HUDSON, Wis.-- The Hudson Raider wrestling team has faced some stiff competition over the holiday break, including last weekend's Bi-State Classic in La Crosse.
But the weekend before, the Raiders had a strong showing at the Fond du Lac Invitational.
The sixth-ranked Raiders had seven wrestlers place in the top six in their weight classes to post a seventh place finish at the 24-team event with 141 points. Fourth-ranked Burlington took the team title with 236 and 11th-ranked Stevens Point was second with 205 while No. 13 Bay Port was third with 193.5.
Seven of the 24 teams in the tournament field were ranked in one of Wisconsin’s three divisions and three were ranked among the top four in the state.
“This event continues to be one of, if not the, toughest single-day tournament in Wisconsin,” Hudson coach Chris Hansen said. “We have been going to this event for a long time and there is never a free ride for anyone.”
Junior captain Peter Hansen became just the sixth Hudson wrestler to reach the finals two different times by earning a spot in the 160-pound title bout. Unfortunately for Hansen he faced the same opponent he lost to last year-- No. 1-ranked Aiden Vandenbush of Random Lake. For the second straight year, Vandenbush came out on top with a 9-2 decision.
“No Hudson wrestler has made the finals three times and Peter put himself in position to do that next season,” Coach Hansen noted.
A pair of Raider seniors placed fourth with Jacob Fanning at 120 pounds, and Leo Draveling at 152 each winning their first two matches and losing their next two. Fanning lost his third place match to eighth-ranked Colton Kator of Freedom while Draveling lost to No. 3 Isaac Ortegon of Fond du Lac.
AJ Henn (106), Jacob Hansen (170), and Hanke Gierke (182) all placed fifth while Ben Steltzner (195) finished sixth.
Coach Hansen said he was very pleased with the effort of Hudson’s fifth place finishers.
“I am not happy they took fifth as they all could have done better,” he said. “But I am extremely pleased how each of them recovered and worked very hard for the next best thing once they had been beaten. That is not always the easiest thing to do.”