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Wrestling Travels To WIAC Championships Sunday
Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The UW-Eau Claire wrestling team is set for this year's Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Wrestling Championships, hosted by Lawrence University in Appleton. The meet will begin at 10 a.m. at Appleton West High School.
Last season the Blugolds, who are ranked 29th in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association's Brute-Adidas top 30 poll, took fourth place at the championships last season. La Crosse, who defeated Eau Claire last week, will look to defend its title at this year's championships. The Eagles have won the last 10 conference championships, but Stevens Point, which has taken second place the last five seasons, will also be a strong competitor.
The Blugolds return experience to this year's championships. Five Blugold wrestlers that finished in fifth place or better at last year's championship will return and look to improve their finish.
Leading the way for Eau Claire this season is Josh Holforty (Jr.-Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy). Holforty is ranked sixth nationally in the NWCA poll at 197 but will likely have to go against No. 4 (NWCA) Craig Bollig of Stevens Point and No. 7 (NWCA) Andy Miller of La Crosse in order to finish high. Holforty took fifth place at 197 pounds last season for Eau Claire. He is also 26-6 this season while he ended last season with a 17-7 record.
Andy Miller (Jr.-Appleton, Wis./North) placed second at 133 pounds at the championships last season, falling to La Crosse's Jordan Kolinski, who is ranked fifth nationally this season. Miller has gone 15-10 at 133 pounds this season and will look to compete well at the meet this Sunday.
Andy Johnston (So.-St. Cloud, Minn./St. Cloud Tech HS), who came in a year ago unseeded, ended the day at the championships with a fourth place finish at 141 pounds. This season, however, Johnston has been wrestling at 149 pounds and is 21-11 overall. Johnston has only lost one match in a WIAC dual meet this season to La Crosse's Matt Mauseth at 149 pounds.
Nick Hoeft (Sr.-Merrill, Wis.) also looks to compete well on Sunday at heavyweight. He finished last season in fifth place at 184 pounds, but has wrestled to an 18-11 overall record at heavyweight this year. Hoeft picked up a victory over Whitewater's Sean Evans, who was ranked 10th nationally at the time, a couple weeks ago and had two close matches to Stevens Point and La Crosse opponents last week.
Joey Miller (Sr.-Lake Tomahawk/Lakeland Union), who had a fifth place finish last season at the championships, is coming off an injury but will likely compete this Sunday. He is 19-8 this season at 174 pounds but has not wrestled since the Blugold Invitational on February 2.
- KM -