On Friday night, January 20, seven boys and five girls traveled to Wausau to take part in the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association Challenge Series Finals on Saturday.
The Challenge Series is a qualifying tournament where the top three boys from eight different regionals come together to compete. This shows some great competition for the Junior Varsity Level students across the state. Whitewater was fortunate to have seven boys qualify for this event. They included Curtis Rossmiller, Keenan Sheffield, Nate Black, Christian Minett, JJ Gonzalez, Richi Kalra and Jesus Barajas. Each of these individuals had some very competitive matches throughout the day.
Barajas was the top place winner, coming in 8th place. He started out the day with his best match of the season in a close 6-5 victory. He continued to wrestle well but came up short, just getting out of positions.
Curtis Rossmiller also had a very nice day going 2-2 with two pins and one close 8-7 loss. Curtis is a first-year wrestler and is progressing nicely.
Nate Black started his day with a pin and then wrestled extremely well before getting caught after being aggressive for a takedown. He learned that he has to have a short memory in tournaments like this as he struggled to get past the upsetting loss. Although he did not do as well as he hoped, he continued to show great improvement on the mat.
Sheffield, Minett, Gonzalez, and Kalra all also wrestled well showing nice things in each match but came up short. In personal reflection on the drive home as they slept I realized we had a lot of losses on the day that we were doing extremely well in. That is tough for students to understand. They often just look at the outcome and not the process along the way. Each of the boys did very well on Saturday.
Five girls from the wrestling team also competed at Wausau on Saturday in the Wisconsin High School Girls Challenge. All but one of these ladies are first time wrestlers so this may have been quite an experience as there were eight mats, people on all sides of the gym, and brackets of 24-32 competitors in each weight class.
The girls did well, and as was the case with the boys, I felt like I had the same reflection; they wrestled well but came up short. They all seemed to have a good attitude and will learn from this experience.
Khloe Meyer and Ashly Xochipa each lost their first match to the young lady who ended up taking runner-up in their weight classes.
Xochipa came back from her loss and wrestled very well. She ended up pinning her next two opponents and then winning the 3rd by a 2-point decision to come in as Consolation Champion.
Adalynn Frye wrestled for the first time ever in competition and did well. She came out and scored a takedown and almost had her second girl turned, but lack of experience put her out of position.
Athena Soto came out strong against her first opponent scoring three takedowns and wrestled well. Again, more mat time is needed to get the experience of position for her.
Finally, Odeling Gonzales started her day off with a girl who had lots of experience based on the techniques she was showing. In her second match Odeling was aggressive, getting a couple of takedowns but came up short.
Overall, I was happy with both the boys’ and girls’ team at this event. They should be proud of their accomplishment at this large event.
Article and Photo Submitted by John Schimming
Whitewater High School Head Wrestling Coach