Owens, Hawksford heading to state wrestling tourneySenior Tanner Owens won a sectional title at 160 pounds to become Hudson’s first four-time state qualifier and while classmate Kolya Hawksford took second at 152 pounds to qualify for state at last Saturday’s WIAA Division 1 sectional tournament at Eau Claire North.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
Senior Tanner Owens won a sectional title at 160 pounds to become Hudson’s first four-time state qualifier and while classmate Kolya Hawksford took second at 152 pounds to qualify for state at last Saturday’s WIAA Division 1 sectional tournament at Eau Claire North.
Owens earned a 5-3 decision over Jared Mataczynski of Wausau West to cap an undefeated day and win the 160 pound title while Hawksford bounced back from a loss in the 152 pound finals to pin Richard Klaver of Rhinelander in the second place match.
Juniors Derek Schindler, at 170 pounds, and Dima Hawksford, at 182, each finished third in their respective weight classes while junior Nick Nelson, at 113, and sophomore Eliot Motu, at 220, both placed fourth.
Hudson’s other sectional qualifiers—Erik Bell at 106, Tim Feia at 120, C.J. Steiner at 126, Austin Koski at 132, Nick Johnson at 138, and Mathias Tobin at 285—all lost their opening round matches.
Owens will face Milwaukee Bradley Technical’s Devondrick Bankston in the opening round of the WIAA State Individual Tournament Friday at the Kohl Center in Madison while Kolya Hawksford will face Ben Hollnagel of Hamilton.
Both state-bound Raiders are ranked sixth in the state in their respective weight classes and are tied with 139 career wins. They can each move into second place on Hudson’s all-time win list behind leader Nick Larson by winning three matches at state.
“I really think both Tanner and Kolya have an excellent shot at becoming a state place-winner,” Raider coach Chris Hansen said. “Some kids have just making it to state as a goal but for these two, they want to be on the podium Saturday night. We are working real hard in practice this week. There is still a little room to improve to make that happen.”
Owens needed just 1 minute, 22 seconds to pin Kyle Pegarsch of Antigo in his sectional quarterfinal match. He defeated David Pophal of Merrill, 6-1, in the semifinals before beating Mataczynski for the title.
Kolya Hawksford lost to fifth-ranked Ray Paul of Merrill in the 152-pound title match before earning his bid to state by pinning Klaver for second place.
The victory improved Hawksford’s record to 42-3 this season, tying Larson and Cole Tobin for the single season record for most wins by a Raider.
Schindler and Dima Hawksford just missed qualifying for state by finishing third in their respective weight classes.
“In both Division 2 and Division 3, third place goes to state but in Division 1, they do not,” Hansen noted.
Hansen said Motu upset River Judd of Wausau West, 6-2, in his 220 pound quarterfinal match on the way to a fourth place finish.
“He is an opponent who has beaten Motu twice this year, including just last week at the team sectional finals,” the coach said.