Three champs, five runners-up at Ellsworth Invite
The Wildcat wrestling team opened the season by dominating Eau Claire North in a dual meet Thursday and taking second place at the 9-team Ellsworth Invitational Dec. 5.
The Cats had three individual champions and five runners-up at Ellsworth to take second behind the host Panthers.
"Saturday was a great day to see where we are at as a team," co-head coach Joe Cudd said. "We wrestled pretty well and have an opportunity to improve on some things."
Eight Wildcats reached the finals at Ellsworth, with junior Logan Cudd at 130 pounds, senior Cam Loomis at 145 and sophomore Tyson Bystrom at 189 all winning individual titles.
Sophomore Briar Tepp (112), junior Adam Figi (160), senior Josh Kinneman (171), junior Matt Linehan (215) and junior Nick Johnson (285) all took second in their respective weight classes.
Logan Cudd posted four pins and a technical fall on his way to the 130-pound title while Bystrom won two overtime matches on his way to the 189-pound championship.
"Logan was calm, focused and in control during his matches. It was fun to watch," co-head coach Brady Cudd said. "Tyson showed a lot of heart. It's not easy for a sophomore to compete at that weight class."
Brady Cudd said Loomis also looked good on his way to winning the 145 pound title.
"Offensively he did some things I haven't seen him do in the past," he said. "He got better this summer, and it's going to be exciting to see what he can accomplish this year."
Brady Cudd said he was impressed by Tepp reaching the finals at 112.
"Briar is a second year wrestler and had never wrestled in the finals of a tournament before," he said. "He's been working hard both inside and outside the practice room and continues to improve daily."
Senior Austin Johnson added a fourth place finish at 152 pounds and senior Peter Wolff took fourth at 119.
"Overall, we had a good day," Brady Cudd said. "The kids wrestled hard."
Ellsworth won the team title with 297.5 points while the Wildcats took second with 263.5 and Boyceville was third with 247.
The Cats opened the season with a 63-14 Big Rivers Conference victory at Eau Claire North Thursday with Tepp (112), Peter Wolff (119), junior Michael Wolff (125), Austin Johnson (152), Figi (160), Kinneman (171), Bystrom (189) and Linehan (215) all posting pins.
River Falls will host Chippewa Falls in its home opener at 7 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 10) for Emergency Services Night. Personnel from the River Falls Fire Department, River Falls Ambulance and River Falls Police Department will be honored for their sacrifice and leadership in the community and serve as honorary coaches for the night.
"Chippewa beat us last year so it should be a good measuring stick for us," Brady Cudd said. "We should have a great crowd and a very competitive dual meet."