STAR JOURNAL REPORT
The five Rhinelander High School wrestlers who won regional titles a week earlier have also qualified for state by placing either first or second in Saturday’s WIAA Division 1 Individual Sectional Tournament at Wausau West.
RHS senior Jacob DeMeyer became a four-time state qualifier by winning the sectional title at 145 pounds. DeMeyer opened the tournament winning on a technical fall over Eau Claire Memorial sophomore Brady Guibord, before recording a 13-0 major decision semifinal over River Falls sophomore Garrett Borth and winning the championship match with a 7-1 decision over Marshfield junior Nolan Hertel.
Senior Alec Kurtz is also returning to the state tournament for the Hodags after winning the sectional title at 195 pounds. Kurtz pinned Hudson junior Alonzo Madsen in the quarterfinal match, before pinning Wisconsin Rapids junior Layne Kalata in the semifinals and winning the championship bout on a 12-4 major decision over River Falls senior Chance Kamrowski.
RHS senior Tyler Olson won the sectional title at 120 pounds to advance to state. Olson pinned New Richmond sophomore Cayden Henning in the quarterfinals, before winning a 12-4 major decision in the semifinals over D.C. Everest freshman Freddy Lehrke and picking up a 4-0 decision victory in the title match over Wausau West junior Cameron Schmeiser.
RHS senior Reuben Guzik earned a return trip to the state tournament with a second-place finish at 113 pounds. After pinning New Richmond freshman Tyler Harris in the quarterfinal match, Guzik lost a 5-3 decision in the semifinals to Marshfield freshman Gabe Pugh, the eventual sectional champion, and then won his next two matches on a pin of Chippewa Falls sophomore Jakob Anderson and an 8-2 decision over Wisconsin Rapids junior Cale Benitz to place runner-up.
The Hodags’ fifth state qualifier is senior Colton Krueger, who placed second at 220 pounds. Krueger pinned New Richmond sophomore Ryan Muller in the quarterfinals, before pinning Wausau West senior Timothy Mineau in the semifinals and then losing a 7-5 decision in the championship match to Superior senior Oscar Flaherty.
Two of the three RHS sectional qualifiers who weren’t regional champions were eliminated in the first round with freshman Walker Hartman being pinned by Eau Claire North senior Mason Phillips at 138 pounds and junior Eric Grulke being pinned by Hudson senior Jacob Anderson at 160 pounds.
The Hodags’ other sectional qualifier, freshman Tim Fox, pinned Superior freshman Wyatt Johnson to win his opening match at 106 pounds, but then was pinned in the semifinals by Steven Point sophomore Justin Groshek and lost the match for third place on a 5-3 decision to Wisconsin Rapids freshman Damien Bennet.
The five RHS wrestlers, who placed either first or second at the sectional, begin competing Thursday at the WIAA Division 1 State Individual Tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison. The tournament continues Friday and wraps up Saturday with the championship matches.
Guzik, who is 35-10, has his first match at 113 pounds against Badger sophomore Jake Stritesky, who is 42-5. Olson, who is 40-6, will have his first match at 120 pounds against Waterford senior Sam Winski, who is 36-15. DeMeyer, who is 43-1, has his first match at 145 pounds against Holmen senior Zach Gordon, who is 35-10. Kurtz, who is also 43-1, has his first match at 195 pounds against Kenosha Bradford/Reuther junior Kyle Bowens, who is 35-7. Krueger, who is 37-7, has his first match at 220 pounds against Appleton North senior Brock Danielski, who is 38-4.