STAR JOURNAL REPORT
Of the seven Rhinelander High School wrestlers who qualified for Saturday’s Division 1 Sectional at River Falls, four of them have advanced to state with three being sectional champions and the other a runner-up.
At 145 pounds, Hodags junior Jacob DeMeyer won the sectional title after recording a technical fall victory in the championship match over Wisconsin Rapids’ Bergh Diebel. DeMeyer had opened the tournament by winning on a pin over Eau Claire North’s Joe Vang and earning a 2-0 decision victory in the semifinals over Marshfield’s Nolan Hertel.
RHS senior Alec Bess won the title match at 160 pounds by pinning New Richmond’s Nathan Fehlen in 29 seconds. Bess also recorded an 11-3 major decision victory in his opening match against Hudson’s Cody Cicha and pinned Chippewa Falls’ Riley Wyandt in the semifinals.
Hodags junior Alec Kurtz won his championship match at 182 pounds with a 7-1 decision of Wausau West’s Jordan LaRue. Kurtz pinned New Richmond’s Jake LaVenture to open the tournament and also won a 6-1 decision in the semifinals over Marshfield’s Alex Brost.
RHS’s other state qualifier, junior Reuben Guzik, lost his sectional championship match at 113 pounds on a pin to Stevens Point’s Brady Kootz, but ended up in second place by virtue of having won his semifinal match on a 9-1 major decision over Eau Claire North sophomore Carter Duerkop, who ended up in third place after a wrestleback. Guzik also pinned River Falls’ Spencer Cernohous in the opening match.
The Division 1 State Individual Wrestling Tournament begins Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Kohl Center in Madison. In Thursday’s opening matches for the four Hodags: Guzik, who has a 30-10 season record, faces Pulaski sophomore Cole Gille, who is 35-3; DeMeyer, who is 40-0, faces Hamilton senior Owen Georges, who is 31-10; Bess, who is 36-3, faces Appleton North senior Weston Verhoff at 28-15; and Kurtz, who is 36-5, faces Slinger sophomore Bennett Connolly, who is 30-10.