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Thirteen wrestlers competing for spot at state this weekend

Hudson’s C.J. Steiner tries to turn his opponent over in a 132 pound match at the WIAA Division 1 regional tournament Saturday in Chippewa Falls. Steiner finished third in his weight class to advance to this Saturday’s sectional tournament in Wausau. (Submitted photo)

Thirteen Raider wrestlers will compete for a spot at state this weekend after placing in the top four in their respective weight classes at the WIAA Division 1 regional tournament last Saturday in Chippewa Falls.

Hudson crowned four individual champions and took second in the final team standings while advancing 13 individuals to this Saturday’s sectional tournament at Wausau West High School.

Menomonie won the regional team title with a score of 244.5 while Hudson was second with 210.

“The regional could not have played out more similar to last season as we were within two points of the same score from a year ago,” Raider head coach Chris Hansen noted. “Four champions and 13 sectional qualifiers, I could not be more happy with. Thirteen sectional qualifiers is the most of any team in the entire sectional, and only three teams in the entire state qualified all 14.”

Sawyer Massie and Eliot Motu won their second regional championships at 145 pounds and 220 pounds, respectively, while Max Gierke, at 195, and Mathias Tobin, at 285, each claimed their first titles.

Massie defeated Kyle Zerbian of Chippewa Falls, 8-1, in the 145 pound championship match and Motu earned a 3-1 overtime win over Shane Adams of Eau Claire Memorial in the finals while Gierke pinned Kevin Kern of New Richmond in 3:11 in his title bout and Tobin wrestled to a 9-2 decision over 11th-ranked Jared Baldwin of Menomonie for the 285 pound title.

Yuri Bronson defeated 14th-ranked Zach Radkey-Pechacek of River Falls in the 138 pound semifinals on his way to a second place finish, while Drew Klabon advanced with a third place finish at 106 pounds. Tim Feia took third at 126 ponds to move on and C.J. Steiner was third at 132 pounds while Mitch Fanning (113), Matt Koski (120), Nic Johnson (152), Dylan Anderson (170) and Trent Goplin (182) al advanced with fourth place finishes.

Hansen said he was especially pleased by seeing Fanning advance to the sectional tournament.

“His back was against the wall, having to beat a conference champion in the final match,” Hansen noted. “Mitch easily handled Nick Long of Superior, who entered the tournament with a  28-5 record.”

Hansen congratulated senior Cal Johnson, who finished sixth at 160 pounds, for his outstanding career at Hudson High School. Johnson was a member of the Raiders’ 2011 team that reached the state team tournament in Madison and finished his career with 54 varsity wins.

The WIAA Division 1 sectional tournament gets underway at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Feb. 22, at Wausau West High School. The top two individuals in each weight class will advance to the WIAA State Individual Championships Feb. 27-March 1 at the Kohl Center in Madison. 

Read more about the Raiders in this week's print edition of the Hudson Star Observer.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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