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Ellsworth wins third straight team sectional title

Unlike its collegiate cousin, high school wrestling defines success by dividing the sport into two sides.

Individual and team.

Pierce County's prep wrestling teams found success and winning on both sides of the aisle when it came to last week's WIAA sectional meets.

Ellsworth's third ranked team won its third straight Division 2 sectional title last Tuesday in Amery. The Panthers survived a close semifinal dual meet with Neillsville to win 35-32 and then waxed Barron in the finals 45-13.

Ellsworth will make its seventh trip to the state team tournament after winning its 22nd sectional title in school history. The Panthers will defend their state title by facing the squad they took the title away from last year, No. 1 ranked Luxemburg-Casco, in the semifinals March 1 at the UW-Fieldhouse in Madison. No. 2 Lodi will take on Pewaukee in the other state semifinals.

This week the focus is on individual wrestling, with the state meet at the Kohl Center in Madison Thursday through Saturday. All three county teams will be represented.

Prescott will send Jake Filkins at 189 pounds, who will make his second trip to state, along with John Kariesch at 285. Both placed second after winning wrestlebacks in Saturday's Division 2 Somerset Sectional meet.

Spring Valley-Elmwood crowned its first sectional champion as a co-op when Trent Larrieu topped Clear Lake's Corey Anderson in the 160-pound finals by a 2-1 decision at the Division 3 meet in Eau Claire. SVE's will also have its largest contingent in several years as Cory Lasure qualified by placing third at 215.

Ellsworth will send its usual large contingent to state with five wrestlers, two of them champions in Sam Huppert at 103 and Hayden Hauschildt at 135.

Hauschildt won his second straight sectional title with a 13-2 major decision over Bloomer Luke Nayes. Huppert kept his win streak going strong as he downed Amery's Chad Bartchenfeld by a 3-2 decision.

Also, going to state for the Purple are second place finisher Chace Kinneman at 119, making his second straight bid and third place award winners D.J. Yarwood at 112 and Jordan Zimmer at 152.

For more on the sectional meets, see pages 6B and 7B.