Champions a plenty
There will be 16 WIAA sectional wrestling qualifiers plus one team out of Pierce County for this week's meets.
But heading that parade will be 11 individual champions from all three county wrestling teams along with a team champion as well, all crowned during Saturday's regional meets.
No. 3 ranked Ellsworth comfortably won its fourth straight regional title with 260.5 points at the Division 2 West Salem-Bangor Regional. All 14 Panther wrestlers placed fifth or higher and 12 of them finished in the top four.
As the regional champions, Ellsworth travels to Amery Tuesday for the team sectional. The Panthers will take on Neillsville in one semifinal and the host Warriors will compete against Barron in the other semi.
Nine Ellsworth wrestlers will compete in the individual sectional meet Saturday at Somerset. Seven of those are regional champions starting with Sam Huppert at 103 pounds, a 3:18 pinfall winner over Mondovi's Mike Peterson. D.J. Yarwood pinned Durand's Ethan Hutter in 2:16 in the 112-pound final. Chace Kinneman won at 119 with a 9-0 major decision of David Schomberg of West Salem-Bangor. Team captain Hayden Hauschildt pinned Durand's Denny McDonald in 3:58 to win the 130-pound title. Jordan Zimmer stuck Black River Falls' Jordan Peterson in a quick :43 seconds at 152. Shawn Helmueller, wrestling in his first meet of the season after recovering from knee injuries, won first at 160 with a 1:40 pin of Aaron Gilles of Prescott and the Panthers' Alex Hoyer won first at 215 with a 2-1 double overtime win over Aaron Radcliffe of Mel-Min/G-E-T.
Both Prescott and Spring Valley-Elmwood each had two regional champions.
Jake Filkins continued his win streak for PHS coming back from knee surgery. He won the three matches Saturday to take the 189-pound title at the Division 2 West Salem-Bangor Regional. In the finals Filkins decisioned Frank Dobbs of Melrose-Mindoro/Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau in his toughest match so far, winning 2-1.
The Cardinals John Kariesch lost out at a Middle Border Conference title by losing in overtime at 285. This week Kariesch made sure none of his matches went that long, including his championship win over Durand's Logan Boigenzahn in 3:10 by pinfall.
SV-Elmwood competed at the Division 3 regional in Whitehall. Trent Larrieu came away with the 160 title as expected by pinning both his opponents, including Arcadia's Kyle Tamke in the finals in 2:37.
SVE's Justin Keenlyne scored his first tournament title of the season. He won at 103 with a 5-0 decision of Boyceville's Jason Stuart, his third win in a row over the Boyceville wrestler.