Furseth settles for second at state
But, that was the way the season ended Saturday night for the Janesville Craig High School sophomore.
Furseth finished runner-up in the WIAA individual state wrestling tournament after suffering a 10-3 loss to top-ranked Torin Boernke of Marshfield in the Division 1 112-pound state finals.
“He just controlled my hands, so I couldn’t work for a shot,” Furseth said. “I got the first shot after I got my hand out of there and I could get it set up. But, the rest of the match I couldn’t do it.”
Furseth jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead with a takedown with 35 seconds left after breaking free from Boernke. But, after holding a 3-2 lead late in the second period, Boernke scored a takedown in the final seconds of the period to grab a 4-3 lead.
“I shouldn’t have been lazy there (in the final seconds of the second period) and just sat there,” Furseth said. “I should have worked out of it. I thought he wasn’t going to get it.”
The match got away from Furseth in the third as Boernke got a takedown and a near fall and never allowed Furseth to escape.
“I was trying to wrestle on my feet, because I knew he was good on the mat,” Furseth added. “I should have been smarter and not tied up with him. He is a good wrestler.”
Furseth was vying to become Craig’s first state-champion wrestler. The sophomore becomes the Cougars’ fourth state runner-up, and finishes the season with a 45-2 record.
“We knew he was a horse,” Craig coach Jeff Kaster said of Boernke. “He controlled Siven’s arms and that was the difference in the match. He did it on everybody in the tournament. We knew it was coming, but he still did it. He beat us today, but we’ll see him again.”
Also in the Division 1 state finals, Elkhorn’s Richard Kessler lost his title match at 171 to Ben Brummel of Middleton, 3-1 in overtime.
Brummel (45-4) won the match with a questionable takedown 32 seconds into overtime on the edge of the mat to break the 1-1 tie.
“I had his leg and we were out of bounds, so I have never seen a takedown like that,” said Kessler, who ends his season with a 39-2 record. “It was a bad call. But, I should have taken him down a few times in the third period, that would have won me the match. I could have gotten out in the third period, but I didn’t do it.”
Beloit Memorial’s Alex Polizzi also lost in heartbreaking fashion.
In a back-and-forth match at 215, the junior pulled even at 8-8 with 10 seconds remaining against Vance Grube (47-1) of Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln with a reversal. But, Grube was awarded an escape with 1 second left for 9-8 decision to hand Polizzi his first loss of the season (43-1).
In Division 2, Chesten Kesselhon of East Troy also lost his title bout. Undefeated Joe Raygor (43-0) took control of the 171-match in the second period using a head throw to gain a 5-1 lead and pulled away late for the 9-2 victory.
In the afternoon consolation matches, Ryan Slack of Elkhorn and David Edwards of East Troy each placed fourth.
Slack lost a 4-3 decision to Tanner Klitzke of Stoughton in the Division 1 119 third place match. Edwards was pinned by Seth Moe of Seymour in 2:08 in their Division 2 third-place match at 140.
Also in Division 2, Daniel Banh of Clinton, Jacob Zess of East Troy, Brad Hesebeck of Clinton and Nick Patchen of Evansville/Albany all placed fifth.
Banh won his fifth place match by forfeit over Kasey Einerson of Lodi at 112. At 125, Zess won by major decision over Brandon Sleeman of Adams-Friendship, 10-2, and Hesebeck also won by decision over Tony Werner of Port Washington 3-0 at 130.
Hagar is 10th four-time state wrestling champ
Tomahawk senior Nick Hagar was poised to earn a place in WIAA state wrestling tournament history Saturday night.
But first he had to survive a pair of title matches involving his teammates and best friends.
Hagar became only the 10th four-time state champion in state history after winning the Division 2 140-pound title with an 8-0 decision over Freedom senior Sam Manders at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association individual state wrestling tournament.
But he admitted that he struggled with his emotions while watching junior teammates Zach Zehner (49-1) at 125 pounds and Rudy Chagoya (28-2) at 130 pounds earn their first state titles for the Hatchets.
“I won state and I’m in the record books but I almost cried watching Zach and Rudy win their first titles,” said Hagar, who then went out and notched the school’s 14th state championship.
“Four-time champion would have been great but it means more with my best friends winning state, too,” he said. “They were with me the whole time at state. What more can you ask for?”
Zehner got Tomahawk off to a good start when he defeated former state champion Alex Dieringer of Port Washington 7-6 to earn his first state title. Dieringer won the Division 1 title at 103 last year.
Chagoya then made it 2-for-2 for Tomahawk when he defeated previously unbeaten Dustin McKinney of Unity 6-2.
“It didn’t matter if Zach went first or I went first, we were both nervous,” said Chagoya, who was sixth at 130 last year. “Having a three-time state champ in the room is a great motivator. Nick made Zach and I believe we could be state champions,” too.
Moments after Chagoya received his state championship medal, Hagar went to work.
“It was a dream come true. That was our goal, to leave here with three state titles,” Hagar said. “Zach and Rudy did their part. Then it was my turn to get it done. We did it.”
Hagar (49-0) won the Division 2 crown at 125 pounds in 2006 (49-3), at 135 in 2007 (50-2) and at 140 (49-0) last year. Hagar, whose last loss was his sophomore year, finished with a 198-5 career mark. He will compete at South Dakota State next year.
—Associated Press contributed to this story
There were nine returning individual champions who qualified for the finals.
In Division 1, Germantown sophomore Jesse Thielke (43-1) defeated Arrowhead sophomore Jake Sueflohn (38-5) 8-5 in the 125-pound finals. Thielke won the 112 title last year.
Marshfield sophomore Brad Dolezal (42-5) lost to Wausau West senior Steven Monk (52-2) 3-2 in overtime at 140. Dolezal was the defending champ at 140.
In Division 2, besides Hagar winning at 140, there were three other returning champions.
Port Washington sophomore Alex Dieringer (38-3) lost to Tomahawk junior Zach Zehner (49-1) 7-6 in the 125 final. Dieringer won the Division 1 title at 103 last year.
Ellsworth senior Hayden Hauschildt (31-1) pinned Iowa-Grant/Highland’s Justin Washburn in 3:13 at 145 pounds. Hauschildt was the defending Division 2 state champion at 135.
In a battle of unbeatens vying for the title at 285, Portage senior Jake Hohlstein (43-0) repeated as champion with a 1-0 victory over Waukesha Catholic Memorial senior Chris Weber (35-1).
In Division 3, New Lisbon senior Justin Pollack (45-0) defended his title at 125 pounds. Pollack posted a 90-1 record over the past two years.
In a battle of defending state champions, Random Lake sophomore Justin Mudlaff rode a second-period escape point to a 1-0 victory over North Crawford/Seneca senior Dylan Kansier for the Division 3 title at 112.
Mudlaff (53-1) previously won the Division 3 title at 112 for Luxemburg-Casco last year. He has a career mark of 88-9. Kansier (44-3) was a two-time defending Division 3 champion at 103.
The Einerson family from Lodi had a successful tournament run. Freshman Keegan (44-4) won his first state title at 103 pounds in Division 2. His twin, Kasey (43-5), who had to injury default on Saturday, finished sixth at 112 pounds.
Older brother senior Logan (47-1) won his first title at 152 pounds. The brothers are a combined 134-10 this season heading into next week’s team state tournament.
Eleven wrestlers finished as unbeaten state champions.
--The Associated Press contributed to this story