FORT ATKINSON — Johnson Creek’s wrestlers placed eighth while Watertown’s wrestlers finished tied for 12th at the Terry Kramer Open at Fort Atkinson High School on Saturday.
The Bluejays scored 211.5 points, led by 160-pound champion Garret Gross.
Gross (22-3) pinned Cedar-burg’s Ryan Dunn in 48 seconds, scored an 18-2 technical fall against Cambridge’s Jared Kenseth, won a 14-3 major decision over Brookfield Central’s Brandon Fong, pinned Fort Atkinson’s Riley Telfter in 5:37 and beat Brodhead-Juda’s Brady Colden by a 5-4 decision.
Wilder Wichman placed second at 126.
Wichman (23-5) pinned Beloit Turner’s Josh Christen-sen in 2:48 and Cedarburg’s Max Stankey in 5:25. He scored a 9-2 decision over Kenosha Tremper’s Jared Nichols, lost a 7-1 decision to Waterford’s Kody Azarian and beat Fort Atkinson’s Dalton Schuerman 8-5.
Max Street placed fourth at 138 and is currently 21-6. Kyle Kemmerling placed fourth at 170 and is currently 20-8. Jonah Hood placed fifth at 182 and is currently 11-9. Clayton Uselman placed fifth at 220 and is currently 14-7.
Colton Bruley placed eighth at 132. Levi Lamke placed ninth at 113. Christian Avalos placed 14th at 120.
Johnson Creek travels to Deerfield for a battle of unbeaten teams in the Trailways South on Thursday.
Watertown scored 175 points on the day.
“We limped into this tournament with a squad of only eight guys,” Watertown co-wrestling coach Mark Bardenwerper said. “Between a few minor injuries, and several guys hit by the flu bug, we could have used the weekend to rest. But the guys who were ready to go wrestled really well. Before we went out, I told them to just have fun and work on some of the new stuff we’ve been playing around with in the wrestling room. It was a fun way to approach the day and a great learning experience for us.”
The Goslings were led by runner-up finishes from Raul Sepulveda (113) and Lucas Angell (145).
After a first round bye, Sepulveda (18-6) pinned Kettle Moraine’s Cody Peterson in 33 seconds, lost to Fort Atkinson’s Ryder Hebbe 7-0, pinned East Troy’s Gabe Braam in 56 seconds and pinned Brodhead-Juda’s Coty Knudtson in 49 seconds.
“Raul had a great tournament,” Bardenwerper said. “He only lost one match all day, and the other three kids he faced didn’t make it out of the first minute of their matches. Raul’s coming off of having the flu, and he knows he’s got to put in the extra time to get his lungs back. When he flips the switch, though, he can be a dominant wrestler, and he showed that in his three wins.”
Angell (22-8) pinned Arrow-head’s Kurth Wittkopf in 1:14, beat East Troy’s Jeremy Dedick 6-1, beat Fort Atkinson’s Ben Renz 11-5, lost to Waterford’s Max Fisher 6-2 and pinned Cambridge’s Jeremiah Moody in 3:10.
“Lucas had another solid day, going 4-1,” Bardenwerper said. “He’s been putting in some extra time from the feet and is becoming really versatile with his offense. He can hang with anybody, and his one loss on the day was to a top ranked kid (Max Fisher) from Waterford.
“We keep saying every week that he can hang with anybody, and this tournament was no different. He dominated his other matches, and now we just have to tweak a few things to get him to finish it off in the ‘championship caliber’ matches.”
Koltin Kislia placed sixth at 220 with a pin and two decisions and is currently 18-14.
“Koltin had one of the more interesting routes today and finished sixth in his bracket,” Bardenwerper said. “In his first match, he was pretty dominant, but in his second he ran into the No. 1 ranked kid in Division 2 (Joey Dedick from East Troy, currently 31-0). Fearless as ever, Koltin went after him but was a bit overmatched.
“You worry about a kid losing his steam after a match like that, but that’s not Koltin. He came back stronger than ever and went on the offense in his third match, controlling ties and winning in convincing fashion. He lost a close one in the fourth match (a 3-1 decision against Uselman from Johnson Creek), but came back and won his last one at the last second. It was a roller-coaster ride, but I also see it as a glimpse of where Koltin could be if he continues to put in the work.”
Taylor Foltz placed eighth at 106. He is currently 10-11.
“Taylor went 2-3 and finished eighth,” Bardenwerper said. “He was in a solid bracket, and was able to try out some of the offense he’s been working on. He came up short in his last match but showed a lot of progress.”
Justin Heitman placed seventh at 132, winning a pair of decisions.
“Justin had a solid day, finishing 2-3 in seventh place,” Bardenwerper said. “We told him to go out there and open it up. He was really able work on offense and run takedowns on a few kids. He’s working hard on that right now, so the confidence should really pay off going into conference time.”
At 160, Isaac Elsen placed 13th, going 3-2 with three pins. He is currently 13-16.
“Isaac Elsen started off the day a little rough,” Barden-werper said. “He hung in his first two matches but came out on the losing end. You could tell he was frustrated, but for Isaac, that’s not always a bad thing. He came back with a little fire and tore through his last three guys, pinning all three kids.”
At 170, Darin Poweleit placed 11th, winning once by pin and once by major decision.
“Darin Poweleit picked up a few more wins today, going 2-3,” Bardenwerper said. “He faced some quality kids today and really showed progress. He’s such an athlete, and he’s been working on his scrambling a lot. He was nearly taken down a few times but was able to fight off the shot and score on the scrambles a few times. That’s the kind of technique that’s going to help him turn the corner.”
At 182, Fabian Erbing placed 10th.
“We had Fabian Erbing fill in for CJ Ritter,” Bardenwerper said. “With all these kids out sick, Fabian said he’d like to come along and try and help the team. Having a first year wrestler step up like that really shows where we’re at as a team. Off course, he steps into a stacked bracket and struggles in his matches. He shows a lot of promise and is always trying to learn from his mistakes.
“Overall, it was a good day for our guys. Everyone wrestled solid and worked on some new stuff we’ve been working with in the room.
“Finishing 12th out of 16 teams is pretty good when we have five of our best kids out sick. These are the kinds of things you can’t control, and as a coach, you tell the guys to go out and have fun and try some things.
“That’s what we did today, and I’m just really excited about our last dual next and going to the Dells next weekend with a full squad.”
Watertown wrestles a conference dual meet at West Bend West on Thursday.
Team scores: Fort Atkinson 361, Cedarburg 307.5, Brodhead-Juda 302.5, East Troy 239.5, Slinger 238.5, Waterford 232, Oak Creek 226, Johnson Creek 211.5, Kenosha Tremper 204, Brookfield Central 183, Cambridge 178.5, Kettle Moraine 175, Watertown 175, Beloit Turner 120, Edgerton 119.5, Arrowhead 93.