State Tournament Day 1- Div. 1 | |Badger recruits remain unbeaten at tournament after first day
Abigail Ruckdashel | Wisconsin Wrestling Online | Thursday, February 23, 2017
Three Wisconsin wrestlers have joined the University of Wisconsin 2017 recruiting class. However, they aren’t ready to leave high school wrestling without doing some damage. All three recruits are looking to cap off their high school careers with state titles.
Stoughton’s Tyler Dow (Jr) and Garrett Model (Sr), both committed to Barry Davis and the Badgers earlier this season. Model is signed, while Dow only verbally committed as he has one year of high school left, being a junior. Jackson Hemauer (Sr) from DeForest also signed onto the Badgers for next season.
Model, last year’s D1 champion at 138 lb., made the jump to 145 lb in search of a second title. After majoring Keenan Graef (Sr) of West DePere in the first round 14-5, he moved on to defeat Jaden Winchel (Sr) of Sparta with a pin in 3:34. His next match will be Friday night taking on Joshua Otto (So) of Arrowhead in the semifinal round.
“Bringing two state titles into the [Badger wrestling] room would put me in a good spot,” Model said. “I’d still have to earn my spot and everything because nothing is ever given to you, but it would just be nice to have two state titles attached to my name,”
If all goes as planned for Model and he makes it to the finals Saturday night, he’s likely to face his toughest test, last year’s 132 lb D1 champion Jaden Van Maanen (Sr) from La Crosse Central, who also made the jump to 145 lb. Heading into the tournament, Van Maanen is one of only 16 wrestlers undefeated. Model, who has just five losses himself, will most likely not be rid of Van Maanen even after high school. Van Maanen has signed with North Dakota State University, a foe known well to the Badgers.
Tyler Dow, longtime teammate of Model, also looks to pick up a title at the ultra-competitive 160 lb weight class. Already two matches closer, Dow pinned Waukesha North’s Drew Malicki in 1:29 and followed up with a third period tech fall of Oshkosh West’s Edgar Heredia (So). Dow will also wrestle Friday night in the semifinal round taking on Hayden Krein (Jr) of Sparta.
“Tyler is my best friend,” Model said. “He moved here in fifth grade and we’ve been practice partners ever since. Even though we are going to be separated next year, it’s comforting knowing we will be teammates for life [being Badgers together].”
Krein, last year’s D1 152 lb champion, would be a tough match for Dow, as Krein boasts a single loss on the season.
Dow and Model are also looking to bring home a team state title as well. With six individual qualifiers and a chance for redemption against Kaukauna, Stoughton has a positive outlook.
“We’re gonna win. We are done losing in the finals to Kaukauna,” Model said.
And finally, last year’s D1 160 lb Champion Jackson Hemauer (Deforest) made the jump to 182 lbs this year in search of a title there. Hemauer made quick work of Madison La Follette’s Salvatore Schiro (Sr), claiming a 7-0 victory. He majored Alec Kurtz (Jr) of Rhinelander in the second round 12-0.
“[Being on the podium] is definitely not enough,” Hemauer said. “Wrestling with the Badgers and training with them gives you the mindset that whenever you step on the mat, you should expect nothing less of winning. Not just winning, dominating.”
Hemauer will also wrestle Friday night in the semifinal round against Jared Krattiger (Jr) of Waterford. Krattiger is one of 16 undefeated wrestlers in the tournament. Hemauer will have a tough match against Krattiger as he is one of the class of 2018’s top recruits in the nation per Flowrestling. Hemauer isn’t scared of Krattiger however.
“It’s what he wanted,” Assistant Coach Cole Engeldinger said. “He’s a competitor.”
The semifinal round begins Friday night at 7:00pm inside the Kohl Center. The recruits along with more of Wisconsin’s top wrestling talent will be battling for a coveted spot in the finals Saturday night.
Photo: Abigail Ruckdashel