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Wrestlers Finish Fifth At WIAC Championship
Posted: Sunday, February 22, 2009
OSHKOSH, Wis. - Behind nine finishes of sixth place or better, the UW-Eau Claire wrestling team took fifth place out of seven teams at the 2009 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship today at Kolf Sports Center.
La Crosse was able to hold off Stevens Point to win its 12th consecutive WIAC title. The Eagles finished with 146 points while the Pointers accumulated 143. Whitewater took third with 126, Oshkosh was fourth with 74 and the Blugolds took home fifth with 73. Platteville finished with 61 points in sixth place and Lawrence was seventh with 20. Last season the Blugolds also finished fifth.
Andy Johnston (Jr.-St. Cloud, Minn./St. Cloud Tech) had the Blugolds' best finish of the day, taking second place at 149 pounds. He kicked off the day with a major decision victory (11-1) over Oshkosh's Jose Quintana and followed that with a 6-5 overtime win over Lawrence's Tony Norton to advance to the championship match. Unfortunately, La Crosse's Matt Mauseth, who is ranked sixth in the nation, pinned Johnston in 4:23 to send him to the second-place match. In the second-place match, Johnston picked up a 5-4 decision over Stevens Point's Kris Magruder. A season ago Johnston finished fifth at the championship. With his second place finish, Johnston was selected as one of the conference's four alternates for the national meet.
Josh Holforty (Sr.-Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) and Andy Miller (Sr.-Appleton, Wis./North) took home third place finishes today as well. Both also took third place at last year's championship. Following the meet, Holforty earned one of the conference's nine at-large selections to nationals. He will now compete at the NCAA Division III Championship March 6 and 7 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Last year he finished sixth at nationals after earning an at-large bid.
Holforty, who is ranked eighth in the nation at 197 pounds, fought his way to a third place finish. Holforty began the day with a 14-1 major decision win over Oshkosh's Matt Halpert but lost a semifinal match to La Crosse's Andy Moore, who is ranked seventh in NCAA Division III, sending Holforty to a consolation semifinal match. His 10-0 major decision win there sent him to the third place match where he found an 11-2 major decision victory over Platteville's Matt Scott.
Miller found his way to a third place finish at 133 pounds with a similar path. He kicked off the day with a bye but then lost to La Crosse's Bebeto Yewah 8-5 to drop down to a consolation semifinal match. In that match, he won a 7-6 decision over Jared Jaminski to wrestle in the third-place match, where he defeated Whitewater's Kyle Wachholder with a 15-2 major decision.
Jon Ames (Jr.-Genoa, Wis./Viroqua) and Joe Pitsch (Fr.-Oshkosh, Wis./North) claimed fifth place finishes for the Blugolds. Last year Ames took sixth. Ames recorded his fifth place spot today with a 5-4 victory over Oshkosh's Aaron Konitzer at 157 pounds. Pitsch, who wrestled at 285 pounds, won the fifth-place match by pinning Lawrence's John Fitzpatrick in 1:53.
Zach Weisenberger (Fr.-Ladysmith, Wis.), Seth Hendricks (Jr.-Beloit, Wis./Turner), Robbie Zube (Sr.-Viroqua, Wis.) and Keith Dawson (Fr.-Neillsville, Wis.) all finished sixth. Weisenberger took sixth at 141 pounds, Hendricks at 165 pounds, Zube at 184 pounds and Dawson at 174.
Weisenberger also earned recognition on the WIAC's All-Sportsmanship team, which recognizes individuals who display exemplary sportsmanship throughout the season.
- KM -