Furseth a dominant force on mat

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Thursday, January 21, 2010
— It’s not surprising that Siven Furseth grew up idolizing Dan Gable.

Gable is may be the greatest American-born wrestler of all-time. The Iowa legend had a combined high school and collegiate record of 182-1 and ended his illustrious career as an Olympic gold medalist.

And Furseth, a Janesville Craig junior, may end his high school career as the greatest wrestler in city history. Furseth finished second at state in Division 1 a year ago at 112 pounds and is the top-ranked D1 wrestler this season at 130. No Craig High wrestler has ever won a state title, and Shane Fleming is the only Janesville Parker wrestler to ever win a state title.

Furseth, 22-0 this season, is trying to duplicate one of Gable’s most amazing feats. Gable went his entire senior season of college without allowing a takedown, and Furseth has not been taken down in 22 matches this season.

“That’s unheard of,” Craig coach Jeff Kaster said. “But that tells you all you need to know about Siven and how dominant he has been this season.

“I think more than anything, it’s his intelligence on the mat that sets him apart. He’s like a cat, always landing on his feet. And he just refuses to be taken down.”

Furseth moved up three weight classes from a year ago, a big jump for a wrestler at any age. But despite often being towered over by his opponent this season, Furseth is the one standing tall by the end of the match.

The Big Eight Conference hasn’t offered any competition for Furseth this season, so the only time he gets much mat time is at weekend tournaments. That doesn’t bother the soft-spoken Furseth.

“I try to go out there and pin the guy I’m wrestling as fast as I can because it’s points for the team,” Furseth said. “I might try to work on a few things, but most of the time, it’s just going out and taking care of business.”

Furseth, the son of Lane and Charlene, has been wrestling since first grade. He got serious about the sport in fifth grade when he began making two trips a week to the Advance School of Wrestling in Madison.

“Advance is great because it allows me to wrestle against state champions, guys that are older than me, and work with great instructors,” Furseth said. “I go up there year-round now, and that has really taught me a lot.”

Many elite high school wrestlers have trouble finding practice partners at their school. Furseth doesn’t have that problem. Craig junior Chris Pierce is 23-4 this season at 135 pounds, and also makes the twice-weekly commute to the Advance School with Furseth.

“They really push each other,” Kaster said. “Chris is very strong, and Siven is so sound technically that it’s always fun to watch those two go at it in practice.”

With the WIAA tournament around the corner, Furseth has only one goal in mind. Becoming the school’s first state champion.

Furseth had a city-record 45 wins last season, but lost in the state finals at 112 to Marshfield’s Torin Boernke, 10-3. Boernke, a junior, also is at 130 this season, and Furseth would like nothing better than a rematch in the state finals.

“That’s why I’m working so hard,” Furseth said. “I would love to face him again because I know I can beat him. I got lazy last year against him, and that won’t happen again.”

That sounds like something Dan Gable would’ve said.

Last updated: 12:36 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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