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Wrestlers 3rd at Northern Badger

<i>Bob Burrows photo</i> Wildcat senior Logan Cudd gets Kyle Johnson of Bruce off his feet before scoring a takedown in the finals at 130 pounds at the Northern Badger Wrestling Classic Dec. 29 at the high school. Cudd won his second Northern Badger individual title with a 12-3 major decision over Johnson.

Seniors Logan Cudd and Adam Figi won individual titles and classmates Matt Linehan and Nick Johnson both finished third to lead the Wildcat wrestling team to a third place finish at the 38-team Northern Badger Classic last week at the high school.

Neillsville won the Division 2 and overall championships with 298 points followed by Division 1 champion Amery with 249. The Wildcats finished third in the overall standings, and second in Division 1, with 219.

Wildcat head coach Brady Cudd said all four seniors in the lineup for the two-day tournament wrestled well, and highlighted Figi for earning his first major tournament championship.

"We had a great performance from the four seniors we had compete at the Northern Badger," Cudd said. "Adam Figi came onto the tournament as the 10th seed and was able to defeat three higher seeds on his way to his first high school tournament championship. His performance was really impressive."

Figi clinched his first championship by winning a 6-4 decision over top seed Matt Smith of St. Croix Central in the 160-pound finals. He reached the title match by earning a 3-1 decision over Jake Radamacher of St. Croix Falls in the semifinals. He opened the tournament with a 15-5 major decision over Sandy Bautch of Neillsville before defeating Matt Pechacek of Prescott, 13-5, in the quarterfinals.

Logan Cudd rolled through his 130-pound bracket, pinning Tyler Braun of Baldwin-Woodville in 1 minute, 38 seconds in his opening match and earning a 20-4 technical fall over Spencer Walters of St. Croix Falls in the quarterfinals before posting a 9-1 major decision over Kyle Wilson of Neillsville in the semifinals and a 12-3 major decision over Kyle Johnson of Bruce in the finals.

"Logan Cudd wrestled a solid tournament," Brady Cudd said. "His leg attacks are as good as I have seen from a high school wrestler."

Linehan advanced to the 215 pound semifinals with pins over Josh Tyler of Rice Lake and Dylan Kimber of Chetek/Prairie Farm. He lost by pin to eventual runner-up Mitchel Williams of Cadott in the semifinals before pinning Lauden Wood of St. Croix Central in the third place match.

Linehan needed three pins to reach the semifinals at 285. He dispatched of Zach Timblin of Crivitz, Victor Lowney of Osceola and Charlie Cooley of Chequamegon before dropping an 8-2 decision to eventual champion Cody Hegeman of Boyceville in the semifinals. In the third place match, he earned a 9-2 decision over Cody Bahr of Blair-Taylor.

"Matt Linehan and Nick Johnson both lost tough matches in the semifinals, but were able to bounce back in their third place matches," Coach Cudd said. "They are both getting better every week, and should be exciting to watch at the end of the season."

Sophomore Nathan Kinneman boosted the Wildcats' team score with a sixth place finish at 112 pounds and junior Tyson Bystrom placed seventh at 189. Junior Riley Larson went 2-2 at 152 pounds to add to the Wildcats' point total.

"Riley Larson had an impressive come from behind victory in the first day of the tournament," Cudd said. "Down 9-2 near the end of the second period, he was able to close the gap to 9-7 before pinning his opponent. Riley has made great strides as a wrestler, and is really exciting to watch."

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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