MADISON - Considering the amount of pain Somerset wrestler Gabe Flandrick was in after his semifinal match at the WIAA State Wrestling Tournament, just wrestling in the finals on Championship Saturday was remarkable in itself despite the outcome.
Flandrick gave up a late takedown near the edge of the mat in the third period to Ellsworth's Gabe Frandsen and lost the Division 2, 160-pound finals 5-4 at the Kohl Center.
Just 24 hours before Flandrick was in triumph after winning his semifinal match in overtime over Marinette's Jadin Boivin. But in that match he pulled his shoulder on his shot for the winning takedown. On the mat Flandrick's arm was raised in victory and his face was beaming. Off the mat, Flandrick was on the floor screaming near the staging area for the wrestlers in pain as trainers and Somerset coaches attended to him.
There was some question as to whether Flandrick would be able to wrestle Saturday night but the long time in between matches gave the shoulder time enough heal enough to wrestle.
"We're not going to use the injury as an excuse for the defeat," Somerset coach Mitch Flandrick said. "Every wrestler down here has some sort of injury or ailment or something which affects them. If they can wrestle, then they get through it and he did that tonight and nearly won. It was an exceptional effort."
Flandrick had to get through the injury by changing his strategy against Frandsen. He had beaten the Ellsworth junior in the Middle Border Conference meet finals 9-6. But with his bad shoulder, Flandrick could not ride Frandsen like he did in the conference meet finals. Instead, to start the third period, Flandrick let Frandsen up off the mat from the down position to tie the score at 3-3. He looked to beat Frandsen on his feet in the final period. Unfortunately it was Frandsen scoring the key takedown. Flandrick was able to get an escape but it came at the buzzer.
"Frandsen's defense was a lot better this time around than in the last match so give him a lot of credit," Mitch Flandrick said.
Flandrick took a 2-1 lead into the second period put a penalty point tied the match at 2-2. Frandsen gave up an escape with :05 to go in the second but Flandrick, altering his strategy due a shoulder injury suffered in the semifinals the night before, decided to let Frandsen up from the mat to start the third period.
Gabe Flandrick still made the awards podium in second place in what was a very strong D-2, 160-pound weight class in this year's tournament. He will finish his wrestling career with Somerset with a 43-3 record. Frandsen, a junior, finished with a 45-6 record.