TLDR: WFS Juniors place 8th overall with five All-Americans: Alex Hofrichter - 2nd at 164, Kylie Rule - 3rd at 127, Hanna Errhthum - 3rd at 132, Rachel Schauer - 5th at 164, Faith Bartoszek - 8th at 138. 16U places 10th with six All-Americans: Carley Ceshker - 2nd at 127, Brooke Huffman - 2nd at 180, Taylor Whiting - 6th at 106, Angie Bianchi - 7th at 112, Ava Peters - 8th at 100, Lilly Banks - 8th 132.
FARGO, North Dakota—The first of three nights with championship finals, and the national events for women’s freestyle, is complete.
Team Wisconsin put together two outstanding top-ten performances—finishing 8th in juniors and ending in a two-way tie with Washington for 10th in 16U. This is an especially impressive jump for the junior team, which placed 22nd last year.
Leading the way in the Junior division is a trio of seniors. National runner-up Alex Hofrichter, 5-1 at 164 pounds, has proved herself a formidable opponent. She got to showcase her upper-body style of wrestling here this weekend making the finals with four techs and a fall. Hofrichter was 7th in 2021.
Kylie Rule (6-1 at 127) and Hanna Errthum (7-1 at 132), both graduated seniors, placed 3rd. Their path through the event was similar as they made their way to the semis before getting stopped by a too-tough-today opponent.
Rule put together the pieces technically this weekend on her feet and in par terre. All six of her victories were by tech, and she closed out her Fargo run on the raised stage with a killer leg lace to claim 3rd. Rule, who also has a 5th place Fargo finish from 2021, will continue her academic and wrestling career at Wartburg in Iowa.
Errthum won five straight before running into No. 1 seed Cadence Diduch in the semis. She quickly regrouped from the loss and doubled down with a tech in the cons. semis, and again in the 3rd place rematch with New York’s Emily Frost to make it a 7-1 performance. Semis aside, Errthum didn’t give up a single point. This final run at Fargo was somewhat of a resurgence to the national stage as she was out the last year and a half due to an injury. Errthum was a junior finalist and placed 3rd in 16U back in 2021.
First-year juniors Rachel Schauer (7-2 at 164) and Faith Bartoszek (4-3 at 138) placed 5th and 8th in their respective weight classes. Schauer, now an All-American in both divisions, hit big four-pointers in several matches today, and I think it’s noteworthy both her losses came from the same opponent. Bartoszek is a multiple-time All-American in both divisions.
The 16U team had six All-Americans, including national runners-up Carley Ceshker (127) and Brooke Huffman (180).
Ceshker absolutely dominated her way into the 127-pound finals going 5-0 to get there, and only giving up points in one match along the way. The finals match was, however, heartbreaking. Leading 3-0 in the second period Ceshker gave up a takedown, and, unaware, also gave up a shot clock point turning the result 3-3 criteria in favor of Oklahoma’s Lynn Horn.
Huffman definitely made a statement making the finals her first year here and posted a 5-1 record overall.
Four more placed in the All-American medal round earlier this afternoon. Taylor Whiting (7-3 at 106) and Angie Bianchi (7-2 at 112) earned 6th and 7th respectively. Lilly Banks (4-3 132) and Ava Peters (4-3 at 100) were 8th. The entire 16U group is hard-nosed and acclimating well to high-level competition. Emjay Neumann (117), Olivia Hofrichter (144) and Riley Hanrahan (127) all made it to the blood round but came up short in their matches this morning.
While Wisconsin’s primary highlights came before the championship finals I do want to acknowledge how great the environment was. The finals always bring a special kind of energy, but today was extra if that’s possible. The new layout features the raised mats alongside each other at the end of the dome and it made the arena feel entirely full. On top of that, the finals, which started at 6, had major in-house hype and anticipation from a very present crowd of athletes and fans alike well before the first whistle.
True to wrestling, the weekend had highs and lows. Our ladies are working hard and in the right direction.
Wrestling resumes tomorrow with Junior and 16U men’s freestyle at 9AM. Watch everything live on FloWrestling.