MADISON, Wis. – The 79th Annual State Individual Wrestling Tournament produced 42 champions Saturday, including three wrestlers to claim their fourth championship of their careers.
Senior Clayton Whiting of Oconto Falls won his fourth championship with a 17-5 major decision in the Division 2 title bout to defend the championship he won at the 182-pound weight class last season. The win gives him a 50-1 record this season. Whiting was also the champion at 152 in 2019 and at 170 in 2020.
Senior Tanner Gerber of Cameron earned his fourth crown with a 7-3 decision in the Division 3 championship match at 132 to improve his record to 49-1 this year. His previous three titles came at 106 in 2019, 113 in 2020 and at 126 last season.
Senior Kole Marko of St. Croix Falls joins his brother, Hunter, among the 22 wrestlers to win four individual titles in the history of the State Tournament. He won a 5-4 decision in the final at 160 in Division 3 to improve to 42-2 this year. Marko won at 138 in 2019, 145 in 2020 and 152 in 2021. Hunter Marko won four his titles from 2013-16 at Amery.
There were 23 former champions entering the tournament in pursuit of another title and 16 accomplished feat. In addition to the four-time champions, there were eight wrestlers who picked up their third title, including three in Division 1. Senior Nicolar Rivera of Stoughton became a three-time champion by scoring a 20-3 technical fall in the championship match at 126 to give him a 53-0 record this year. He also won at 106 in 2019 and at 120 in 2020. Junior Greyson Clark of Kaukauna won his third straight title with a fall at 4:21 in the 138 title bout to improve to 47-1 this season. Prior to this season, he wrestled to the championships at 106 in 2020 and at 126 last season. Senior Mitchell Mesenbrink of Arrowhead won his second straight crown at 152. He recorded a 6-4 decision in the title match to remain undefeated this year at 42-0. Prior to his 152 individual championships, he won at 138 in 2020.
Three wrestlers added their third gold medal in Division 2. Junior Rhett Koenig of Prairie du Chien won his third straight title with a 6-2 decision in the championship final at 132, giving him a 50-2 mark this season. He moved up three weight classes this year to earn the title after his 113 championship last season and a title at 106 in 2020. Senior Caleb Meunier of Winneconne now has a trio of gold medals following his 7-3 decision in the 145 final. He improved to 50-0 this year following the titles he won at 126 last year and at 113 in 2020. Junior Braeden Scoles of Kewaskum cruised to the title at 160 for the second season in a row, capped by a 15-3 major decision in his championship match. He completes his season with an unblemished 54-0 mark. In addition to his two titles at 160, he won at 145 in 2020.
In Division 3, junior Brayden Sonnentag of Cadott and senior Gavin Drexler of Stratford both gained possession of their third gold medal. Sonnentag was a 6-2 victor in his championship bout at 126 after winning the 120 title as a sophomore and the 106 championship as a freshman in 2020. He finishes this season with a 45-1 record. Drexler notched an 11-1 major decision in the 138 title bout to improve his record to 38-1 this year after capturing the crown at the same weight last season and the 126 championship in 2020.
There was one individual who added a second title in Division 1. Sophomore Connor Mirasola of West Bend West added the gold medal at 182 after he won the 170 weight class last season. He pinned his opponent in 42 seconds to up his record to 50-2 this season. At the next weight class, Mirasola’s brother, Cole, captured the 195 title with a 13-5 major decision in the final to win his first championship and improve to 50-2 as well.
Another brother duo won championships in Division 2. Freshman Danny Heiser of Evansville won at 120 with a fall at 6:29 in the title match to record his 52nd win against four losses this season. Junior Owen Heiser later won the 170-pound title with a 4-2 decision in the championship final to improve to 54-0 on the season.
Sophomore Koy Hopke of Amery recorded three falls en route to his second straight Division 2 championship at 220. His pin at :59 completed an undefeated season at 53-0.
Three wrestlers in Division 3 claimed their second championship, including sophomore Dawson Johnson of Cumberland (48-0) at 120 with a fall at 5:55 in the final after winning at 106 last season; senior Karson Casper of Coleman (47-3) at 145 with a fall in 59 seconds in the title bout against last year’s 145-pound champion after earning the 138 title in 2020; and Gavin Tegels of Cadott (48-1), who repeated as champion at 220 with a 3-1 decision in the title bout.
Another sibling championship scenario worthy to note. Senior Shane Corrigan of De Pere finished the season with a 51-0 record and won the Division 1 title at 120. His sister, Brooke, won the 100-pound weight class as a ninth grader at the first-ever girls individual championships back on Jan. 29.
There were seven programs to claim two individual championships, including Arrowhead and West Bend West in Division 1; Amery, Dodgeville and Evansville in Division 2; and Cadott and Stratford in Division 3.
The State Team Wrestling Tournament will be held Friday-Saturday, March 4-5 at the UW Field House in Madison, Wis.