Raider wrestlers third at Bi-State Classic in La Crosse
Thirteen of Hudson's 14 wrestlers scored points and two Raiders -- Dima Hawksford and Derek Schindler -- finished second in their respective weight classes to help the team to a third place Division 1 finish and fifth place finish overall at the 56-team Bi-State Classic in La Crosse last Friday and Saturday.
Hudson finished with a total of 226.5 points to take third in Division 1. Wausau West was first with 321.5 followed by Holmen with 237. Luxemburg-Casco took the Division 2 title with 290.5 while Lancaster won the Division 3 championship with 246.5.
"We had great balance," Raider coach Chris Hansen said. "Seven of our fourteen guys placed in the top eleven. For a 56-team tournament, that is quite a feat."
Hawksford and Schindler both lost heartbreakers in the finals. Hawksford defeated second-ranked Alex Peters of West Salem in the semifinals at 170 pounds and was holding a commanding lead over No. 3 ranked Gable Frandsen of Ellsworth in the finals until Frandsen was able to pin Hawksford in the final minute.
"We will wrestle Ellsworth in two weeks and that re-match is almost certain to happen," Hansen said about the two facing each other again.
Schindler's march to the finals at 182 pounds included his 100th career win. Facing top-ranked Quinn Daust of Mt. Horeb/Barneveld for the title, Schindler was just two seconds away from winning when Daust scored an escape to tie the match and send it to overtime, where he scored in sudden death to win the match.
"Although Dima will get his opportunity for revenge in two weeks, Derek will have to wait for the state tournament," Hansen said about a potential rematch for Schindler.
Eliot Motu earned a sixth place medal at 220 pounds, including a win over second-ranked Trevor Gorr of Monroe.
"Eliot Motu lost in the finals of the Marty Loy last week but avenged that loss when he met up with the same opponent at the Bi-State," Hansen said. "That was a nice win for Motu as he knew his match at the Marty Loy was not his best effort."
Austin Koski also earned a spot on the awards podium by finishing seventh at 145 pounds, while Nick Nelson was eighth at 120 pounds. Matt Koski, at 113, and Mathias Tobin, at 285, took home 11th place medals.
"Matt Koski continues to impress me and his 11th place finish is excellent for a freshman," Hansen said. "There is no kid on our team who has had more come from behind victories then Matt. Wrestling hard in the final minute is hard to teach kids and Matt has that figured out."
Overall, Hansen said the Raiders wrestled well in a tough environment.
"I am quite pleased with the results," he said.
The Raiders will travel to Eau Claire memorial for a big Rivers Conference dual match this Thursday, Jan. 3, before hosting the Hudson Invitational Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the high school. Stillwater, Hutchinson, Boyceville, Plainview-Elgin-Baylor and St. Paul Harding will be the other schools at the tourney.