The Hastings Raider wrestling team changed things up during the holidays this season and went to La Crosse, Wis., for the Bi-State Classic Dec. 28-29 rather than compete at The Clash in Rochester a week later. The Raiders finished seventh with 193 team points out of a field 25 teams in Division I (Wisconsin's equivalent of Minnesota's Class 3A) and would have taken ninth out of the entire tournament, which featured almost 70 teams. Six Hastings wrestlers placed in their brackets and seventh-grader Skylar Little Soldier made history for the Raider wrestling program as she became the first female wrestler to record a varsity takedown, pin and win for Hastings.
The Bi-State Classic is one of the top individual tournaments in the Midwest during the holiday season, though a step below the Minnesota Christmas tournament Hastings also competed in during December.
106 pounds: Eighth-grader Josh Route scored eight team points and went 3-2 over the two days. He won his first match over Brock Hoskins of Westby by fall in 1 minute, 57 seconds but then lost in the second championship round by fall to Cale Anderson of Viroqua in 1:11. Route then dropped to the consolation bracket and beat Justin Maguire of Mauston by fall in 2:50 and Dallas Pagel of DC Everest by a 4-2 decision. He then lost in the fourth consolation round to Parker Kratochvill of Holmen by fall in 3:59.
113: Skylar Little Soldier went 1-2 and scored three team points for the Raiders. She lost by fall in 0:49 in the first round to Michael Majerus of Zumbrota-Mazeppa but then beat Gabe Weiks of Athens by fall in 4:44 in the first consolation round. She was eliminated in the second consolation round by a 10-0 major decision to Bryce Duffy of La Crescent-Hokah.
120: Senior Matt Myers went 4-2 overall and scored eight team points. His four wins came against Drew Palmer of Dodgeville (fall in 3:25), Tanner Paulson of Belmont/Platteville (7-0 decision), Zach Presley of Adams-Friendship (16-0 tech fall) and Colton Sime of G-E-T/Melrose-Mindoro (6-3 decision). His two losses came in the second championship round to Manny Drexler of Stratford by a 9-1 major decision and Cael Bartels of Chatfield in the fifth consolation round by a 4-2 decision.
126: Junior John Kendall took eighth place and earned Hastings 21 team points. He went 4-3 overall including a first-round bye. After his bye in the first championship round, he beat Dustin Tydrich of Lancaster by a 4-2 decision and Carter Jonsgaard by an 8-1 decision. He fell to Gabe Pugh of Marshfield in the quarterfinals by a 10-2 major decision but then won by forfeit in the the sixth consolation round. He then lost in the seventh consolation round to Leo Draveling of Hudson by fall in 2:46 and in the seventh-place match to Berhett Statz of Waunakee by a 4-0 decision.
132: Senior Lynden Wilson took seventh and won his first three matches against Evann Fabian of of Winona-Cotter (fall in 1:34), Gabriel Ramos of Wausau West (4-3 decision) and Beau Jurrens of Zumbrota-Mazeppa (sudden victory) before he lost in the quarterfinals to Max Schwabe of Stratford by fall in 3:50. He then dropped to the consolation bracket where he beat Fabian again (4-0 decision) but then lost to Mason Enderlein of Eastview by fall in 5:00. Wilson won his seventh-place match over Gabe Speltz of Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson by an 8-0 major decision.
138: Senior Jesse Mimbach went 3-2 and earned 6.5 team points for the Raiders. His wins came over Brady Johnston of Belmont/Platteville (19-3 tech fall), Dakota Frazier of Boscobel (5-2 decision) and Henry Beck of Orono (12-9 decision). He lost in the third championship round to Warrick Wolf of Richland Center (5-3 decision) and in the fifth consolation round to Andy Poetzl of Medford (4-3 decision).
145: Senior Paul Kendall went 2-2 and scored eight team points. He won his first match over Jacob Hanratty of Royall by fall in 0:25 and then beat Ty Mallicoat of La Crescent-Hokah by fall in 2:16. Kendall then lost his next two matches to Dominic Jenkins of Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson by a 9-0 major decision and Mavrick Licciardi of Stratford by fall in 1:26.
152: Senior Mac Wilson was one of the Raiders' top finishers in sixth place. He won his first three matches over Anthony Kujawa of Adams-Friendship (fall in 3:10), Riley Crook of Dodgeville (disqualification) and Ryan Knight of Westby (sudden victory). He lost in the quarterfinals to Nathan Ronsman of Luxemburg-Casco by a 10-1 major decision but then won his next two consolation matches against Devin Dennee of Stratford (5-2 decision) and Peter Hansen of Hudson (fall in 4:55). Wilson then lost in the consolation semifinals to Gavin Model of Stoughton by fall in 2:01 and in the fifth-place match to Gabe Carter of DC Everest in a tie-breaker.
160: Junior Devon McSorley went 2-2 and earned six team points. McSorley won his first two matches over Tanner Bassett of Boscobel (fall in 3:11) and Patrick Rielly of Monroe (12-8 decision) before losing his last two against Cade Spilde of Stoughton (12-1 major decision) and Nick Simafranca of Orono (6-3 decision).
170: Senior Corbin Leflay took sixth and racked up 30 team points. Leflay won his first three matches over Luke Saunders of Orono (fall in 0:56), Austin Hagensick of North Crawford/Seneca (fall in 0:22) and Alex Witt of Monroe (fall in 2:35) before he lost in the quarterfinals to Trevor Dennee of Stratford by fall in 0:49. Leflay won the next two consolation matches against Davontae Goldsmith of Chatfield (fall in 1:28) and Isaac Grams of Bloomington Kennedy/Jefferson (7-0 decision) before losing to Reece Worachek of Luxemburg-Casco (5-0 decision) in the consolation semifinals and Chase Beinborn of Boscobel (6-1 decision) in the fifth-place match.
182: Junior Mukhtar Ali went 2-2 with a bye and scored four team points. Ali lost his first match to Ryan Wagner of Caledonia/Houston by fall in 2:17 but then got a bye in the first consolation round. He then beat Dakota Barrix of Mauston by an 11-5 decision before losing the next round to Quinn Hoffman of Eastview by a 4-3 decision.
195: Junior Brady Schiller went 0-2 with losses to David Wilfert of Orono by fall in 3:51 and then to Ray Niec of Pulaski by sudden victory.
220: Senior Godswill Pepple took eighth and scored 23 team points. He won his first match by forfeit but then lost his second to AJ Karver of Chatfield by fall in 1:48. From there, Pepple won his next five matches over Ben Florencio of Baraboo (fall in 3:37), Jake Neis of Cuba City/Benton/Southwestern (fall in 1:56), William Busch of New Prague (6-3 decision), Travis LeGrave of Luxemburg-Casco (10-9 decision) and Bodie Minder of Monroe (11-10 decision). He lost to Karver for a second time in the seventh consolation round by a 5-4 decision and then fell in the seventh-place match to Kodee O'Reilly of Goodhue by fall in 4:43.
285: Senior Luke Chamberlain took seventh and won 27 team points. He won his first three matches of the tournament over Kellen Stewart of Eastview (fall in 3:11), Noah Benish of Sparta (fall in 4:48) and Leo Garcia of Ithaca/Weston (fall in 2:41). Chamberlain lost in the quarterfinals against Logan Zschernitz of Spencer/Columbus Catholic by fall in 1:38 but then won his next match over Shea Albrecht of Orono by fall in 0:58. He lost in the seventh consolation round to Liam Fahey of Pulaski (fall in 1:58) and then won the seventh-place match over Jesse Fiers of Holmen by a 3-2 decision.