Several members of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point wrestling team competed in the tournament style wrestling match held at Stevens Point Area Senior High Saturday. The individual based tournament featured several other universities from the Midwest.
In the 125-pound weight class, sophomore Lance Fabry finished fourth. UW-Oshkosh’s Zach Mueller finished first. The field also featured Point junior Jordan Poirier and freshman Ryan Osse, who both won early but couldn’t maintain their momentum and fell shortly after.
At 133 pounds, Point freshman Bryce Krejcarek couldn’t record a win in his debut, while UW-Madison’s Matt Kellher finished first.
The 141-pound class featured UWSP junior Jordan Kust, who finished second after falling to Northern Illinois University’s Ethan Davis.
“We put it on ourselves to be better,” Kust said. “We know what we need to do.” Kust and Junior Ryan Conat led the way for Point, finishing second in their weight class.
Junior Shane Sweeney competed in the 149-pound weight class and, after an early loss in the double elimination tournament, recovered and pulled out a fourth place finish. Sweeney initially lost to St. Johns’ Joseph Hessing, and then faced Hessing again, falling in the consolation championship.
The 149-pound field also featured James Berden, freshman Mack Glasby and sophomore Ben Thome, who all moved on to the second round. Thome was the only one to make it past but would fall in the third round.
The 157-pound bracket featured Point junior Ben Strobel, who fell to UW-Parkside’s Nick Fishback. Strobel made it past the first round in the consolation bracket and then fell to NIU’s Eddie Breen. Parkside’s Dillon Bera would finish first.
In his 14th season, head coach Johnny Johnson is looking to improve on his already impressive resume by sticking to his strategy. According to Kust, “He’s always making sure we are stronger than our competition.”
Junior Jordan Schulte competed in the 165-pound class for UWSP and got off to a quick start but fell to future winner Nicholas Schuler from St. Johns University. Shulte had a chance for third place but fell to the fifth place finisher Cedric Gibson of UW-Whitewater.
Schulte then went to the fifth place bracket where he fell to Chris Stevermer of St. Johns, giving him a sixth place finish. Sophomore Bill Langford also competed in the 165- pound weight class but like Schulte, fell to Whitewater’s Cedric Gibson.
Freshman Nick Lecher and Ryan Conat competed in the 174-pound class. Lecher fell early but Conat was able to post a second place finish, losing to UW-Parkside’s Luke Rynish in the championship match.
Point freshmen Dan Diebitz, Andy Borchardt and sophomore Dylan Clucus competed in the 184- pound weight class where the young group fell early. Borchardt was able to make a move in the consolation bracket but fell to third place finisher Mitchell Hagen from St. Johns University.
In the fifth place bracket, Borchardt got his momentum back and defeated UW-Oshkosh’s Ryan Heath for a fifth place finish. Oshkosh’s Sam Engelland ran the table for the championship in the 184- pound class.
Junior Dustin Wozniak was the lone representative in the 197-pound group for Point. Wozniak put in a strong effort towards the top two spots, but fell short after losing to second place finisher Jody VanLeenen from UW-Oshkosh.
Wozniak would recover, dominating the consolation bracket for a third-place finish. Darren Faber from Wheaton College would defeat VanLeenen in the championship match for the first-place rank.
“Overall, we did a good job” said Kust, who was impressed with the way everyone performed, saying the team may be young but they are experienced and ready.
Team competition began on Tuesday against Lakeland College. Prior to the meet, Kust was confident in his team, saying, “We beat them last year so no reason why we couldn’t beat them again,” referring to the several returning wrestlers from the victory last year.
The Pointers dominated the Muskies with a 40-8 victory.
The wrestlers will not return to Stevens Point until December 9, when they face Carroll University Club.