RICHLAND CENTER — Belmont junior Isaac Wiegel will be making his third trip to the WIAA individual state wrestling tournament this weekend after winning his second straight sectional title.
He will be joined by teammate Lucas Fugate, a Platteville senior, who won the 182-pound title at Saturday’s D2 Richland Center sectional to earn his first state tournament appearance.
Wiegel and Fugate both earned first-round byes by virtue of their sectional championships when the WIAA D2 state tournament begins Thursday night at the Kohl Center in Madison. Both will open the tournament with quarterfinal matches during Friday morning’s 11:15 a.m. session.
“I am very pleased with Isaac and Luke this weekend,” said Belmont/Platteville head coach Andrew Campbell. “They did themselves a huge favor at sectionals with a first place finish. That first round bye is huge. It just increases there chances of reaching there goals that much more. I think both Isaac and Luke have a very good chance at placing very high or reaching the finals. There are no easy matches at state, but if the wrestle to the way I know they can, both will be extremely tough to beat in Madison.”
Wiegel (42–3) dominated Jefferson’s Weston Wright in his opening round match at sectionals, then pinned Westfield’s Daniel Nelson in the semifinals, before scoring a 5–1 victory over Edgerton’s Cole Bavery in the 113-pound championship match.
Wiegel, who is currently ranked third at 113 pounds in D2, placed fourth at state at 106 a year ago and also qualified for state at 106 pounds as a freshman.
Fugate (41–5), ranked seventh at 182 pounds, pinned Lodi’s Casey Persike in his sectional quarterfinal, then held off Adams–Friendship’s Chris Deja in the semis, 7–5, and defeated West Salem/Bangor’s Aaron Broer 11–8 in the finals.
Fugate missed the first half of his junior season and finished 16–5 after losing at sectionals.
Belmont freshman Tristen Gilbertson (20–13) finished his season at Saturday’s sectional. He suffered a first-round loss to eventual champion Jansen McClelland of Viroqua, then suffered an injury default loss to eventual third-place finisher Quintin Gehrmann of Jefferson.
Gilbertson was injured early in the consolation match when Gehrmann slammed him to the mat. Gehrmann was originally called for an illegal slam and Gilbertson could have been declared the winner by disqualification. But he would have then had to medically forfeit the third-place match because he was in too much pain to continue wrestling. Campbell made the difficult decision to accept the loss by injury default to allow the wrestler from Jefferson to continue in the tournament.
“Ultimately I decided from what I saw from the trainer assessing Tristen, seeing the pain he was in, and knowing his history of neck issues it was not worth any further risk of injury,” explained Campbell. “Also it was my opinion that even though it was a very clear, and very hard slam, it seemed to me that was something that happened as a result of intense and aggressive wrestling. And even though it did injure Tristen, that was not the intent.”
WIAA Division 2 Richland Center Sectional
(from Saturday, Feb. 18 @ Richland Center)
Top 10 team scores — 1.River Valley 132.5, 2.Viroqua 104.5, 3.Lodi 77.5, 4.Evansville/Albany 74.5, 5.Mauston 69.5, 6.Monroe 53, 7.Beloit Turner 52.5, 8.West Salem/Bangor 51, 9.Belmont/Platteville 41, 10.Prairie du Chien/Wauzeka–Steuben 31.
Belmont/Platteville sectional qualifiers
106 — Tristen Gilbertson (20-13) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Jansen Mc Clelland (Viroqua) 40-10 won by fall over Tristen Gilbertson (Belmont/Platteville) 20-13 (Fall 1:31)
Cons. Semi - Quintin Gehrmann (Jefferson) 33-5 won by injury default over Tristen Gilbertson (Belmont/Platteville) 20-13 (Inj. 0:15)
113 — Isaac Wiegel (42-3) placed 1st and scored 21.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Isaac Wiegel (Belmont/Platteville) 42-3 won by major decision over Weston Wright (Jefferson) 24-19 (MD 9-0)
Semifinal - Isaac Wiegel (Belmont/Platteville) 42-3 won by fall over Daniel Nelson (Westfield Area) 21-14 (Fall 1:15)
1st Place Match - Isaac Wiegel (Belmont/Platteville) 42-3 won by decision over Cole Bavery (Edgerton) 38-4 (Dec 5-1)
182 — Lucas Fugate (41-5) placed 1st and scored 20.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Lucas Fugate (Belmont/Platteville) 41-5 won by fall over Casey Persike (Lodi) 36-6 (Fall 3:12)
Semifinal - Lucas Fugate (Belmont/Platteville) 41-5 won by decision over Chris Deja (Adams-Friendship) 24-8 (Dec 7-5)
1st Place Match - Lucas Fugate (Belmont/Platteville) 41-5 won by decision over Aaron Broer (West Salem/Bangor) 37-7 (Dec 11-8)