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Kamrowski wins BRC/DSC Challenge

River Falls' sophomore Chance Kamrowski has Eau Claire North's Joey Moore all wrapped up on his way to earning a 16-1 technical fall over Moore in a 195 pound quarterfinal match at the Big Rivers Conference/Dunn-St. Croix Conference Challenge Saturday in River Falls. Kamrowski went on to win the 195-pound title to help the Wildcats to a fifth place team finish. (River Falls Journal photo by Bob Burrows)

Sophomore Chance Kamrowski won the 195-pound title to lead the Wildcats wrestling team to a fifth-place finish at the 12-team Big Rivers Conference/Dunn-St. Croix Conference Challenge Saturday in River Falls.

Hudson won its second straight BRC/DSC title with 256.5 points, Spring Valley/Elmwood was second with 172.5, Eau Claire North was third with 155.4, Boyceville took fourth with 147.5, and River Falls was fifth with 136.

After earning a bye in his first-round match, Kamrowski posted a 16-1 technical fall over

Eau Claire North's Joey Moore in the quarterfinals before beating Sam Kelcher of Hudson, 2-1, in the semifinals. He wrapped up the 195-pound title with a 5-4 decision over Jared Woodhull of Chippewa Falls in the finals.

"Chance had a good tournament," Wildcat wrestling coach Kevin Black said. "He wrestled very smart and tactical to win his first conference title. He's been wrestling for a long time and I know he's had his eye on that conference championship board in the room since he was little. Connecting the traditions of the past to who we are today has been a goal within our program since I started coaching. His name will go up alongside some important people in our program's history."

Sophomore Nathan Fuller reached the finals at 138 pounds before losing to Menomonie's Sam Skillings to finish second, while Spencer Cernohous at 113, and Michael Rebozo at 120, placed third. Seth Kohel added a fifth-place finish at 170 pounds and Garnett Ripley was fifth at 285 to give the Cats six top-five finishers.

Bennet Cernohous contributed a sixth-place finish at 106 pounds and Luke Killian was sixth at 152 while Nathan Lawrence finished seventh at 132, Nikolas Blaubach was seventh at 160, Tyler Johnson took seventh at 182 and Joshua Langlois was eighth at 220.

After competing all day Saturday, the Wildcats hosted a youth tournament Sunday, doing everything from organizing brackets to refereeing, trying to make sure the tournament was a positive experience for all the future Wildcats.

"It's pretty cool for these guys to wrestle their hearts out on Saturday trying to connect to those previous athletes like DeWayne Benedict, then showing up Sunday morning and refereeing a match with DeWayne in the corner coaching his grand kids in little kid's singlets," Black said, referring to the former wrestler, coach and Wildcat Hall of Fame member. "Someday those youth wrestlers will be in a RFHS varsity singlet, and we hope our current team can metaphorically leave that singlet in a good place for them."

The Cats will compete at the WIAA Division1 regional Saturday, Feb. 11, in Chippewa Falls. The WIAA sectional is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 18, at River Falls High School.

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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