Featuring 70 teams from two states over two days of competition, wrestling tournaments don’t get much bigger in the state of Wisconsin.
The Waunakee wrestling team competed in La Crosse at the Bi-State Classic this past weekend, taking seventh place as a team, scoring a total of 156 points.
Four out of Waunakee’s 12 wrestlers competing in La Crosse claimed spots in the top 10, led by Sam Lorenz, who took third place in the 132-pound bracket.
After pinning his way through to the quarterfinals, Lorenz dropped a tight decision to La Crosse Aquinas’ Joseph Penchi – ranked eighth at 138 in Division 3 – by a score of 7-3. Lorenz quickly rebounded, winning his remaining four matches by decision, including his third-place match 6-5.
Berhett Statz was Waunakee’s next-highest finisher, taking fourth place at 145. He wrestled his way into the semifinals, but once there, Statz lost a close contest against Portage’s Lowell Arnold – ranked fourth in the state at 152 – by just one point. This relegated him into the consolation semifinal; there, Statz defeated Baraboo’s Eli Davidson to earn his spot in the third-place match. Against Ryan Dolezal of Marshfield, Statz again dropped a low-scoring affair 3-1 to ultimately claim fourth place.
Two more Warriors – Nick Schweitzer at 126 and Kolby Heinz at 120 – placed in the top 10. Schweitzer went 5-2 on the tournament, ending with a victory via first-period pin in his 7th-place match, while Heinz went 5-3, falling in his 9th-place contest.
Though none of Waunakee’s remaining wrestlers placed in the top 10, six finished with records of .500 or higher at one of the toughest tournaments of the season. Jayden Freie (106), Braysen Ellis (138) and Kyle Wilcox (152) each finished 3-2, and Kaden Hooker (160), Dan Ford (170) and Kael Johnson (182) all closed the tournament with 2-2 records.
The Warriors return to Badger North competition this Friday, when they travel to Reedsburg to face the Beavers. Start time at Reedsburg High School is scheduled for 7 p.m.