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Craig's Furseth, Milton's Wells, Beloit's Polizzi capture state wrestling titles

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Craig Henquinet/Special to the Gazette
February 28, 2010
— Janesville Craig High finally has its state wrestling champion.

Siven Furseth capped off his perfect season with 4-0 decision over Torin Boernke of Marshfield here Saturday night to capture the 130-pound Division 1 title in the WIAA state individual state tournament at the Kohl Center.


As Craig coach Jeff Kaster said, the first Cougar state championship “went to the perfect kid.”


“It feels great,” said Furseth, who finished the year at 40-0. “I have been working hard for it. I knew I could take it to him, too, because I really wanted it.”


To cap off the memorable night, long-time Craig coach Joe Kaster put the championship medal on Furseth atop the podium.


“He earned it,” Jeff Kaster said. “Not giving up a takedown all year, that’s unheard of. He’s an amazing kid.”


Boernke defeated Furseth last year, 10-3, in the 112 state finals, but the Craig junior was in control for most of the match this time around.


Furseth jumped to a 2-0 lead with a late takedown in the first period. The lead held as Furseth did not allow Boernke (34-3) to escape after starting out on top in the second period. Furseth added another takedown late in the third to pull away for good.


“I knew if I could stay on my feet, I could take him,” Furseth said. “He started changing up and kept going for the Russian Tie and I would just get control of his hands, so he couldn’t set up his offense.


“Once that wasn’t working for him, he tried to change it and get me moving, and that’s when his legs opened up and I took him down at the end of the third period,” Furseth added.


Milton also claimed a state champion as John Wells won the Division 1 103-pound title.


The sophomore fell behind 4-1 to Tyler Rice (47-7) of Kenosha Tremper in the first period, but rallied with a takedown and a near- fall in the second. Wells (44-5) did not allow another point in securing the 10-4 decision.


“I was concerned when I got behind, but I felt I could do this,” Wells said.


So much so, Wells already has his post-game celebration planned out.


“He told me a couple weeks ago that ‘when I win state, I’m not going to jump in your arms,’ ” Milton coach Pat Jauch said. “He’s known for backflips, but they don’t let you do those anymore. It’s considered unsportsmanlike, but they don’t want anyone to get hurt.


“He’s a gymnast. When we met him in the third or fourth grade he would just flip all over our wrestling room. We thought, this kid is going to be a great wrestler.”


Milton’s other state finalist, Ian Johnson, lost his title bout at 160 to undefeated Matthew Pennings of Green Bay Preble-East. Pennings (49-0) got a takedown with 30 seconds left in the first period and took a 3-1 lead into the third period before adding a near- fall with 10 seconds left for the 8-1 decision.


Johnson, also a sophomore, dropped to 35-6 with the loss.


“He wanted to get at my head,” Johnson said. “I defended it two or three times during the match, but he got that one in the first period. I guess I got complacent trying to stop his shots and not getting on my offense.”


Beloit’s Alex Polizzi certainly got to his offense after an early wake-up call.


Polizzi, a Northwestern University recruit, suffered an early takedown against Patrick Bruyette (44-3) of Greenfield just 15 seconds into the match, before rallying with a takedown and a near fall to end the period.


The senior did not let up, scoring takedown after takedown before securing the 14-2 major decision to finish off his undefeated season (45-0).


“He caught me a little bit in the beginning,” said Polizzi, who lost in the state finals last year. “But, then I realized where I was and took it to him after that.”


In Division 2, both Clinton state finalists lost decisions.


Daniel Banh (43-3) lost his 112-match to Hunter Weber (48-1) of Marshall, 7-1. While teammate Brandon Wixom (41-6) lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Jarod Donar (48-0) of Cuba City-Southwestern at 125.


Donar, a sophomore who has not lost a match in his high school career, got a third-period escape and held off Wixom’s late charge for the title.


“I tried to keep it close until the third period,” Wixom said. “I tried (for the takedown) with about 15 seconds left, but just couldn’t get it. I thought I had it.”


It was close as Wixom nearly had Donar turned on the mat in the final seconds.


“He was in deep,” Clinton coach Dan Wallace said. “Against any normal guy, it would have been two points, but that kid Brandon wrestled is not a normal guy.”


In the consolation matches, Jose De La Barrera of Beloit Memorial took fourth after losing a 7-2 decision to Bryar Harper of DeForest in the Division 1 third-place match at 152.


In Division 2, Kyndle Bennett of Delavan-Darien also took fourth at 140 after getting pinned in his third-place match by Ben Thome of Oconto in 4:34. At 152, Vince Racanelli of Jefferson took fifth after defeating Nathan Bowe of Nekoosa/Port Edwards. 3-0 in the fifth-place match. Alex Hauri of Parkview also reached the medal stand after taking sixth. Brett Scoles of Kewaskum won by decision over Alex Hauri of Orfordville Parkview 5-0 in their fifth-place match.



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