Spencer/Columbus’ Hunter Luepke advances at 2016 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament
Luepke will wrestle in quarterfinals Friday, Rockets’ Austin Post eliminated
By Paul Lecker
MADISON — Spencer/Columbus Catholic sophomore Hunter Luepke went one step further than he did last year by winning his preliminary match at the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament on Thursday night at the Kohl Center.
Luepke, who lost in the opening round as a freshman in Madison, used a reversal and a three-point nearfall late in the second period to defeat Rylan Burrows of Adams-Friendship 5-4 in a Division 2 182-pound preliminary match.
Luepke trailed 2-0 after the first period as Burrows had a takedown with 50 seconds to go.
Luepke started the second period in the down position and stayed off his back long enough to make one big move as he earned a reversal and threw Burrows on his back to earn a nearfall with 10 seconds left.
Luepke held his ground for most of the third period until Burrows earned a reversal with 14 seconds left in the match, but Luepke was able to hold on for the win.
“Hunter can scramble with the best of them,” Spencer/Columbus coach Jake Zschernitz said. “He started out a little slow in that match, and he got in a scramble, and he took control of it. Once he gets the lead, he’s hard to beat.”
Luepke (40-5) moves on to a quarterfinal match against Tomahawk’s Kaleb Kaminski (43-1), who has beaten Luepke twice this season, both by two points. Kaminski placed fourth at 182 pounds at last year’s state tournament.
“He’s got his work cut out for him, but he’s confident, and we’ll see what happens,” Zschernitz said.
Spencer/Columbus’ other state qualifier, senior Austin Post, lost his opening match and was eliminated from the state tournament.
After a scoreless first period, Post chose to take the bottom position to start the second and was pinned by Jacob Busser (35-14) of Lodi 31 seconds into the period. Post finishes his season with a 29-9 record.
“He (Post) came out a little flat,” Zschernitz said. “I don’t know if the atmosphere got to him a little bit maybe. It’s a lot of pressure. Kids get down here for the first time, and it’s new. I think that’s what kind of went on there. Nerves got to him a little bit, and he didn’t wrestle his best.
“But for a guy that came out as a freshman (for the first time) and he’s a state qualifier as a senior, that’s a lot more than a lot of kids end up doing.”
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
2016 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Championships
Feb. 25-27, Kohl Center, Madison
Friday, Feb. 26
10 a.m. – Division 1 consolation matches
11:15 a.m. – Division 2 & 3 quarterfinals
1:45 p.m. – Division 1 consolation semifinals
2:45 p.m. – Division 2 & 3 consolation semifinals
7 p.m. – Semifinals, all divisions
Saturday, Feb. 27
11 a.m. – Consolation wrestlebacks, all divisions; followed by fifth-place and third-place matches in all divisions
6 p.m. – Championship matches, all divisions
Spencer/Columbus match for Friday
Division 2 quarterfinal (Friday afternoon)
182 pounds: Hunter Luepke (40-5) Spencer/Columbus versus Kaleb Kaminski (43-1) Tomahawk.