PRAIRIE DU CHIEN — Belmont/Platteville’s Isaac Wiegel suffered a rare loss at Saturday’s WIAA Division 2 Prairie du Chien Regional, but the talented senior regrouped to keep his dream of a fourth straight state tournament appearance alive.
Wiegel (40-4), who placed third at 113 pounds in the Division 2 state a year ago, scored a 9-2 victory over Richland Center’s Isaac Jones in the 120-pound semifinals before dropping a 6-5 decision to River Valley’s Caleb Radtke (34-9) in the regional final.
It was just Wiegel’s fourth loss of the season and only his eighth in the past two seasons. Wiegel beat Radtke 5-1 in the finals at the Clash conference tournament a week ago, after suffering a regular season loss to the River Valley senior.
“That was a tough match, Radtke is a very good wrestler. We did not set our shots up well enough to score on him and we gave up reversals when we should have just given up escapes and that was what cost us the match,” said Belmont/Platteville head coach Andrew Campbell. “We look forward to wrestling him the next two weeks. (Isaac) has a chance to be a four-time state qualifier, which is a very big accomplishment, but (he needs) to take care of business at sectionals first.”
But Wiegel rebounded from the momentary setback with a dominating 9-0 major decision victory over Prairie du Chien junior Keenan Holley to advance to sectionals for a fourth straight year.
Schaefer (27-11), who placed third a year ago at 195 pounds in his first regional title, earned his first sectional berth at 182 pounds. After a first-round bye, he pinned Prairie du Chien’s Isaac Avery at the 1:37 mark of the first period.
Then, after an 8-7 loss to Mount Horeb’s Ky Kalscheur, Schaefer pinned Dodgeville senior Zackery Weber (29-11) midway through the second period of the second-place wrestleback.
“Schaefer had a good day. He wrestled well and is excited for the chance to wrestle at sectionals, but he was hoping to come out in a first. He will rebound, fix the mistakes and be ready for Saturday,” commented Coach Campbell.
Freshman Riley Christenson (23-16) narrowly missed out on a sectional berth. He battled back from a semifinal loss to Prairie du Chien’s Stephen Ronnfeldt to reach the 195-pound wrestleback, but lost a 6-4 decision to River Valley junior Brock Mahoney (28-12).
Senior Joshua Taber’s (14-12) career ended Saturday with a fourth-place finish at 160.
Sophomore Tristen Gilbertson, a 2017 sectional qualifier, was unable to wrestle in Saturday’s regional. He was injured in practice two weeks ago and also had to sit out the conference tournament.
The WIAA Division 2 individual sectional tournament will take place at Richland Center High School on Saturday, Feb. 17, starting at 10 a.m. The top three finishers in each weight class will advance to the 2018 WIAA State Meet to be held at UW-Madison’s Kohl Center on Feb. 22-24.
WIAA DIVISION 2 REGIONAL MEET
Team Standings: Prairie du Chien 249.5, River Valley 191, Dodgeville 1700, Richland Center 138, Cuba City/Southwestern/Benton 101, Mt. Horeb 89, Belmont/Platteville 73.
Belmont/Platteville Individual Results: 120-pounds- 2- Isaac Wiegel, 3-1; 138- 5- Trevor Heim, 2-1; 145- 5- Shannon Gill-Mast, 2-1; 160- 4- Joshua Taber, 0-2; 182- 2- Will Schaefer, 3-1; 195- 3- Riley Christenson, 2-2.
At PdC, on Saturday, Feb. 10