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Three Raider wrestlers compete at state tournament

The Hudson wrestling team’s coaching staff and state qualifiers get together for a photo at the end of last Saturday’s WIAA sectional tournament in Wausau. In front is 145-pound state qualifier Sawyer Massie. In back from left are assistant coach Adam Kaufman, assistant coach Brian Johnson, 285-pound state qualifier Mathias Tobin, 220-pound state qualifier Eliot Motu, head coach Chris Hansen and assistant coach Jesse Hoff. (Submitted photo)1 / 3
Hudson senior Eliot Motu eyes up Wausau West’s Brady Lenz before taking him down for a pin in a 220 pound semifinal match at the WIAA sectional wrestling tournament in Wausau last Saturday. Motu went on to finish second in his weight class to earn a repeat trip to the WIAA State Wrestling Tournament. (Submitted photo)2 / 3
Hudson senior Mathias Tobin controls Rhinelander’s Bryce Bilogan on his way to a 12-2 major decision in the second place match at the WIAA sectional tournament last Saturday in Wausau. Tobin’s victory earned him a berth in this week’s state tournament in Madison. (Submitted photo)3 / 3

Two Hudson seniors and a sophomore will represent Hudson at the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament in Madison beginning Thursday.

Seniors Eliot Motu and Mathias Tobin, and sophomore Sawyer Massie, all qualified by finishing second in their respective weight classes at last Saturday’s sectional tournament in Wausau.

It’s the second state meet for Motu while Tobin and Massie will be competing at state for the first time. Motu placed fifth at the 2013 state meet.

“Only four wrestlers from Hudson have ever been a two-time state place-winner,” head coach Chris Hansen said, noting the last was Mathias Tobin’s older brother, Cole. “Motu hopes to join that elite club.”

Motu pinned Nick Humphrey of Marshfield in the sectional quarterfinals and Brady Lenz of Wausau West in the semifinals before losing to top-ranked Tyler Schmitt of Merrill in the 220 pound finals.

Tobin needed to win a wrestleback at 285 pounds to qualify for state, and came up big with a 12-2 major decision over seventh-ranked Bryce Bilogan of Rhinelander to punch his ticket to Madison.

“When you beat the seventh ranked wrestler in the state by a score of 12-2, that says something,” Hansen said.

Tobin pinned Seth Collins of Merrill in the quarterfinals and defeated Tristan Wilson of Marshfield, 2-1 in the semifinals before losing to Big Rivers Conference rival Jared Baldwin of Menomonie in the finals. The two have wrestled five times this season with Tobin winning three matches and Baldwin two.

Massie earned a 4-1 decision over Tanner Baine n the 145 pound quarterfinals and pinned Cole Bartz of Menomonie in the semifinals before losing to No. 2-ranked Joe Ziolkowski in the finals.

“Sawyer Massie is a very rare sophomore state qualifier, especially up at 145 pounds,” Hansen said. “Tanner Owens was our last sophomore state qualifier back in 2010.”

Both senior C.J. Steiner, at 132 pounds, and junior Yuri Bronson, at 138 pounds, placed third in their weight classes to just miss qualifying for state.

“In both Divisions 2 and 3, third at sectionals goes to state, but not in Division 1,” Hansen noted.

Sophomore Drew Klabon posted a 6-3 victory over 30-match winner Aidan Bal of Merrill in his opening match at 106 pounds on his way to a fourth place finish, while junior Mitch Fanning (113), senior Tim Feia (126), senior Nic Johnson (152), sophomore Dylan Anderson (170), junior Trent Goplin (182) and junior Max Gierke (195) all lost their opening round matches.

Hansen saluted seniors Steiner, Feia, and Johnson after they competed in a Raider singlet for the last time.

“These three guys have put a tremendous amount of work into the Hudson wrestling program and were part of a great four years,” he said. “Both individually and as a team, they were very successful. I wish them all great luck in their future.”

The WIAA State Tournament gets underway Thursday, Feb. 27, with preliminary matches beginning at 3 p.m. Massie, 38-7 on the season, will face Quentin Lueck of Port Washington (28-8) in his first round match and Motu, 32-8, will take on Jackson Middleton of Madison West (25-4) while Tobin, 39-6, will open against Andy Fidler of Port Washington (26-13).

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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