By Dan Truttschel, Sports Correspondent

The Wilmot and Westosha Central wrestling teams combined to bring home three individual titles from last weekend’s Southern Lakes Conference Meet.

Burlington won the team title with 231.5 points, followed by Elkhorn with 181, Badger with 169, Wilmot with 153 and Waterford with 139.5.

Rounding out the team scores were Delavan-Darien with 133, Westosha Central with 80 and Union Grove with 58.

Wilmot led the charge, as its standouts, Ryan Gartner (152) and Matthew Gray (160), closed out perfect SLC seasons en route to the title.

Central’s championship came from Tim Cho (113), who moved down a weight class for the meet and captured his first SLC title with an impressive three-match run Saturday.

In the semifinals, he pinned Burlington’s Lukas Shenkenberg in just 49 seconds, followed by a 2-0 win over Elkhorn’s Ryan Nelson.

Nelson beat Cho in last year’s SLC finals.

“(Cho) wrestled pretty well,” Central coach Matt Schmeckel said. “He was down a weight, which was kind of a worry because he hadn’t been there all year. But he wrestled very well.”

Also advancing to the finals for the Falcons was Logan Keena (285). Keena defeated Badger standout Tom Cychner 9-6 in the semifinals, but fell by pinfall in 3:03 to Burlington’s Neal Miller in the title matchup.

Against Cychner, Keena fell behind 6-1 before he rallied for the win.

“One mistake cost him the match (in the finals),” Schmeckel said. “But the semifinal was a great match against the Lake Geneva kid.”

Central also had one third-place finisher, Casey Merrill (126). Merrill defeated Delavan’s Cody Chelminiak 7-4 in the third-place match.

“He dominated the (Delavan) kid and gave it everything he had,’ Schmeckel said.

Other top finishes were turned in by Ted Slater (170), fourth at 2-2; Ian Biggs (120), fifth at 2-2; and Hunter Carlson (106), sixth at 1-3.

Jarrett Bergman (132), Tim Edquist (152), Ben Wiltberger (160), Cole Andrekus (182), James Jaime (195) and Jesse Shramek (220) each dropped two matches and didn’t place.

Schmeckel said he hoped for a better team finish, but also knows the SLC competition is pretty stiff this season.

“It’s a tough conference,” he said. “You have state qualifiers wrestling against each other in the semifinals. That kind of tells you how tough the conference is. The boys wrestled tough, and that’s all I can ask of them.”

Both squads will be back in action this Saturday, Feb. 11, when they return to Badger for a WIAA Division 1 sectional meet. The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to next weekend’s Janesville Craig Sectional.

Schmeckel said he knows the competition will be fierce for each of those sectional spots.

“I’m hoping to at least four or five kids to sectionals,” he said. “If we get six, that would be great.”


Pair lead Panthers

Gartner (12-0, SLC) advanced to the finals with a major decision 19-7 win over Burlington’s Max Shenkenberg, followed by a major decision 10-2 win over Delavan’s Kyndle Bennett in the title matchup.

Gray (12-0, SLC) took a similar path, as he pinned Badger’s Andrew Cychner in 5:32 to advance to the finals, where he defeated Burlington’s Brandt Gavin.

Wilmot had one other wrestler advance to the championship round, Kody Zembal (120). Zembal, who pinned Union Grove’s Colton Purdy in the semifinals, fell 8-2 to Waterford’s Kody Azarian to finish second.

A pair of Panthers placed third overall – Matt Wagemann (106) and Heath Gascoigne (220). Wagemann defeated Badger’s Zac Leonard 5-1 in the third-place match, while Gascoigne edged Burlington’s Tyler Vorpahl 3-2.

Other top finishes were turned in by Michael Lindemann (138), fourth at 1-2; Zach Dodge (285) and Collin Barry (145), fifth at 1-2; and Andrew Heckel (113), Ryan Neal (126), Jordan Cates (132), Jonathan Slattery (182) and Aaron Bonogfsky (195), sixth at 1-3. Chris Krause (170) did not place.

Wilmot coach John Watson was unavailable for comment this week.





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