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Individual State Wrestling Day 1 Notes and Observations

02/27/2020, 10:30pm CST
By Nate Woelfel

The first day of the 77th annual WIAA Individual Wrestling State Tournament is in the books.

Thursday’s action at the Kohl Center in Madison included preliminary and quarterfinal action in Division 1 along with preliminary bouts in Divisions 2 and 3.

All 14 of the No. 1 ranked wrestlers in D1 advanced to Friday night’s semifinals, including all 10 undefeated wrestlers.

Each quarterfinal winner is assured a spot on the podium come Saturday night. Those who lost in the quarters can still finish as high as third but are potentially one loss away from being eliminated.

Arrowhead’s Keegan O’Toole remains in contention in his quest to become the 18th wrestler in state history with four state championships. O’Toole won both of his matches by pin on Thursday, amassing just 5:07 of mat time.

The senior standout was one of five Warhawks wrestlers to punch his ticket to the semifinals.

Those who lost matches in Division 2 and Division 3 have been eliminated from the tournament.

Action resumes Friday morning at 10 a.m. with Division 1 consolation action, followed by the quarterfinals for Divisions 2 and 3.

Below are a few of the notable results from the opening day of matches.

Division 1


170 pounds: No. 11 Joe Sklenar of Pewaukee topped No. 5 Jacob Hansen of Hudson 1-0 in their first match at the Kohl Center. Sklenar got an escape in the second period and rode Hanson for all of the third to secure the victory.

The Pewaukee senior fell to No. 6 Lincoln Willett of Oconomowoc in the quarters by a count of 3-2. That loss relegated him to the consolation bracket and eliminated Hanson from the tournament.

220 pounds: Ashwaubenon’s Nathan Moynihan scored an upset victory in a rare top-5 preliminary round clash. No. 5 Moynihan edged No. 3 Orion Boe (D.C. Everest) 3-1.

He kept things rolling in the quarters with a 5-1 win over No. 9 Simon Patterson of Sauk Prairie.


132 pounds: No. 3 Cody Minor (Ashwaubenon) snuck by No. 4 Josh Cherba (Waterford) 8-6 in their quarterfinal tilt.

Minor is set to face No. 5 Jake Stritesky of Lake Geneva Badger in the semis.

145 pounds: In a highly-anticipated matchup, No. 1 Jack Ganos (Arrowhead) bested No. 4 Gavin Model of Stoughton 2-1 in the quarters.

Ganos advances to face No. 6 Isaac Ortegon (Fond du Lac) on Friday night.

152 pounds: Stoughton’s Luke Mechler topped No. 4 Wyler Lubeck 5-3 in their quarterfinal bout.

Mechler, the top-ranked wrestler in the division at this weight, will toe the line against upstart freshman No. 3 Noah Mulvaney (Arrowhead) in the semifinals.

195 pounds: The top-two wrestlers in the state at 195 crossed paths in Thursday evening’s quarterfinal round.

No. 1 Marshall Kools of Neenah made a statement by pinning No. 2 Drake Schams (Holmen) in just 1:01.

Kools is off to the semis where he’ll face No. 6 Ryan Krimpelbein of Mukwonago.

220 pounds: Second-ranked Ben Kawczynski of Oak Creek handed No. 4 Keith Tourtillot of Shawano a 3-2 loss in the quarters.

Kawczynski faces No. 8 Skyler Gill-Howard of Greenfield in the semifinals Friday night.

285 pounds: 2019 state champion Max Meeuwsen of Bay Port survived a scare as he escaped with a 3-2 win over No. 5 Zach Iribarren (Merrill) in the quarters.

No. 2 Meeuwsen takes on No. 6 Donoven Acevedo (New Berlin West/Eisenhower) in the semis.

Division 2


113 pounds: Ninth-ranked Jayden Price (Pardeeville/Camb.-Fr/Rio) pinned No. 12 Brodie Brecke (Port Washington) in 5:57 to open his state tournament run.

Price is the first state qualifier from Pardeeville since 1997.

He’ll see No. 4 Tanner Andersen (GET/Melrose Mindoro) in the quarters.

145 pounds: No. 2 Braeden Scoles (Kewaskum) made quick work of No. 6 Zeke Sigmund (Medford) in their opening bout, winning by technical fall 16-1.

Scoles meets up with No. 3 Lowell Arnold (Portage) in the quarters in what promises to be one of the highlights of Friday’s opening sessions.

160 pounds: No. 12 Patrick Rielly of Monroe scored one of the more emphatic upsets of the night as he soundly defeated No. 8 Preston Potaczek (Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee) by tech fall 15-0.

Rielly matches up with No. 3 Ellis Pfleger of Grafton in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Division 3


145 pounds: Hayden Kurth of Dodgeland pinned No. 12 Benett Schramski (Cumberland) with just 11 seconds remaining in their preliminary match.

No. 8 Kurth was trailing by a score of 15-14 at the time. He moves on to face No. 5 Mason Lull of Fennimore in the quarters.

182 pounds: Ninth-ranked Aaron Duenk (Cedar Grove-Belgium) upended No. 4 Will Ahnen of Fennimore 7-5 in their prelim bout.

Ahnen is a three-time state qualifier and one-time place winner, finishing fourth at 160 pounds two years ago.

Duenk squares off with No. 1 Trett Joles of Boyceville in the quarterfinals. Joles is ranked No. 11 in the nation at 182 pounds by FloWrestling.

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