RICHLAND CENTER — Belmont freshman Isaac Wiegel’s impressive rookie season continued Saturday at the WIAA Division 2 Richland Center sectional.
Wiegel (33–9) went 3–1 and finished second at 106 pounds to qualify for the 72nd Annual WIAA Individual State Tournament which begins Thursday at the Kohl Center in Madison.
“I am very excited for Isaac to qualify as a freshman,” said Belmont/Platteville head coach Andrew Campbell. “He is only the second wrestler from Belmont that I know of to qualify for state as a freshman. I know we have had some from Platteville to qualify as freshman, but this is only the second one from Belmont that I know of.”
Wiegel joins Kyle Spensley, who qualified for state as a freshman at 106 pounds in 1999, as the only Belmont ninth graders to advance to state wreastling tournament.
Wiegel was the lone member of the Belmont co-op to even qualify for sectionals this year.
He began Saturday with a third-period pin of Edgerton senior Ben Counter (18–11) at the 5:42 mark.
Wiegel then controlled Sparta senior Corey Zimmerman (19–4) throughout their semifinal match en route to a 7–0 decision. Zimmerman went on to finish third to also qualify for state.
“Isaac controlled the Zimmerman match from the start,” said Campbell. “After the first take down we rode him out the rest of the first period. After Zimmerman chose down in the second and we rode him out again and turned him, we knew we could ride him out in the third and that is what we did.”
In the 106-pound championship Wiegel suffered a 15–0 technical fall loss to postseason nemesis Zach Licht of River Valley. Licht defeated Wiegel 12–4 a week earlier in the finals of the D2 Dodgeville regional.
“Licht is a great wrestler,” added Campbell. “We found some ways that we could score on him at regionals and went in with the same game plan at sectionals. Litch came with counters for our plan and made us pay. Hopefully we get another chance to wrestle him this weekend.”
Wiegel was awarded second-place without a wrestleback due to his previous victory over Zimmerman, who defeated Viroqua’s Jason McCleeland in the third-place match.
Licht and Wiegel are on opposite sides of the 106-pound Division 2 bracket and wouldn’t meet until much later in the tournament.
Wiegel will begin his first state tournament with a first-round match against Barron junior Quincy Stephens (34–8) Thursday night.
Once-beaten Denmark sophomore Brock Bergelin (42–1) awaits Thursday’s opening round winner in Friday’s quarterfinals, that begin at 11:15 a.m.
“The state experience will be good for Isaac,” said Campbell. “Obviously the goal will be to place as high as possible. If he wrestles to his what he is capable of he has a great shot to be on the podium.”
WIAA Division 2 Richland Center Sectional
(from Saturday, Feb. 21 @ Rich. Center)
Belmont/Platteville sectional qualifiers
106 — Isaac Wiegel (33-9) placed 2nd and scored 16.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Isaac Wiegel (Belmont/Platteville) 33-9 won by fall over Ben Counter (Edgerton) 18-11 (Fall 5:42)
Semifinal - Isaac Wiegel (Belmont/Platteville) 33-9 won by decision over Corey Zimmerman (Sparta) 19-4 (Dec 7-0)
1st Place Match - Zach Licht (River Valley) 41-7 won by tech fall over Isaac Wiegel (Belmont/Platteville) 33-9 (TF-1.5 4:15 (15-0))
2nd Place Match - Isaac Wiegel (Belmont/Platteville) 33-9 won by rule over Corey Zimmerman (Sparta) 19-4 (RULE)