Ten schools meet to decide Big 8 wrestling title
Just the facts
What: Big Eight wrestling meet (10 schools).
Where: Beloit Memorial High School..
When: 10 a.m. Saturday.
Format: This will determine conference tournament champion, based solely on what happens Saturday. Sun Prairie won the dual championship with a 9-0 record.
Expect the unexpected.
That’s the theme for the Big Eight Conference wrestling meet Saturday at Beloit Memorial High School.
Four teams, including four-time defending champion Janesville Parker, are expected to to contend for the championship.
“It’s going to be very wide open,” Janesville Craig coach Jeff Kaster said. “It’ll come down to who wrestles the best that day, and who can score points all the way through the lineup.
“We’re very capable of winning it all, but so are Sun Prairie, Parker and Beloit. And Middleton and Verona also have some pretty talented wrestlers.”
Sun Prairie won the dual title with a 9-0 record, but that’s separate from the conference meet.
There are eight returning conference champions, led by the host Purple Knights. Beloit will have five defending champions competing, with Jose De La Barrera, Brandon Dallman, Jesse Swedlund, Taylor Goodyear and Alex Polizzi.
Swedlund and Goodyear have the most difficult task in trying to repeat. Swedlund will be in the 171-pound class along with state-ranked Ben Brummel of Middleton, who also is a returning champion.
Goodyear will have to eventually get past Middleton’s Tyler Christiansen, another returning champion, at 189 pounds.
Pollizi is unbeaten and ranked second in the state at 215 pounds.
“I can’t wait to see how a number of weight classes turn out,” Kaster said. “There will be some great battles at a lot of weights.
“There are some definite favorites, like Siven (Furseth) and Pollizi, but there are some other weight classes that are a toss-up, as far as I’m concerned. We’ll have to see who steps up on Saturday. And whoever does might help their team win the title.”
Furseth won the conference title at 103 last year and will move to 112. The Craig sophomore is 32-1 and ranked fourth in the state.
Craig’s other top wrestlers are Chris Pierce (27-3) at 125, Jesse Davilla (22-7) at 130 and Jamie Kumlien at 119.
Parker dooes not have any individual champions returning, but the Viking have a number of wrestlers capable of finishing in the top three.
Adam Cavey went undefeated at 103 pounds during the conference dual-meet season and will be the top seed. The sophomore is 24-4 for the season after winning the 103-pound title in the Wisconsin Dells Invitational last Saturday.
Cavey’s brother, Evan, won a conference title at 103 in 2007 and is 18-5 this season at 119 pounds.
Parker’s other top contenders figure to be David Arndt at 160 and Alex Craker at 285.
Saturday’s finals are expected to start around 5 p.m. Kaster said the tournament could come down to the end.
“The points you pick up for a third- or fifth-place finish can go a long way toward winning the team title,” Kaster said. “I told our kids that the goal was for everybody to score points in their weight class.
“It’s going to be another great conference meet, no doubt it.”