Wrestling, boys swim begin tournament action Saturday
It's WIAA tournament time in wrestling and boys swim.
The road to Madison begins Saturday on the mat and in the pool.
Wrestling begins three weekends of competition with statewide regionals Saturday, followed by team sectional matches Tuesday night. Individual sectional tournaments are Saturday, Feb. 22, with the Division 1, 2 and 3 state meets taking place on Feb. 27-March 1 at the Kohl Center in Madison. The WIAA state team tournament is March 7-8 at the UW Fieldhouse in Madison.
Swimmers hope to make a splash at Saturday's statewide sectional meets, which lead into the Division 2 state meet on Friday, Feb. 21 and the Division 1 state meet on Saturday, Feb. 22. Both state meets are held at the UW-Natatorium in Madison.
D1 Oconomowoc Sectional loaded both individually and team-wise
There's probably not a deeper or more talented wrestling sectional in the state than the Oconomowoc Sectional in Division 1.
As many as six teams competing in Saturday's regional meets at Janesville Craig and Sun Prairie could earn a state team berth by winning the Stoughton Team Sectional title on Tuesday night. Milton is ranked seventh in Division 1, while Stoughton is eighth and Elkhorn is receiving honorable mention. Sun Prairie won the Big Eight Conference tournament and tied for the dual-meet title, Lake Geneva Badger was ranked in the top 10 at times this year and was second at the Southern Lakes meet, and Janesville Craig will be at full strength for the first time in two months thanks to the return of Airk Furseth, who is ranked sixth at 106 pounds.
Two defending state individual champions will also be competing in the Oconomowoc Sectional. Milton junior Nolan Shea won the 106-pound title a year ago and will wrestle at 113 this year. Sun Prairie's Jared Scharenbroch won the 145-pound crown a year ago and is unbeaten and ranked No. 1 at 152 pounds this season.
A number of other area wrestlers competing as part of the Oconomowoc Sectional are also ranked, including top-ranked Joe Nelson of Stoughton at 145, Verona's third-ranked Eric Schmid at 145 and Stoughton's Zach Hasselberger, who is ranked second at 120. Milton's Dalton Shea is ranked eighth at 106, and Stoughton's Colin Kraus is third at 132.
Evansville/Albany bids for first state team berth
In Division 2, Rock Valley North Conference champion Evansville/Albany will be looking for its first trip to the state team tournament. The Blue Devils will compete in the Clinton Regional that leads into the Wisconsin Dells Team Sectional. If Evansville/Albany can win the regional title, the Blue Devils would likely get a rematch with Lodi in one semifinal match. Lodi defeated Evansville/Albany, 37-31, earlier this season. Either ninth-ranked River Valley or 10th-ranked Sparta would likely be the opponent for the Blue Devils in Tuesday night's title bout.
Brodhead/Juda's Logan Mauer is the highest ranked area wrestler in Division 2. The junior is No. 1 at 285 pounds. The Cardinals captured the Rock Valley South Conference dual-meet title.
East Troy's Cody Vogel is ranked fifth at 113, Delavan-Darien's Cody Chelminiak is fifth at 126, Evansville/Albany's Jordan Meyer is fifth at 132 and the Blue Devils' Dustin Bjugstad is fifth at 220.
The top four finishers in each weight class in Division 1, and the top two finishers in each weight class in Division 2 and 3, in all regionals qualify for one of eight sectionals in Division 1 and one of four sectionals in Divisions 2 and 3.
Memorial, Edgewood in a league of their own
Madison Memorial and Madison Edgewood have dominated in the pool this season.
The three-time and defending Division 1 champion Spartans have left opponents in their wake as they churn toward a fourth straight boys state title.
Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker have their work cut out for them as part of the Division 1 Middleton Sectional. The sectional field includes three of the top eight ranked teams, including top-ranked Memorial and second-ranked Madison West.
Craig's top hopes center around junior Peter Loftus and two relay teams. Parker is hoping to get one or two relays through to state, along with possibly junior Mark Gosline.
Only sectional champions qualify for state, with the next 18 fastest times in Division 1 and the next 12 in Division 2 earning a spot at state as additional qualifiers. The WIAA will release the additional qualifiers on its website on Sunday afternoon.
In Division 2 swim, three of the top five ranked teams in the state will compete in the Baraboo Sectional. Top-ranked Edgewood competes at Baraboo, along with third-ranked McFarland and fifth-ranked Monona Grove. Whitewater, which is ranked seventh in the state in D2, competes at the Cudahy Sectional.
Elkhorn, which is led by Sam Johnson, also competes at the Cudahy Sectional. Johnson, a senior, has the top time in the state in Division 2 in both the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.
High school wrestling
Craig Regional—Lake Geneva Badger, Beloit Memorial, Elkhorn, Janesville Craig, Janesville Parker, Milton, Westosha Central, Wilmot.
Sun Prairie Regional—Fort Atkinson, Madison La Follette, Mount Horeb/Barneveld, Oconomowoc, Oregon, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, Verona.
Adams Friendship Sectional
Clinton Regional—Belleville/Monticello/New Glarus, Brodhead/Juda, Clinton, Edgerton, Evansville/Albany, Monroe, Beloit Turner.
Whitewater Regional—Big Foot/Williams Bay, Catholic Memorial, Delavan-Darien, East Troy, Jefferson, St. John's Northwest, Whitewater.
Parkview Regional—Cambridge, Deerfield, Johnson Creek, Orfordville Parkview, Poynette, Waterloo.
Cedar Grove Sectional
Kenosha St. Joseph Regional—Catholic Central, Kenosha Christian Life, Kenosha St. Joseph, Martin Luther, Palmyra-Eagle, Shoreland Lutheran.
High school boys swim
Beloit Memorial, Janesville Craig, Janesville Parker, Madison East, Madison La Follette, Madison Memorial, Madison West, Middleton, Oregon, Sun Prairie, Verona, Waunakee.
Racine Case Sectional
Badger/Big Foot/Westosha/Wilmot, Burlington/East Troy/Union Grove/Waterford, Franklin, Kenosha Bradford, Kenosha Indian Trail, Kenosha Tremper, Oak Creek, Racine Case, Racine Horlick, Racine Park, South Milwaukee.
Baraboo, DeForest, Fort Atkinson, Jefferson/Cambridge, McFarland, Madison Edgewood, Milton, Monona Grove, Platteville/Lancaster, Sauk Prairie/Wisconsin Heights, Stoughton.
Cudahy, Delavan-Darien, Elkhorn, Martin Luther, Milwaukee Lutheran, Pius XI, Thomas More/St. Francis, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Whitewater, Whitnall.