RICHLAND CENTER — Belmont sophomore Isaac Wiegel won the 106-pound title at Saturday’s WIAA Division 2 Richland Center sectional to earn a second-straight trip to state.
Wiegel, who placed second at both conference and regionals behind River Valley sophomore Zach Licht (37–6), took advantage of a semifinal loss by Licht to West Salem/Bangor freshman Dalton Schams on Saturday.
After back-to-back wins, Wiegel defeated Schams 8-3 in the 106-pound title match to claim the sectional title.
Wiegel and Schams (40-9), ranked sixth in Division 2, were neck and neck for the first two periods, before the Belmont sophomore got a take-down and two-point nearfall towards then end of the third period to wrap up the championship victory.
“We are very excited for Isaac to be returning to state,” said Belmont/Platteville head coach Isaac Campbell. “Having been there last year he will be a lot more relaxed this year. Winning a very tough 106 sectional will give him more confidence going forward. Also it will be nice to have the first round bye.”
Wiegel (38-8), ranked 11th, will have a first-round bye when the WIAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament begins Thursday night at the Kohl Center in Madison. He will then face the winner Thursday’s first-round match between Amery senior Mike Smith (32-11, ranked eighth) and Freedom junior Garrison Murphy (35-10, ranked third) in Friday morning’s D2/D3 quarterfinal round that begins at 11:15 a.m.
“Our goal is to place this year,” added Campbell. “Last year was a great learning experience, but this year our goal is to place.”
Wiegel lost his preliminary match a year ago at state and did not place.
On Saturday, Wiegel (38-8) began his sectional title run with a 3-0 victory over Lodi freshman Garrett Moll (40-10), then beat Viroqua junior Jansen McClelland (36-9) by a score of 8-4 in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, Schams caught Licht midway through the second period and pinned the River Valley standout. Licht notched a pin in his first consolation match, but suffered an 8-6 loss to Moll and failed to qualify for state after finishing fourth.
Platteville junior Lucas Fugate joined Wiegel at Saturday at Richland Center going 0-2 in his first sectional tournament.
Fugate (16-5) opened the day with an 11-3 major decision loss to Wisconsin Dells senior Willie Vandenlangenber (31–7), who went on to finish second.
Fugate then suffered a second-period pin against Lodi sophomore Jacob Heyroth (31-10) in the consolation semifinals. Heyroth also went on to qualify for state, placing third.
“Lucas lost to the kids who went out in second and third, so very good wrestlers,” said Campbell. “The first match he just got out-wrestled. In his second match, I think the nerves got to him. It was a close match, he tried a high-risk move that backfired.
“Lucas has never been one to lack motivation. He will continue to work hard like he has the past few years. The thing that will help him the most is that next year this will not be a new experience to him, he will know what to expect when he gets there.”