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State wrestling tournament gets underway this afternoon

Wrestlers from St. Croix County in Hudson, New Richmond, Somerset and St. Croix Central will be in action on the first day of the WIAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Kohl Center.

The Division 1 prelims begin at 3 p.m. this afternoon. New Richmond junior Shane Blackman (31-3) is one of the favorites at 113 pounds and is one of the very first matches of the tournament as he faces sophomore Bailey Van Handel of Kaukauna (39-10).

Hudson's tournament quartet starts with senior Austin Koski (35-8) as he takes on junior Max Mijal of Pulaski (34-5) at 145 pounds. Senior Dima Hawksford (38-3) will come to the mats shortly thereafter as he wrestles senior Nick Hahn (40-7) of Hartford. At 182, senior Derek Schindler (40-1) another potential finals favorite, will wrestle his first match vs. Brookfield East senior John LeClaire (41-8). Eloit Motu (32-11) will have one of the last matches of the round as the Raider junior faces Koty Agnes of Burlington, a senior with a 31-14 record.

After the prelim round is over with the quarterfinals begin immediately. Then come the Division 2 prelims with St. Croix Central's Cody Nyhagen wrestling at 160 pounds. The SCC senior (35-3) takes on Sheboygan Falls junior Mitchell Lambrecht (34-10). At the same time on another mat Somerset senior Gabe Flandrick (40-2) will be in action as he faces junior Dan Squires of Wisconsin Lutheran (38-9). At 170, Somerset sophomore Max Praschak (22-12) takes on senior Jordan Pardowsky (34-12) of Luxemburg-Casco. At 182, Central senior Kyle Aaby (41-3) will wrestle fellow senior Tyler Shrake of West Salem/Bangor (36-11). Sectional champs Bobby LeRoy of Somerset at 138 and Carl Moll of St. Croix Central at 170 are byed into the quarterfinal round which starts at 11:15 a.m. Friday.