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SVE wrestling: Hofacker, Merth headed to sectionals

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Spring Valley/Elmwood's Carter Merth (far left) and Nick Hofacker (far right) both took second place in their weight classes at the Division 3 Region 3 individual meet on Saturday, Feb. 10. Merth and Hofacker will compete on Saturday, Feb. 17 at individual sectionals in Osceola. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

Two Spring Valley/Elmwood wrestlers qualified for sectionals on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Carter Merth, the Cardinals' 170-pound wrestler, took second place in his weight class after losing to Boyceville's Justin Malean by a 3-2 ultimate-tiebreaker decision in the championship match.

Merth said he felt he wrestled "very well" at regionals.

"I wish my match against Malean would have ended different," Merth said, "but it was a great match."

"It was a really good match," head coach Bill Hofacker said of Merth's championship match. "It probably could have gone either way, and I guess today it didn't go Carter's way."

Hofacker hopes Merth has another shot at Malean at the individual sectional meet on Saturday, Feb. 17 in Osceola.

Nick Hofacker was SVE's second and final wrestler to qualify for sectionals after taking second in the 195-pound weight class. After receiving a bye in the first round of the tournament, Hofacker went on to pin Clear Lake's Trevor Kivi before getting pinned by Garrett Joles of Boyceville in the championship match. Joles is the defending Division 3 state champ.

Hofacker said he felt he wrestled "OK" at regionals. The senior Cardinal wrestler said he will focus on staying in shape and will continue to work hard in practice prior to sectionals.

Juniors Kenny Fesenmaier and Santana Schlegel both took third place. Fesenmaier was defeated by Zach Person of Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe in the semi-final round while Schlegel was taken down by Cadott's Brady Spaeth.

"Santana probably had the toughest bracket of the day," coach Hofacker said. "Kenny just had a tough semifinal. He worked hard all week, and I think he really wanted to go on, but it just didn't go his way."

As a team, SVE finished fifth out of six teams with 110 points. Clear Lake edged Boyceville by three-and-a-half points for the Division 3 Region 3 title, and will move on to team sectionals at Cadott on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Hofacker said he was proud of the way his young team wrestled on Saturday, especially in a packed regional that featured two of Division 3's top-ranked teams — Clear Lake and Boyceville.

"We have a very young team and a very good group of kids out," Hofacker said. "They really improved throughout the season, and I think they'll carry that on into next year, and they're going to be very tough. Hopefully next year they'll be the ones beating up on everybody."

TEAM RESULTS:

• Clear Lake (208)

• Boyceville (204.5)

• Cadott (198)

• Glenwood City (166)

• Spring Valley/Elmwood (110)

• Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe (99)

SVE INDIVIDUAL RESULTS:

120: Third-place match: Nathan Stuart (Boyceville) 19-18, Fr. over Brayden Wolf (Spring Valley/Elmwood) 18-22, Fr. (Dec 5-4).

126: Fifth-place match: Carter Wienke (Clear Lake) 17-12, Sr. over Nate Fesenmaier (Spring Valley/Elmwood) 13-21, Fr. (Fall 3:44).

132: Fifth-place match: Clayton Neisinger (Spring Valley/Elmwood) 16-21, So. over Arthur Bia (Boyceville) 11-20, Jr. (MD 12-0).

138: Third-place match: Austin Curvello (Glenwood City) 14-9, Sr. over Cross Hurlburt (Spring Valley/Elmwood) 16-9, Fr. (Fall 3:29).

152: Third-place match: Santana Schlegel (Spring Valley/Elmwood) 28-14, Jr. over Eddie Monette (Clear Lake) 5-11, Fr. (TF-1.5 5:02 (23-7)).

160: Third-place match: Kenny Fesenmaier (Spring Valley/Elmwood) 27-15, Jr. over Jason Swanepoel (Boyceville) 9-21, Sr. (TF-1.5 4:54 (15-0)).

170: First-place match: Justin Malean (Boyceville) 33-8, Sr. over Carter Merth (Spring Valley/Elmwood) 23-10, Jr. (UTB 3-2).

182: Third-place match: Jake Kopacz (Glenwood City) 26-11, Sr. over Jaydon Nyeggen (Spring Valley/Elmwood) 15-22, Sr. (Dec 14-7).

195: First-place match: Garrett Joles (Boyceville) 36-0, Sr. over Nick Hofacker (Spring Valley/Elmwood) 29-10, Sr. (Fall 0:31).

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