Janesville50.1°

Furseth to put finishing touch on great prep career

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JOHN N. BARRY
February 24, 2011
— Whatever happens this weekend won’t change the facts.

A second straight state title will only add to his legacy.


Siven Furseth is the best high school wrestler to come out of Janesville. Period.


The Janesville Craig senior and defending Division 1 state champion will cap an incredible high school career beginning today in the WIAA individual state tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison.


Furseth, who won last year’s state title at 130 pounds, takes a 41-0 record into today’s opening-round match at 135 pounds against Cal Thornton (41-4) of La Crosse Central.


Soft-spoken off the mat but a fierce and tireless competitor on it, Furseth didn’t want to get into comparing his wrestling accomplishments with other Janesville greats.


“It’s kind of crazy to me to even think about that,” Furseth said of being labeled the best wrestler to come out of the city. “The recognition is nice, but that’s not what motivates me.


“I wrestle because I like winning, and I like the challenge of pushing myself to be the best.”


Furseth has pushed himself to new heights. He is an astounding 167-4 in his high school career, including 81-0 the last two seasons.


Furseth hasn’t lost since a 10-3 decision against Torin Boernke of Marshfield in the 112-pound state title bout in 2009. He turned the tables on Boernke in the 130-pound state title bout last year, winning 4-0. Those two will likely meet in the quarterfinals tonight.


“I haven’t even thought about that,” Furseth said of the possibility of two former state champions meeting in a quarterfinal bout. “And it really doesn’t matter when I wrestle him (Boernke), if I do. He’s just another opponent.”


Mark Mullen, Craig’s first-year coach, knows all about wrestling supremacy. He graduated from longtime Wisconsin powerhouse Stoughton High School in 1987, was on two state championship teams while qualifying twice as an individual. He thinks Furseth is as good a high school wrestler as he has seen.


“The most impressive thing about Siven is that he has taken on all comers. He has never been afraid to wrestle anybody, even if he had to move up a weight class or two,” Mullen said.


“He works hard. He is never out of position, and it is next to impossible to take him down.”


Furseth was never taken down a year ago, and has been taken down only once this season—by River Valley’s Seth Liegel in the title bout of the Badger State Classic. Furseth won the match, 6-2.


Although losing is not something Furseth experiences often, one particular defeat may have paved the way to his present level. Furseth lost in the state title bout as a fourth-grader as part of Janesville’s youth wrestling program, and the defeat motivated him to participate in the Advance School of Wrestling in Madison.


That’s an open-enrollment program dedicated to providing year-round, top-quality training experience for wrestlers of all ages and skill levels. Furseth made the twice-weekly trips to Madison, starting in fifth grade, and the results are obvious.


“They really push you at Advance,” Siven said. “A lot of the guys you wrestle against, you see at tournaments and stuff. The guy I beat to win sectional (Tyler Quartullo of Muskego) is one of the guys I wrestle against at Advance.”


For now, Furseth plans to wrestle at UW-Parkside in Kenosha and study police science. Who knows what another state title could mean to his chances of wrestling at the Division I level?


Janesville’s all-time greatest wrestler is likely to land on his feet somewhere. It’s too hard to get him off of them.


Pierce to join practice partner

Chris Pierce should be more than prepared for today’s 130-pound match in the opening round of the WIAA Division 1 state wrestling meet.


The Janesville Craig High School senior practices daily with teammate Siven Furseth, the defending state champion at 130 pounds and an unbeaten 135-pound qualifier this year.


Pierce (39-4) will wrestle Chris Clapper (36-11) of Franklin in his opening round.


“Chris, Kyle (Upmann) and Zach (Mulrooney) all had great success this year because they got to go up against Siven every day,” Craig first-year coach Mark Mullen said. “But that also worked to Siven’s advantage because those three are all very good wrestlers.


“I think with Chris’ tenacity and the fact that he goes hard for six minutes, he should have success at the state meet.”


If Pierce wins his first match, he likely will face Germantown’s Jesse Thielke in the quarterfinals. Thielke is 46-and looking to become only the 10th wrestler in state history to win four state titles.


“Chris has never been afraid of anybody, and a lot of that comes with going up against Siven every single day,” Mullen said. “Thielke is awfully good and will be tough to beat, but even if Chris loses to him, he should still have a good chance to wrestleback for a medal.


“That would be a great way to end his career at Craig because he has



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