WATCH: Shea wins title in ultimate fashion
MADISON--Dalton Shea spent the past few years attempting to live up to his last name.
After a revelation a couple months ago, the Milton High senior simply wanted to go out knowing he had done his best.
On Saturday at the Kohl Center, Shea did both.
In an instant classic WIAA state championship wrestling match at 113 pounds, Shea beat No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Stevens Point senior Brady Koontz 5-4 in an ultimate tiebreaker. He gave Milton its 13th state championship and joined his cousins, Nolan and Landon Shea, on that list.
“To join that club, I've always worked for it,” said Shea, who finished with a 44-7 record. “Since Nolan and Landon did it, it's all I've wanted to do is live up to the Shea name.
“This year, I finally figured out it's not living up to the Shea name, it's living up to your own potential. After I finally realized that, all the pressure came off my shoulders. It wasn't about winning a state title, it was about me being the best wrestler I can be.”
Shea accomplished that mission and put on a show in capping it off in the state title bout.
He trailed Koontz 2-0 after the first period but rode him out in the second, gaining two near-fall points in the process to tie the match 2-2.
“I've practiced that move, and my cousin, Nolan, used to hit it all the time,” Shea said. “Tonight, I figured, it's there and I might as well try it. Once I hit it, he rolled through and I got him to his back. Those two points were huge.”
Shea earned an escape early in the third period to take a 3-2 lead but was hit with a couple late stalling calls, and the match went to overtime tied at 3.
There, neither wrestler scored in the first 60-second period, and each earned an escape point in the subsequent two 30-second periods.
Koontz chose the bottom position for the ultimate tiebreaker and needed to score to win. Shea rode out the final 30 seconds for the 5-4 victory.
“To ride somebody out in that situation is so hard to do,” Milton coach Pat Jauch said. “We've had a lot of good conversations, and the biggest thing with him is I've just been telling him that he's (good) enough. I was screaming to him, 'You're more than enough,' during that whole period.
“I really thought he could do it and pull it out, but it's another thing to watch him actually do it.”
Repeat bid falls short
Senior Billy Pitzner, Shea's Red Hawks teammate, came to the Kohl Center with dreams of winning back-to-back state titles.
It was not meant to be.
DeForest's Jackson Hemauer, a University of Wisconsin recruit, used two takedowns and an escape in the first two periods to seize control on the way to a 6-2 decision.
Pitzner finished with a 47-5 record, with three of those losses coming to Hemauer.
Blue Devils put three in top three
Lucius Rinehart's unbeaten season came to an end.
The Evansville/Albany senior lost 8-1 in the Division 2 195-pound final to Spencer/Columbus Catholic's Hunter Luepke.
“This just meant what could be for my future in wrestling,” Rinehart said. “This match showed me what I have to do to be better.”
Rinehart finished with a 36-1 record. But the biggest memory will likely be wrestling in a state final in front of his father, who has battled cancer for seven years.
“It was everything I could have wanted for my dad to be here and to still be able to make it,” Rinehart said.
Rinehart wasn't alone on the state podium for Evansville/Albany.
Senior Chase Katzenmeyer, at 126 pounds, used an 11-1 major decision to earn third place in his Division 2 bracket this year. He also finished third a year ago and was fourth as a sophomore. He finished this season 37-4.
Blue Devils teammate Nolan Kicmol also took home third place. The junior won 1-0 in his third-place match at 145 pounds to finish the season 35-3.
Other area podium finishers
• Edgerton's Cole Bavery reached the podium to end his freshman season, finishing in fifth place in the 113-pound D2 bracket.
• Beloit Turner senior Tyler Burt wrapped up his standout career with a fifth-place finish at 220 pounds.
• In Division 1, Elkhorn's Daniel Stilling finished fifth at 132 pounds, while teammate Grant Truesdale was sixth at 113.
• Milton's Jerry Lipke took sixth at 195 pounds.