Wilmot senior Larz Gough said he had an amazing experience at the WIAA Division 1 state wrestling meet in Madison.

By Jason Arndt

When Wilmot Union High School senior Larz Gough finished fourth at the Southern Lakes Conference tournament, he knew he could do better, and decided to give everything he had on the wrestling mat.

Gough, at 182 pounds, did just that by winning the WIAA Division 1 regional followed by a second place finish at sectionals to qualify for the state meet last weekend at the Kohl Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

“I think the only reason I won my regional was because I finished fourth in conference, that really just kind of set me off and I just wanted to do so much better,” he said.

Although he dropped his two matches, Gough said the Kohl Center atmosphere was exhilarating, considering the thousands of fans.

“Walking in the Kohl Center and seeing thousands of people was just fun and a good feeling,” he said. “I just went up there and tried to win and just kept wrestling.”

In the opening round, undefeated Parker Keckeisen (47-0), of Nicolet, presented Gough with a series of challenges.

The challenges, however, did not deter Gough as he refused to lose by pin, and ended up losing on a technical fall.

“There were a few times where I thought I would get something out of it, but he was just too quick and he is a great wrestler,” Gough said. “But, I enjoyed wrestling him because I went out there and had no fear.”

Gough then moved to the consolation bracket, where he faced Marshfield’s Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (47-2) and lost on a pin at 1 minute, 27 seconds.

Gough, however, said his season had many accomplishments, including a win against one of the top-ranked wrestlers in the state at sectionals.

“I wrestled the No. 9 wrestler in the state, Robbie Ruth (of Oregon), and I pinned him,” he said. “That was a big accomplishment for me.”

Gough, who finished his senior season 23-11, said coach John Watson played a key role in helping him meet some of his goals.

“He has pretty much done everything for me, from helping me train to become a better wrestler to helping me become a better person,” Gough said.


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