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Cejka and Thiry both place first as PdC Wrestling repeats as runner-up at SWAL-SWC Clash

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Prairie’s Irelynd Cejka puts the squeeze on Darlington/Black Hawk’s Kaylee Russell as she waits for the referee to call the pin. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Bryce Lenzendorf (top) tries to break free from Boscobel’s Job Wetter. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Jack MacEachern earns a pin in 4:29 over Cuba City/Benton/Southwestern’s Fox Austin in their 190 pound quarterfinal match. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Freshman Brady Baumgartner fights valiantly against Darlington/Black Hawk’s Eli Aird in their seventh place match at 120 pounds. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Blake Thiry works on Mineral Point’s Mac Busser during their semifinal match at 215 pounds. Thiry would win by pin in 3:49. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

By Derick Kelly

 

The annual SWAL-SWC Clash Conference Tournament was held at Mineral Point High School on Saturday, Feb. 3 and like in years past, it featured some of the best wrestling in the state. According to wiwrestle.com, the tournament featured 44 ranked wrestlers, 33 wrestlers ranked in the top 6 of their weight class, and seven wrestlers who are ranked first in their weight class. This year the two conferences even started their own Girls Clash Tournament with nine of the thirteen teams sending at least one female wrestler to the event.

Getting the weekend started for Prairie Wrestling on Friday night at Dodgeville High School was junior Irelynd Cejka, who went 2-0 in the 138 pound weight class to become Prairie’s first female Clash Champion.

First up for Cejka was Lancaster’s Kashailya Wiest who Cejka defeated by pinfall in 3:57. Awaiting for Cejka in round two was Darlington/Black Hawk’s Kaylee Russell. This match did not start out hot for Cejka as Russell jumped out to a 7-0 lead early in the second period before Cejka used a reversal to make the score 7-2 and eventually get Russell turned to her back for the pin in 3:14.

Russell defeated Wiest by a score of 13-6 in the third round, but Cejka had clinched first place with her pin of Russell. By earning 20 points thanks to her two pins, Cejka earned Prairie du Chien an eighth place finish in the Girls Clash despite having only one wrestler, finishing 4 points ahead of Richland Center.

It was the boys turn to compete on Saturday at Mineral Point High School. Prairie Wrestling had a strong morning session in which 10 of their 13 wrestlers reached the semifinal round. The afternoon session was not as kind for the Hawks as they went 2-8 in semifinal matches, with Hunter Reid (106) and Blake Thiry (215) earning the two wins during the round for the Hawks. Falling short in the semifinals for Prairie were Porter Kossman (113), Mason Hird (126), Drake Ingham (132), Jackson Perkins (150), Bryce Lenzendorf (157), Jeremiah Avery (165), Jack MacEachern (190), and Jack Simmons (285). Also competing for the Hawks during the day was Darian Jackson at 175 pounds.

Dodgeville’s Shane Rochon defeated Reid by major decision 13-3 in the 106 pound championship match. Thiry pinned Iowa-Grant/Highland’s Bode Brokopp in 1:08 in the finals at 215 pounds to bring home his second straight SWAL-SWC Clash Championship, having placed first at 195 pounds last season.

Placing third for the Hawks were Kossman, Hird, and Ingham, while Perkins, Lenzendorf, Avery, MacEachern, and Simmons each placed fourth. Drew Hird was seventh and Brady Baumgartner eighth to round things out for the Hawks. During the Junior Varsity tournament, Brylee Brewer (120 pounds) and Carter Simmons (215 pounds) each placed second.

The postseason begins next Saturday, Feb. 10 as the Hawks travel to Richland Center to compete in the Division Two Super Regional Meet. The top four finishers in each weight class qualify for Sectional Meet at Wisconsin Dells on Saturday, Feb. 17, with the top two teams advancing to the Team Sectional Meet at River Valley on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

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