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Kirkpatrick shines it at HON meet

Photo courtesy of Grady Radabaugh1 / 8
Photo courtesy of Grady Radabaugh2 / 8
Photo courtesy of Grady Radabaugh3 / 8
Photo courtesy of Grady Radabaugh4 / 8
Photo courtesy of Grady Radabaugh5 / 8
Photo courtesy of Grady Radabaugh6 / 8
Photo courtesy of Grady Radabaugh7 / 8
Photo courtesy of Grady Radabaugh8 / 8

Cumberland and Barron finished in a tie for the Heart O’ North Conference wrestling title Saturday, while the Northwestern Tigers settled for a third-place finish.

Heading into the conference meet in Barron, Northwestern and Cumberland were tied with 14 points apiece in dual meets, and Barron sat just behind with 12 points.

Barron won the conference meet Saturday and Cumberland finished second to give both 28 total points. The Tigers took third at the meet to finish with 26 total points.

“Although we didn’t reach our goal this week, I still saw a major improvement in attitude and technique in our team,” NHS coach Grady Radabaugh said. “We, as a coaching staff, are very proud of their hard work, dedication and improvement.”

Individually, Northwestern’s Calen Kirkpatrick pinned all three opponents he faced Saturday to become conference champion at 132 pounds. The junior pinned Ladysmith’s Billy Niles in 35 seconds, Mitchel Harmon of Bloomer/Colfax in 3:35 and Will Peters of Chetek/Weyerhaeuser/Prairie Farm in 2:30.

Kirkpatrick, a two-time state qualifier, also earned his 100th career win Saturday and was named the HON Conference Most Outstanding Wrestler.

“This award was voted on by all the conference coaches,” Radabaugh said. “What a great honor for a great kid.”

Also for the Tigers, Jameson Pflug took second place at 170 pounds. The senior pinned Thomas Anderson of Bloomer/Colfax and Derek Wohlk of Barron before being pinned by Chetek’s Sam Newell in the finals.

Earning third place finishes for Northwestern were Tjay Ziebarth (113) and Alex Isakson (160); and taking fourth were Abby Nelson (106), Connar Wheeler (138) and Andrew Hanson (182).

“We had a good day of wrestling,” Radabaugh said. “We had one round that we didn’t wrestle well, and that is what hurt us.”

Northwestern junior Donny Pooler, who qualified for state as an individual last season, was out with an injury Saturday. In his absence, Radabaugh said, a number of other wrestlers stepped up to help the team.

“Connar Wheeler, Tjay Ziebarth and Brody Burke exceeded expectations and really performed well for the team and themselves,” Radabaugh said. “Alex Isakson moved up a weight and wrestled well at 160. As always, Luke Gregerson sacrificed for the team and wrestled competitors that outweigh him by more than twenty pounds.  He is definitely a team player.”

The Tigers return to action Saturday at the WIAA Division 2 regional meet in Hayward. The top two individuals in each weight class qualify for the individual sectional meet Feb. 18, and the winning team advances to the Feb. 14 sectional meet at Saint Croix Central

Other teams competing with Northwestern at the Hayward regional are Ashland, Barron, Hayward/Northwood, Rice Lake and Spooner.

TIGER TALES: Saturday’s HON title was the first for Kirkpatrick. The junior placed second at 106 pounds as a freshman and second at 120 last year. … With its share of the HON title this year, Cumberland has claimed five straight conference championships. For Barron, this year’s title is the first since the 1993-94 season. Northwestern has now placed third in the HON two years in a row.

HON Conference Championships

1. Barron, 181; 2. Cumberland, 161; 3. Northwestern, 148; 4. Ladysmith, 140.5; 5. Chetek/Weyerhaeuser/Prairie Farm, 134; 6. Bloomer/Colfax, 106.5; 7. Superior, 103; 8. Spooner, 98; 9. Hayward, 85.

Northwestern’s Results

106 — Abby Nelson, fourth place with 11 points: lost to Tyler Dicus, L, MD 16-3; pinned Alex Daniels, Sp., 3:35; won in sudden victory over Konrad Sonnenberg, CWPF, 9-7; pinned by Dicus, 2:33.

113 — T.J. Ziebarth, third place with 18 points: pinned Dylan Anderson, CWPF, 3:35; lost by tech fall to Trent Vollendorf, L, 19-4; pinned Shauna Thompson, Barron, 2:06; pinned Cody Goettl, Bloomer/Colfax, 2:51.

120 — Natalie Kirkpatrick (5-6), fifth place with 7 points: lost major decision to Jordan Jaworski, L, 13-1; received a bye; pinned by Jared Stoll, Bloomer/Colfax, 1:31; pinned Lorenzo Meza, Barron, 2:54.

126 — Brody Burke, fifth place with 6 points: pinned by Jackson Massie, Barron, 1:57; def. Ike Kramschuster, Bloomer/Colfax, 5-4; lost major decision to Caden Stone, Superior, 19-5; def. Jayden Windsor, H, 9-5.

132 — Calen Kirkpatrick, first place with 26 points: pinned Billy Niles, L, 0:35; pinned Mitchel Harmon, B/C, 3:35; pinned Will Peters, CWPF, 2:30.

138 — Connar Wheeler, fourth place with 14 points: pinned Levi Chamberlain, CWPF, 4:57; pinned by Nathan Roach, L, 1:24; pinned Garett McClain, Cumb., 4:35; pinned by Brandon McClure, Superior, 1:49.

145 — Zach Pooler: lost to Jarrod Kressin, B/C, 6-2; lost to Zachary Kubnick, Sp., 4-2.

152 — Hunter Wiese: pinned by Chase Melton, Sp., 0:30; lost to Fred Perfecto, H, 6-4.

160 — Alex Isakson, third place with 12 points: def. Bo Nelson, Cumb., 8-2; lost to Justis Knutson, CWPF, 3-1; def. Josh Melton, Sp., 6-1; def. Collin Bungartz, B/C, 7-2.

170 — Jameson Pflug, second place with 20 points: pinned Thomas Anderson, B/C, 0:50; pinned Derek Wohlk, Barron, 3:17; pinned by Sam Newell, CWPF, 4:29.

182 — Andrew Hanson, third place with 16 points: major decision over Gio Torres, Cumb., 9-1; lost to Daniel Chuchwar, CWPF, 8-3; pinned Dan Lorvig, Barron, 4:01; won major decision over Sam Melton, Sp., 13-3.

195 — Luke Gregerson, fifth place with 11 points: pinned Garett Borelli, Sp., 5:00; pinned by Mathew Larson, Cumb., 1:07; lost to Dom Ippolite, CWPF, 5-1; pinned Garett Borelli, Sp., 4:44.

285 — Morgan Berggren, fifth place with 7 points; received a bye; lost to Brett Jepson, Sp., 7-4; pinned by Tanner Newville, Cumb., 4:39; won by medical forfeit over Jacob Konvicka, CWPF.