featured photo of Brady Koontz by Tony Rotundo
FORT WORTH, Texas—The Wisconsin delegation headed to USA Wrestling's Senior Nationals this weekend is a solid mix of wrestlers with an established background competing on the senior/world level, and up-and-comers ranging from high school seniors to recent college graduates. The athletes mentioned below represent various clubs and teams but share their Wisconsin roots and goals. The three-day tournament in Fort Worth is the single largest qualifying event for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April, with the top 5 placers in each weight class advancing.
Taking up the most namespace is the Greco-Roman contingent, which includes four athletes that have already qualified for the trials: 2023 senior World team member Brady Koontz (60kg), two-time Olympian Ben Provisor (87kg), 2022 senior and U23 World teamer Benji Peak (77kg) and 2023 U23 world teamer Payton Jacobson (77kg). Per USA Wrestling, any previously qualified athlete that places in the top five in their weight class will not have their qualification spot reallocated.
Among the younger contingent of Greco athletes registered are 2023 Junior Nationals champ Ashton Miess (77kg) and All-Americans Brett Back (67kg), Caden Young (77kg) and Max Schierl (67kg). Rounding out the division are age group Pan Am champ Tyler Hannah (87kg), Dylan Koontz (60kg), Aidan Nutter (67kg), Fritz Schierl (87kg), Aaron Dobbs (77kg), Gunnar Hamre (67kg), Tyler Klein (60kg), Warren Soik (60kg).
Alex Dieringer brings the most experience to the smaller group from Wisconsin competing in men’s freestyle. Dieringer, who placed 2nd at the Bill Farrell, is No. 3 on the national team at 79kg and is registered to compete at 86kg. Penn State commits Connor and Cole Mirasola, who competed in their first senior-level tournament last month at the Bill Farrell, are registered at 86 and 97 kilograms respectively. The Mirasola brothers helped Wisconsin to a historic run at Junior Nationals this summer as Conner claimed the title and Cole finished runner-up. John Gunderson (86kg) and Shane Gantz (74kg) are also registered.
Women’s freestyle has a pair of world medalists registered at opposite ends of the weight class continuum with current Hawkeye Kylie Welker at 76kg and Alyssa Lampe at 50kg. Welker, an Olympic Team Trials finalist in 2021, is already qualified for the 2024 trials and is battle-tested domestically and internationally across the age groups. Most recently she placed 7th at the Senior Pan Am Games and won a gold medal at the Junior Pan Am Championships this summer. In 2021 Welker claimed a junior World title, a U23 World bronze medal, and competed in her first Senior World Championships. Lampe, a three-time World bronze medalist, trains at the Beaver Dam RTC in Oregon and could truly be considered the face of Wisconsin’s pioneer women wrestlers.
Past collegiate All-Americans Gabby Skidmore (57kg), Josie Bartishofski (53kg) and Mateah Roehl (53kg) are registered, as are NMU’s Marisa Roth and Dubuque’s Mattie Papenthien at 62kg. Filling out the younger group of Wisconsin entries are Avery Steldt and Junior Nationals All-American Hanna Errthum at 50 and 62 kilograms, respectively.
The Senior Nationals will be streamed live on FloWrestling this Friday through Sunday, December 15th-17th!
Select here for a PDF of WI athletes registered.