Sports

Saints wrestlers earn fourth consecutive regional title

Above The Fold Media | For the Leader
The St. Croix Falls wrestling team has captured its fourth consecutive regional title. - Photos provided
Advance 11 wrestlers to sectional
ST. CROIX FALLS – The other teams were trying simply to advance a wrestler.
St. Croix Falls had the WIAA Division 3 Regional team title secured long before the final match on Saturday, Feb. 15, and limited the number of individual transfer spots to this weekend’s sectional. The Saints had seven division champions and advanced 11 total wrestlers to the sectional on their way to 286.5 points and a fourth consecutive regional title. Cumberland, 139, was second; followed by Clear Lake, 131; Cameron, 126.5; and a fifth-place tie between Shell Lake and Unity, both with a 93.
“Many of our wrestlers continued to impress and are looking great for some postseason runs,” St. Croix Falls coach Joe Raygor said. “This time of year in wrestling is special.”
Luke Thaemert, at 106 pounds; Mason Will, 120; Zack Clark, 138; Kole Marko, 145; Bennett Bergmann, 152; McKinley Erickson, 195; and Tanner Gaffey, 285; earned first-place finishes for St. Croix Falls.
Thaemert needed just one win over Mitch Anderson, Clear Lake, to win his division; Mason Will won a 4-3 decision over Remington Ladd, Cameron, in his first-place match; Clark defeated Unity’s Chevy Baxter in 38 seconds before an 8-6 win over Tommy Quinn, Cameron, in the first-place match.
Bergmann won both his matches by pin – in 2:55 over Caleb Gillett, Cameron, and in 54 seconds over Lukas Paulson, Clear Lake. Erickson defeated Thomas Felder, Cameron, in 31 seconds before winning a 7-6 decision over Blake Siebert, Cumberland, in the first-place match.
Gaffey won both his matches by pin – in 1:22 over Samuel Beecroft, Shell Lake, and in 4:33 over Carson Johnson, Unity.
Graidy Guggisberg, 160; James Kemp, 170; Calan Leahy, 182; and Kyle Zehm, 220, had runner-up finishes to qualify for sectional competition as individuals for the Saints. Kaden Clark, 113, and Sam Glenna, 132, had third-place finishes for the Saints, missing a sectional transfer spot by one position.
St. Croix Falls advanced to Tuesday’s team sectional at Cumberland with a return trip to the state finals at stake. The individual sectional is this Saturday, Feb. 22, at Edgar.
“It’s important we stay focused and use that energy to be as prepared as possible,” Raygor said.
Jack Nelson, 182, gave the Eagles a first-place finisher by pinning Leahy in 4:36 in the first-place match. Johnson joins Nelson at the individual sectional by following his loss to Gaffey with a pin of Beecroft in 1:10 in the second-place match. Johnson also pinned Jake Simon, Cumberland, in 2:51 to win his semifinal match.
A top-three finish in the individual sectional earns a trip to the state final in Madison.


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