A trio of seniors will represent Iowa–Grant at this week’s WIAA Individual Wrestling State Tournament.
Luke Nowak (160) both Brian Halverson (170) placed second at Saturday’s WIAA D3 Necedah Sectional. Rider earned his first state tournament berth with a third-place finish at 182.
All three will be in action Thursday night when Division 2 and 3 preliminary matches take place at the Kohl Center in Madison beginning at 7:15 p.m.
Junior Kyle Soderstrom (31–16) went 0–2 and will have to wait until next year for his chance to wrestle at the Kohl Center.
Nowak (34–11) earned his second straight trip to state with a 3–1 semifinal decision over Weston/Ithaca’s Mason McCauley. Nowak went on to lose the 160-pound championship by the count of 8–4 to New Lisbon’s Myles Conner.
"Luke did a great job as well," said I–G head coach Ryan Allen. "In the finals he lost to a very physical kid who was also very strong. However, in the semis Luke avenged a loss from earlier this year getting a key takedown at the end of the match. I really liked the way Luke just kept on his offense with relentless attacks in that match."
Halverson (34–14) earned his first trip to state with an 11–4 semifinal decision over Deerfield’s Vander Ginten. He lost an 8–1 decision to two-time defending state champion Ethan Soderstrom in the finals.
“I was extremely happy seeing Brian Halverson earn a state tourney bid,” said Allen. “He is a senior who has put in more time, effor, and hardwork than most kids can even think about. After bumping up two weights at regionals I knew it would be tough for Brian to make it, but he is a very tough kid himself, so I knew he could do it.”
Rider pinned Waterloo’s Logan Meyer in 1:12 of the 182-pound semifinals to reach the championship and guarantee himself a trip to state.
He was pinned by Royall’s Dalton Lunde in the championship match before being relegated to third place when he was unable to wrestle his wrestleback due to a nagging injury from football.
"Cody wrestled well today especially in his first two matches," said Allen. "He really stuck to his game plan and put himself in position to score and did that. In his finals match he was wrestling well, then got put in a tight cradle and it was over. Hopefully he will be good to go by Thursday."
WIAA D3 Necedah Sectional
(from Saturday, Feb. 22 @ Necedah)
Top 10 team scores — 1.Lancaster 91, 2.Mineral Point 73, 3.Riverdale 70.5, 4.Deerfield 47, 5.Westby 41.5, 6.Johnson Creek 40, 7.New Lisbon 35.5, 8.Weston/Ithaca 32.5, 9.Iowa–Grant/Highland 29, 10.Brookwood 22.
Iowa–Grant sectional qualifiers
160 — Luke Nowak (34-11) placed 2nd and scored 10.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Luke Nowak (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 34-11 won by decision over Patrick Engen (Parkview) 26-11 (Dec 9-3)
Semifinal - Luke Nowak (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 34-11 won by decision over Mason McCauley (Weston/Ithaca) 39-7 (Dec 3-1)
1st Place Match - Myles Connor (New Lisbon) 39-6 won by decision over Luke Nowak (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 34-11 (Dec 8-4)
2nd Place Match - Luke Nowak (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 34-11 won by rule over Mason McCauley (Weston/Ithaca) 39-7 (RULE)
170 — Brian Halverson (34-14) placed 2nd and scored 10.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Brian Halverson (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 34-14 won by decision over Brandon Schmitz (Cashton) 37-10 (Dec 4-2)
Semifinal - Brian Halverson (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 34-14 won by decision over Ben Vander Grinten (Deerfield) 30-14 (Dec 11-4)
1st Place Match - Ethan Soderstrom (Lancaster) 20-3 won by decision over Brian Halverson (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 34-14 (Dec 8-1)
2nd Place Match - Brian Halverson (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 34-14 won by rule over Brandon Schmitz (Cashton) 37-10 (RULE)
182 — Cody Rider (32-14) placed 3rd and scored 9.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Cody Rider (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 32-14 won by decision over Mike Finney (De Soto) 27-13 (Dec 7-1)
Semifinal - Cody Rider (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 32-14 won by fall over Logan Meyer (Waterloo) 31-11 (Fall 1:12)
1st Place Match - Dalton Lunde (Royall) 42-1 won by fall over Cody Rider (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 32-14 (Fall 3:33)
2nd Place Match - David Chadd (Lancaster) 44-3 won by injury default over Cody Rider (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 32-14 (Inj. 0:00)
220 — Kyle Soderstrom (31-16) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Chase Nottestad (Westby) 44-1 won by fall over Kyle Soderstrom (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 31-16 (Fall 2:35)
Cons. Semi - Tyler Wanek (Riverdale) 37-14 won by decision over Kyle Soderstrom (Iowa-Grant/Highland) 31-16 (Dec 6-4)
Division 2: Belmont’s Lucas Stoney earns state berth
Belmont senior Lucas Stoney earned his first trip to the WIAA state tournament with a second-place finish at 220 pounds at Saturday’s D2 Adams-Friendship Sectional.
Stoney scored a 3–1 division over Dustin Bjugstad of Evansville/Albany in the semifinals before dropping a 5–1 decision to Sparta’s Logan Degenhart in the championship.
"Lucas wrestled very well," said Belmont/Platteville head coach Andrew Campbell. "We knew he was going to have some very tough matches. He came up just short against [Degenhart]. He was able to wear Lucas down in a way that I have not sceen anybody do this year at 220. I am very proud of Lucas making it to state, he has had to over come a lot after tearing his ACL last season, surgery on his hand after football and cutting close to 35 pounds to make 220. He has had a heck of a year but we are hoping to make it better this weekend."
Unfortunately fellow senior John Hentrich (34–8) was denied his opportunity to even wrestle at sectionals.
The two-time sectional qualifier had to withdraw from the 145-pound bracket after contacting Erysipelas, a skin infection caused by streptococcus bacteria.
Hentrich got very sick the Sunday after regionals and had to go to the Emergency Room last Monday night.
He was unable to eat solid food all week and when he finally came to school Friday he had lost 15 pounds down to 136. He barley had the energy to walk from the parking lot to the school so Campbell had to make the tough decision to scratch him late Friday afternoon.
"After I found out John could not wrestled I felt absolutely terrible. After sectionals last year John decided to do anything and everything he could to make it to state this year. He worked harder than most kids that i have ever sceen and for him to come up short because of something that was out of his control is an absolutely terrible feeling.
WIAA D2 Adams–Friendship Sectional
(from Saturday, Feb. 22 @ Adams–Friendship)
Top 5 team scores — 1.Sparta 97, 2.River Valley 89, 3.Brodhead/Juda 68.5, 4.West Salem Bangor 67.5, 5.Lodi 65.5... 19.Belmont/Platteville 16.
Belmont/Platteville sectional qualifiers
145 — John Hentrich (34-8) did not wrestle (illness)
220 — Lucas Stoney (25-12) placed 2nd and scored 16.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Lucas Stoney (Belmont/Platteville) 25-12 won by fall over Zach Denton (West Salem/Bangor) 15-25 (Fall 3:05)
Semifinal - Lucas Stoney (Belmont/Platteville) 25-12 won by decision over Dustin Bjugstad (Evansville/Albany) 38-6 (Dec 3-1)
1st Place Match - Logan Degenhardt (Sparta) 38-9 won by decision over Lucas Stoney (Belmont/Platteville) 25-12 (Dec 5-1)
2nd Place Match - Lucas Stoney (Belmont/Platteville) 25-12 won by rule over Dustin Bjugstad (Evansville/Albany) 38-6 (RULE)