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Five wrestlers move on to sectional; Larson wins regional title

Wildcat senior Nathan Kinneman has a hold on Hudson's Nic Johnson in a 138 pound semifinal match at the WIAA Division 1 regional Saturday, Feb. 9 in New Richmond. Kinneman defeated Johnson, 4-0, on his way to a third place finish.

Junior Sebastian Larson won an individual title at 170 pounds and four other Wildcats finished in the top four of their respective weight classes to keep their seasons alive at the WIAA Division 1 wrestling regional Saturday, Feb. 9 in New Richmond.

Larson claimed the regional title at 170 pounds while senior Nathan Kinneman took third at 138 and senior Erik Dartsch placed third at 152. Junior Zach Radkey-Pechacek finished fourth at 126 and freshman David Hennessey took fourth at 195.

All five Wildcats advanced to the WIAA sectional this Saturday in Marshfield. The top two finishers in each weight class at the sectional qualify for the WIAA State Individual Championships Feb. 21-23 at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Larson began his march to a regional title with a 9-0 major decision over Sam Green of Hudson in the quarterfinals. He went on to defeat Dominic Ficociello of New Richmond, 6-1, in the semifinals before beating Hunter Dahlby of Eau Claire North, 8-4, in the first place match.

Kinneman needed just 17 seconds to pin Mack Morgan of Eau Claire North in the 138 pound quarterfinals before defeating Nic Johnson of Hudson, 4-1, in his semifinal match. He dropped a 5-3 decision to eventual champion Casey Schuh of New Richmond in the semifinals.

Dartsch started his day with a 2-0 decision over Cal Johnson of Hudson in the quarterfinals before losing to Matt Schroeder of Eau Claire North. He came back to defeat Lucas Gont of Chippewa Falls to take third.

Radkey-Pechacek defeated Brett Watnemoe of Eau Claire North by technical fall, 18-1, in the 126 pound quarterfinals before losing to Michael Gauger of Chippewa Falls, 2-0 in the semis. He dropped his third place match to Hayden Schlough of Menomonie before pinning John Greening of New Richmond in 52 seconds in the fourth place match.

Hennessey pinned Randy Zais of Eau Claire North in 4 minutes, 44 seconds of their quarterfinals match at 195 pounds before losing to eventual champion Eric Peissig of Menomonie in the semifinals. After a loss to Max Gierke of Hudson in the third place match he earned fourth place by rule over Zais.

Sam Burns, at 106 pounds, and Winston Bystrom, at 145, both wrestled for fourth place in their respective weight classes but came up short of advancing to sectionals.

Menomonie won the regional team title with a total of 240 points while Hudson was second with 212.5. New Richmond finished third with 160 followed by Chippewa Falls with 138, Eau Claire North with 118, River Falls with 98.5, Eau Claire Memorial with 69 and Superior with 25.

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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