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Blugold Wrestling 28th at Pete Willson Invite
By: Ashley Hofer, Sports Information Student
WHEATON, Ill. (UWECBlugolds.com) - Led by Joe Pitsch (Jr.-Oshkosh, Wis./North), the UW-Eau Claire wrestling team finished 28th of 32 teams at the annual Pete Willson Invite hosted by Wheaton College.
The Blugolds wrestlers racked up 13.5 points during the two-day competition. Lindenwood University (Mo.) notched 131 points for the overall victory, followed by UW-La Crosse in second place with 109.5.
Pitsch, battling in the heavyweight class, picked up a team-leading 5.5 points for Eau Claire. After succumbing to the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the first round, Pitsch found success in the wrestleback bracket. He pinned his first opponent in just 1:18 and followed it up with two major decision victories.
Matthew Rieckhoff (Fr.-Wausau, Wis./D.C. Everest) in the 184 weight class also picked up a pin in the wrestleback rounds and earned 2.5 points for the Blugold effort. Ricky Gonzales (So.-Bluffton, S.C.) and Steven Fisher (Fr.-Greenfield, Wis.) contributed 1.5 points apiece for the Blugolds in their respective 165 and 141 weight divisions. Gonzales claimed a decision in the championship bracket while Fisher picked up a 17-8 major decision against a UW-Platteville competitor in the wrestleback bracket.
Luke Ortscheid (Fr.-Wausau, Wis./West), Keith Dawson (Jr.-Neillsville, Wis.) and Levi Polus (Jr.-Winona, Minn.) also added points to the Blugold effort, each earning one decision. Ortscheid in the 197 class earned his win in the championship bracket while Dawson and Polus picked up their decisions in the respective 174 and 157 divisions in the wrestleback bracket.
The Blugolds have a brief break but will travel Thursday, Feb. 10 to face a tough UW-La Crosse team. The dual meet will get under way at 7 p.m.