville South’s Willie Bastyr by a 6-1 decision to advance to the championship match.
Dolata fell just short of first place against Middleton’s Kevin Meicher, who beat him by a 2-1 decision to remain undefeated on the season.
“I wrestled pretty well,” Dolata said. “Pinned my way through to the semifinals and then beat a tough kid. I would’ve rather won, but that kid’s number one in D1 and I’m number one in D2. (I was) close, but would’ve rather come out on top.”
Eight other Golden Eagles wrestlers also competed at the tournament: Tanner Wheeler at 113, Aydin Schroeder at 120, Anthony Thayer at 126, Hayden Goodman at 132, Austin Werner at 138, Ryan Vang at 160, Dakota Barrix at 170 and Sterling Wilke at 182. Wilke and Werner each earned a victory in the consolation bracket after dropping their first matches.
Overall, Mauston placed 13th out of 22 Division 2 schools with 93 team points.
“It was a fun tournament,” Mauston head coach Colin Dolata said. “We had a lot of young guys wrestling and they got some experience it what it’s like to be in such a big arena on this type of stage. Some of them got some wins — some of our younger guys — and some of them got to the night session, so that was a pretty good confidence builder for a lot of them.”
Royall’s Noah Friedl also had a strong tournament, placing fourth overall in the 195 weight class. He won his first four matches by pinfall, including a quarterfinal victory over River Valley’s Brock Mahoney. Riverdale’s Caleb Johnson defeated Friedl in the semifinals by a 12-3 major decision. After defeating Athens’s Connor Westfall by pinfall in the consolation semifinal, Friedl was beaten by Marshfield’s Sam Mitchell in the ultimate tiebreaker in the third-place match.
Six other Panthers wrestlers also competed at the tournament: Nolan McKittrick at 106, Harley Leverenz at 120, Josh Palamaruk at 152, Luke Wohlrab at 170, Laredo Benson at 182 and Mason McCluskey at 220. McKittrick placed 10th overall in his weight class.
Overall, Royall placed 11th out of 18 Division 3 schools with 57 team points.
A total of 11 New Lisbon wrestlers also competed in the Bi-State Classic: Collin Benson at 106, Devon Lee at 113, Luke Peterson at 120, Kaleb Baumgart at 126, Jacob Rogers at 132, Cael Slater at 138, Isaac LaBudda at 145, Ashton Roach at 152, Gunnar Pedersen at 160, Ethan Baumgart at 170 and Joshua Woggon at 285.
Kaleb Baumgart won a match in both the championship and consolation brackets; Rogers won two matches in the championship bracket and one in the consolation bracket; LaBudda won a pair of consolation matches; and Woggon won a match in the championship bracket.
Gunnar Pedersen had the best tournament of any New Lisbon wrestler, placing 12th in the 160 weight class. Pedersen won one match in the championship bracket, two in the consolation bracket and was eventually defeated by Goodhue’s Mason Huemann by a 3-0 decision in the 11th-place match.
Overall, the Rockets placed 13th out of 18 Division 3 schools with 42 team points.
Holmen won the Division 1 title with 342 team points, Luxemburg-Casco captured the Division 2 title with 263 team points and Stratford took the Division 3 title with 319.5 team points.