Mason Phillips has been close before. But today he finally gets his shot at a state championship.
The Eau Claire North senior, a four-time state qualifier, will wrestle for the Division 1 138-pound state title today at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Phillips punched his ticket to Championship Saturday with a 5-2 decision over Eric Halverson of Pewaukee in Friday evening’s semifinals at the WIAA wrestling individual state championships.
Phillips (37-2) will face Slinger’s Caleb Ziebell (51-4) in the state championship match today.
Phillips took fifth as a freshman at 106 pounds, fourth as a sophomore at 113 and fourth as a junior at 126.
Phillips isn’t the only area wrestler eyeing a state title today.
The Division 3 152-pound title match is an all-local affair, pitting Cadott’s Brady Spaeth against Boyceville’s Brock Schlough, a two-time state champion. Spaeth pinned James LaPointe of Bayfield/Washburn in 1 minute, 6 seconds in Friday’s semifinals. Schlough advanced with a 5-3 decision over Reedsville’s Brandon Stelzer.
Cumberland’s Reid Olson will wrestle for the Division 3 title at 132. Olson pinned Kewaunee’s Cam Hanrahan in 1:45. He faces Cochrane-Fountain City’s Tate Murty in today’s championship match.
Ladysmith’s Nathan Roach is in the D3 145 title match thanks to a 7-5 decision over Johnson Creek’s Weston Wichman in the semifinals. Roach faces Horicon’s Bill Condon for the state title.
And at 195 pounds, Boyceville’s Garrett Joles roared into the title match with a 12-3 major decision over Bonduel’s Jacob Giese in the semifinals. Joles faces Edgar’s Colton Heil for the state championship today.
Cadott’s James Pfeiffer missed out on a championship match when he lost to Iowa-Grant/Highland’s Max Maylor 11-8 in the 160 semifinals. Pfeiffer moved over to the third-place bracket. He’ll face Carter Stebane of Brillion in this morning’s consolation semifinals.
In the Division 1 170-pound consolation bracket, Memorial’s Levi Smith opened Friday with a 13-2 major decision win over Wilmot Union’s Hunter Valach. Smith was eliminated in the consolation quarterfinals by virtue of a 15-0 tech fall loss to Jake Deates of Kenosha Bradford/Reuther.
In Division 2, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser/Prairie Farm’s Daniel Chuchwar is alive in the third-place bracket at 182. Chuchwar beat Ryan Polomis of Denmark 3-2 in the consolation quarterfinals Friday afternoon.
Chuchwar’s teammate Justis Knutson also is chasing third place. Knutson fell to Omro’s Jack Dietzen 7-0 in the 220 semifinals. Now he faces Luxemburg-Casco’s Nate Lloyd in the consolation semifinal.
Barron’s William Waldofski was sent to the 160 consolation bracket after a 1-5 loss to Nick Rogge of Prairie Du Chien in the semifinals Friday night. Waldofski faces Lodi’s Max Barreau in the consolation semifinals this morning.
In Division 3, two area wrestlers fell in the 113-pound semifinals. Cumberland’s Logan Steglich was pinned by Coleman’s Koltin Grzybowski, while Boyceville’s Walker Retz lost a 3-2 decision to Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Chad Moegenburg.
Both Steglich and Retz now head to the third-place bracket.
Also chasing third place is Glenwood City’s Jake Nadeau, who lost his 120 semifinal to Weyauwega-Fremont’s Cian Fischer.
Cadott’s Bailey Gillett was eliminated from the 132 bracket after a pair of losses Friday. Teammate Andrew Gunderson met the same fate at 138.
Around the mats
River Falls’ Nathan Fuller lost his Division 1 152-pound semifinal 7-4 to Joshua Otto of Hartland Arrowhead. Fuller will turn his attention to the third-place bracket today. He faces Sauk Prairie’s Bryant Schaaf in the consolation semifinals this morning. The same goes for Wildcats teammate Mitchell Williamson at 285. Williamson lost his semifinal 9-4 to Keeanu Benton of Janesville Craig and faces Charlie Covert of Slinger in today’s consolation semifinals. ... Hudson’s Jacob Anderson advanced to today’s 160-pound Division 1 consolation semifinals. He beat David Oyler of Neenah in a 19-4 tech fall and then earned a 13-4 major decision over Waunakee’s Ben Statz. ... At 195, River Falls’ Chance Kamrowski lost in the consolation quarterfinals to Watertown’s Stephen Maule 6-4. ... Baldwin-Woodville’s Alex McCray will chase third place in the Division 2 126-pound consolation bracket. McCray lost to Luxemburg-Casco’s Bryce Bosman 7-3 to start Friday but came back to beat Campbellsport’s Cade Heisdorf with a 15-0 tech fall in the consolation quarterfinals. Jacek Nickowski, also of Baldwin-Woodville, entered the consolation bracket after a 10-2 major decision loss to Isaac Wiegel of Belmont/Platteville in the 120 semifinals. ... Barron’s Tristan Massie lost in the 145 consolation quarterfinals to North Fond du Lac/St. Mary’s Andrew Forsythe. ... Glenwood City’s Carson Strong is after third place in the 126-pound bracket in Division 3. He pinned Jakob Hoyt of Crandon in 55 seconds to reach today’s consolation semifinals. ... Boyceville’s Trett Joles will wrestle in the D3 182 third-place bracket today. He brushed off a quarterfinal loss to Lancaster’s Troy Klein by beating Royall’s Noah Friedl 8-5 in the consolation quarterfinals. … at 195, Cumberland’s Gio Torres advanced to the third-place semifinals by forfeit. … Boyceville’s Noah Novotney was eliminated at 285 in the consolation quarterfinals.