TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read)
16U MFS: Team Wisconsin placed 5th overall, and 10 Wisconsin boys earned All-American status. 1st - K. Hopke (220); 2nd - H. Peterson (88); 3rd - A. Sinclair (160); 3rd - C. Mirasola (182); 4th - C. Mirasola (182); 4th - B. Back (145); 5th - C. Millard (145); 7th - S. Dailey (152); 8th - Z. Eliszewski (152); 8th - L. Neitzel (94).
Junior MFS: Ben Kawczynski (285) is in the finals. Matt Bianchi (145), Braeden Scoles (160) and Jared Stricker (170) will wrestle for 3rd. Wyatt Skebba (106), Blaine Brenner (132), Clayton Whiting (182) and John Gunderson will wrestle for 5th. Finishing 6th at 160 is Luke Mechler, and 8th at 132 is Greyson Clark.
Good evening from Fargo, day 3! Today’s mat time was all about boys freestyle.
Earning All-American status is a huge honor that reflects focused time spent training, sacrifice and the ability to show up when it matters. Wisconsin added twenty more All-Americans to the 2021 season tally—ten in the 16U boys division and ten in the Junior boys division. Hats off to all of those wrestlers. 16U wrestled finals and medal matches today, and Juniors will follow tomorrow afternoon.
Koy Hopke highlighted the day with a win in the National finals. The 220-pound state champion from Amery made fast work of Iowa’s Jacob Walker on the raised stage and pushed his tournament record to 5-0. Hopke is in the hunt for a Triple Crown via the 16U Greco division that starts Wednesday.
National finalist Haakon Peterson secured a 4-point takedown in the final 10 seconds versus Ohio’s No. 1 seed Javaan Yarbrough, but there wasn’t enough time left to create an opening required to secure the 88-pound title. Peterson concludes his opening tournament debut with a 4-1 performance and will return to the mats in search of a Greco title this week.
3rd place All-American Aeoden Sinclair (160) put together a 6-1 performance and outscored opponents 61-17. He had five technical superiorities and a fall in the 3rd place match.
Coming in 4th place and earning All-American is another double-style contender, Brett Back. Charlie Millard won the medal match in his All-American match to secure 5th.
Wisconsin had four wrestlers meet each other in the All-American round. It’s tough to wrestle teammates, but that shows strength in the program.
At 182, Cole and Connor Mirasola met in the 3rd place match where Connor received a win by Inj. and the pair placed 3rd and 4th, earning All-American status together. Silas Dailey and Zachary Eliszewski were the second pairing to meet in the All-American round. Dailey earned the 7th place win by decision, 4-1, and Eliszewski placed 8th.
Scott Kluever, Wisconsin’s state coach, reaffirmed Ferrell’s sentiment from yesterday that the 16U group is tight knit: “This group will continue to get bigger and better. 5th place was awesome, but I think they have way higher goals and I think they’re very attainable . . . it doesn’t matter if the kid was 1-2 or Koy Hopke who won it, they bonded so closely that it’s going to help us grow and build something that we’ve been building for awhile.”
The beauty of the national team is that it brings together a unified Wisconsin. Kluever shared a heartfelt thank you and recognition to parents, high school community coaches and club coaches, saying, “they built this program into something special.”
What better example for a growing 16U team and first-year Juniors than to have experienced teammates to look up to.
“We have a number of really good leaders in our Junior program that are headed to a number of college programs and they’re showing some our first year juniors that really didn’t get an opportunity to come to Fargo last year just how to run through this tournament and how to be productive with what they’re doing,” Ferrell said yesterday.
Dominating his way to the 285-pound finals is Oak Creek’s Ben Kawczynski. The National title contender outscored opponents 63-9. He punched his ticket with a 13-2 technical superiority over California’s Jamikael Lytle in the semis, which is just one of five techs he put together in an already outstanding tournament performance. Kawczynski will wrestle No. 1 ranked Chase Horne from Georgia.
Matt Bianchi gathered five technical superiorities en route to All-American status at 145 pounds. His wins came over opponents from South Dakota, Montana, Alaska, Nebraska, California and Maryland. Bianchi will wrestle Pennsylvania’s Jackson Arrington for 3rd.
Braeden Scoles (160) and Jared Stricker (170) will also wrestle for 3rd.
Wyatt Skebba (106), Blaine Brenner (132), Clayton Whiting (182) and John Gunderson will wrestle for 5th.
Finishing 6th at 160 is Luke Mechler, and 8th at 132 is Greyson Clark.
Kluever said the team has risen to the occasion. “There’s been a lot of talk about how good this team can be, and they’ve shown that they’re worth all the talk.”
The Junior boys concluded the day (pre-medal matches) in third place with 93 points; they are led by No. 2 Pennsylvania (98) and No. 1 Illinois (112).
Wrestling resumes at 8am Tuesday with the women’s Junior team taking the stage.
The 16U Greco team travels tomorrow while the Junior Greco team finalizes preparation in River Falls.
Tuesday’s Schedule (Day 4)
9am—12pm: Junior WFS Prelims and Consolations
1pm—3:30pm: Junior MFS Finals, Medal Matches & Awards
4pm—7pm: Junior WFS 1/8 Championships, Quarters & Consolations