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Wrestlers 9th at Challenge, set for regional

Wildcat freshman David Hennessey pulls down Eau Claire North's Randy Zais on his way to winning an 11-10 decision in the consolation round of the 195 pound weight class at the Big Rivers Conference/Dunn-St. Croix Conference Challenge Saturday at the high school. <i>Bob Burrows photo</i>

Junior Zach Radkey-Pechacek finished second at 126 pounds and junior Sebastian Larson took third at 170 pounds as the Wildcat wrestling team finished ninth overall at the 12-team big Rivers Conference/Dunn-St. Croix County Conference Challenge Saturday, Feb. 2 at River Falls High School.

Radkey-Pechacek defeated Chippewa Fall's Michael Gauger, 8-3, in the semifinals before losing to Hudson's Sawyer Massie, 6-4, in the championship bout. He beat Hayden Schlough of Menomonie, 8-1, in his quarterfinal match.

Larson earned a berth in the semifinals with a 5-2 decision over Mark Bryant of Menomonie in the 170 pound quarterfinals. He dropped his semifinal match , 2-0, to St. Croix Central's Cody Nyhagen before beating Hunter Dahlby of Eau Claire North, 6-1, in the third place match.

Freshman Sam Burns reached the semifinals at 106 pounds, defeating Bryan Larson of Mondovi, 9-5, in his quarterfinal match. Burns went on to lose by technical fall to Boyceville's Austin Wolfe in the semifinals before dropping a 7-3 decision to Cole Paulson of Rice Lake in the third place bout.

Senior Ryan Tierney at 160 pounds, and freshman Mathew Williamson at 182, both went 3-2 on the day to place sixth in their respective weight classes. Tierney earned a spot in the fifth place match by pinning Pogan Mcabee-Thomas of Boyceville in 2 minutes, 33 seconds of their consolation semifinal while Williamson posted a 10-2 major decision over Neil Matchey of Mondovi in his consolation semifinal.

Junior Winston Bystrom defeated Trent Smith of St. Croix Central, 5-1, to take seventh place at 145 pounds and senior Erik Dartsch clinched seventh place at 152 pounds with a 4-2 overtime win over Lucas Gont of Chippewa Falls while freshman David Hennessey boosted the Cats' team score by finishing eighth at 195 pounds.

Hudson took the team title with a total of 247 points followed by Spring Valley/Elmwood with 191.5. Menomonie was third with 189 and Glenwood City was fourth with 155 followed by Rice Lake (153.5), St. Croix Central (131), Boyceville (126.5), Chippewa Falls (116), River Falls (86), Eau Claire North (82), Mondovi (66) and Eau Claire Memorial (13).

The Wildcats will compete at the WIAA Division 1 New Richmond Regional this Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.

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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