Mark Mullen grew up in Stoughton and wrestled in high school on the Vikings’ 1987 Division 1 state championship team.
The Janesville Craig head coach will return to his roots Tuesday night. Craig won its first regional title since 1975 on Saturday and will wrestle top-ranked Stoughton on Tuesday for the right to go to the Division 1 state team tournament in Madison.
Craig won the Wilmot Regional with 199.5 points, with Milton second at 184.5 and Elkhorn a distant third. Janesville Parker was sixth.
The Cougars advanced 12 of 14 wrestlers through to next week’s Elkhorn Sectional, including regional champions Mayson MacLennan (126), Brady Schenk (220) and Keeanu Benton (295).
“I’m pretty excited about the whole thing,” Mullen said of winning a regional title and facing Stoughton. “I wrestled at state in 1986 and 1987, and the Stoughton co-head coach Dan Spilde and I grew up together and were teammates on those teams.
“As far as this team goes, I can’t say enough about the heart they showed today. To come back the way they did and win this thing is really special.
“And I can’t say enough about my coaching staff. Jason Vogt, Joel Schenk, Jeff Farrell and Josh Hammen are a big reason why this team has been successful.”
Benton, the state’s top-ranked Division 1 wrestler at 285, improved to 35-1 by pinned both of his opponents Saturday.
MacLennan, ranked 12th, improved to 41-3 with two first-period pins.
Schenk is now 29-12 after beating Max Iverson of Wilmot 18-12 in the title match.
Parker did not have any regional champions but advanced five through to sectionals.
“We had one make it last year, so to get five this year to the sectional meet shows you the direction the program is heading,” first-year coach Shane Fleming said.
Freshmen Jakob Williams and Blake Krueger both finished second for Parker.
Milton got regional titles from Riley Nilo (106) and Tyler Kersten (132), while Elkhorn’s champions were Payton Jacobson (113), Daniel Stilling (138), Coleman Karl (160) and Aaron Taylor (170).
Lake Geneva Badger’s Jake Stritesky was the champion at 120.
Division 1 Wilmot Sectional
Janesville Craig 199.5, Milton 184.5, Elkhorn 159, Lake Geneva Badger 149.5, Janesville Parker 96, Westosha Central 95, Beloit Memorial 65
(Title, third-place and wrestleback matches)
106—Title: Riley Nilo (Mil) major dec. over Josh Stritesky (LGB) 13-5; Third: Joey Showalter (Elk) dec. Ian Ramirez (JP) 10-3; Fourth-place wrestleback: Kobly Moudy (Wil) pinned Ramirez 1:15
113—Title: Payton Jacobson (Elk) major dec. over Hunter Kieliszewski (Mil) 11-1; Third: Juan Armas (JC) pinned Austin Peter (LGB) 1:40
120—Title: Jake Stritesky (LGB) dec. Mason Dutcher (Mil) 9-2; Second-place wrestleback: Dutcher major dec. over Thomas Slack (Elk) 15-4; Third: Slack dec. over Julian Garscia (JC) 6-0; Fourth-place wrestleback: Garcia pinned Drexel Norman (JP) :55
126—Title: Mayson MacLennan (JC) pinned Blake Krueger (JP) 1:21; Third: Lucas Wittkamp (WC) major dec. over Gabe Handorf (Wil) 13-5
132—Title: Tyler Kersten (Mil) dec. Jakob Williams (JP) 7-1; Third: Clay Larson (LGB) dec. Joey Bellomo (JC) 12-9; Fourth-place wrestleback: Bellomo dec. Quentin Woyak (Elk) 4-2
138—Title: Daniel Stilling (Elk) pinned Jefferson Kearby (WC) 3:33; Second-place wrestleback: Kearby dec. Trey Smith (Mil0 12-7; Third: Smith major dec. over Michael Dennis (Wil) 11-2; Fourth-place wrestleback: Sebastian Getchell (JC) dec. Dennis 8-7
145—Title: Mason Diedrich (Wil) pinned Aiden Romack (JC) 2:00; Third: Justin Sanchez (Mil) dec. Colton Soto (WC) 8-4; Fourth-place wrestleback: Alan Bates (LGB) pinned Soto 1:03
152—Title: Logan Pye (Wil) dec. Kade Desormeau (Mil) 6-5; Third: Davon Serrano (JC) dec. Jacob Seward (WC) 9-2; Fourth-place wrestleback: Seward pinned Leo Ehlen (Elk) 4:41
160—Title: Coleman Karl (Elk) pinned Drew Hebior (Wil) 4:35; Third: Marshall Getchell (JC) dec. Brenden Wittkamp (WC) 9-3
170—Aaron Taylor (Elk) pinned Devyn Miller (Mil) 1:46; Third: Sean Gullickson (WC) pinned Fernando Badillo (BM) 4:32
182—Title: Larz Gough (Wil) pinned Jimmy Stackpool (LGB) 5:47; Third: Mitchell Schumann (JC) pinned Salvador Acosta (JP) 1:34; Fourth-place wrestleback: Acosta dec. Bryce Sekey (WC) 8-3
195—Title: Tyler Sireci (BM) pinned Patrick Keplar (LGB) 4:45; Third: Bryce Heerey (JP) major dec. over Braden Hopkins (JC) 10-1
220—Title: Brady Schenk (JC) dec. Max Iverson (Wil) 18-12; Second-place wrestleback: Iverson pinned Dalton Creighton (LGB) 1:41; Third: Creighton dec. Jordan Hergert (Mil) 1-0
285—Title: Keeanu Benton (JC) pinned Kyle Freund (LGB) 5:41; Third: Ryan Caudle (BM) pinned Nathan White (JP) 5:08