TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read)
16U WFS: Hanna Errthum (132) and Faith Bartoszek (144) earned All-American status placing 3rd and 5th. 16U MFS: Haakon Peterson (88) and Koy Hopke (220) are in the finals. Five more are in the consolation semis. Junior MFS: 15 are in the championship round of 16 and 17 more are active in the consolations.
Hello from Fargo, day 2! Wisconsin had three different teams competing throughout the day, and today’s post will focus on the 16U divisions.
16U Women’s Freestyle
First and foremost, huge congratulations to our first set of 2021 All-Americans! USA Wrestling announced that this year’s participation was record breaking. Yesterday’s blog highlighted Hanna Errthum (3rd) and Faith Bartoszek’s (5th) journey through the 132 and 144-pound brackets. Today, they had a single match under the All-American spotlight, and both of them concluded their 16U National tournament debuts with victories.
Suffering a loss in the semifinals can be a critical turning point and test of mental composure and fortitude. Errthum came out on top and grew through that test. She said she focused on resetting her mind with help from Coach Steldt. “I needed to take a break from everything for a few minutes and just focus on the next match and what I could do to win that, especially coming back from such a heartbreaking match you gotta get everything together just to wrestle the best you can.” And she did. She defeated Alaska’s Mishell Rebisch by technical superiority, 12-2 for 3rd.
When asked about being part of Team Wisconsin and aspiring toward the next level, Errthum shares common goals and says it’s fun. “. . . when you have teammates that also want to be at such a high level it’s easy to push each other so hard that you get better and you create good relationships with them.”
Bartoszek, a first-year cadet and fifth place All-American said she enjoyed this experience: “especially the surroundings, the stage, and all of the lights, it’s super cool.” It was her first time under the Fargo spotlight and she said the experience will definitely help her prepare for the upcoming U15 Pan Am Championships.
With girls wrestling continuing to grow in Wisconsin Bartoszek says performing at an event like Fargo can show the girls back home that even from a smaller wrestling state, “ . . . we can do big things. Being an All-American is a huge accomplishment.”
Errthum and Bartoszek will have a day’s break before wrestling in the Junior women’s freestyle division on Tuesday.
16U Mens Freestyle
Randy Ferrell, Wisconsin’s logistics coordinator for Fargo, describes the 16U team as a tight knit group of young men that represent Wisconsin very well. “They love each other, they’re always next to each other on the mat, they’re cheering, they’re picking up kids up after tough losses—the 16U group is an amazing thing to look at . . . You’re seeing all of our athletes do well statewide, but our 16U boys, and our young ladies, are amazing”. Ferrell said the kids are building an atmosphere and a community within those groups that states, "We Are Wisconsin.”
Day 2 for the 16U division brought on quarterfinals, semifinals and more consolations.
With ten wrestlers in the quarters, it felt like once they started it was Wisconsin wrestler after Wisconsin wrestler taking to mats 10 and 11, and seven advanced to the semifinals.
Breaking through to the finals first was Haakon Peterson. The 88-pound wrestler shut down Ayden Thomas of Texas, 2-1. Peterson had worked his way through to the lightweight semis by picking up a technical superiority over Virginia and two wins by decision over Alabama and Pennsylvania.
Koy Hopke, Wisconsin’s second finalist, punched his ticket to the 220-pound finals with a fall in the semis over Virginia’s Parker Ferrell. Hopke started the tournament with two technical superiorities over Colorado and California and then added a win by decision over Pennsylvania before heading the semis.
Outside of Peterson and Hopke, the semifinal round proved challenging, and the wins were just slightly out of reach for some of the young guns. It’s clear Wisconsin wrestling is on the rise again and winning those semifinal matches is the next step.
In the 145-pound semifinal, Brett Back hustled through a full match but couldn’t create a solid opening after landing a 4-point takedown. In the end, he was unable to defend his opponents attacks and fell short, 8-5. The 145-pound bracket was one that started with a round of 128, and Back currently sits with a 4-1 tournament record inducing wins by superiority, fall and two by decision.
Cole Mirasola was right on the edge of advancing to the 182-pound finals. The score at the buzzer was 6-6, but his opponent from Ohio led by criteria on the value of points scored. Wisconsin coaches challenged the final score and Vanadia (Ohio) was awarded the additional point for the challenge.
Charlie Millard (145), Aeoden Sinclair (160) and Connor Mirasola (182) wrestled in the semifinals but were unable to secure the win that would take them into the finals. The boys will have a nights rest before returning to the hunt for 3rd in the consolation semis tomorrow morning.
Additional wrestlers earning a place in day 3 of competition are Liam Neitzel (94), Silas Dailey (152) and Zachary Eliszewski (152). They will wrestle in the All-American blood round in the morning.
Team Wisconsin concludes the second day of competiton with 81 points and is in fourth place overall. Tournament leaders are No. 1 Pennsylvania (139), No. 2 Minnesota (104) and No. 3 Ohio (84).
Junior Mens Freestyle
Similar to the first day of 16U MFS competition, the Juniors wrestled preliminary and consolation rounds today. However, the size of the brackets is unmatched by any division, style of prior year—the largest being a starting round of 256.
Wisconsin has 15 boys in the championship round of 16 and 17 still active in the consolations.
Ferrell said, “. . . the way we’re wrestling right now we’ve got some amazing young men that are wrestling very very well and some young kids that are pulling out some close matches here and there. This overall venue is overwhelming when you let it get to you so for those young men to do that it, it’s absolutely amazing.”
Wrestling resumes Monday morning at 9am.
Back in River Falls the Junior women’s freestyle team is preparing to travel Monday morning, and the 16U Greco team arrived for camp today.
Monday’s Schedule (Day 3)
9am–11am: 16U MFS Consolations & Consolation Semis
9am—1pm: Junior MFS 1/8 Championships, Quarters & Consolations
1:30pm—4pm: 16U MFS Finals, Medal Matches & Awards
5pm—830pm: Junior MFS Semis, Consolations & Consolation Semifinals