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Timberwolf freshman Britney Petsche places third at state meet

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River Ridge freshman Britney Petsche tries to throw Southern Door’s Hailey Veeser during their third place match at 152 lbs. Petsche would eventually earn a last second 7-6 win. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

By A.J. Gates

 

As the first female wrestler from River Ridge to ever compete at the WIAA State Wrestling Tournament, freshman Britney Petsche knows how to seize the moment and make the most out of her history-making opportunity.

As the 10th seed in the girls Division 3 152-pound state bracket, Petsche made an incredible three-day climb through the bracket until she found herself standing on the podium with a third-place medal around her neck Saturday night at the Kohl Center.

Petsche, who has been wrestling at River Ridge since sixth grade, finished first at this year’s MFL MarMac Girls Scramble, the Lee Griffin Invite in Kickapoo and at the River Ridge open earlier this season.

She entered the state tournament with a record of 15-1, and after her three-day endeavor at the Kohl Center, concluded her freshman season with an impressive record of 20-2.

Her historic run at state began last Thursday afternoon with a convincing 13-6 victory over No. 7 seed Natalie Maceau (21-7) of Milwaukee Ronald Reagan/Salam, which set up a Thursday night meeting with No. 2 seed Kara Kuge (34-3) of Lomira.

Kuge handed Petsche her only defeat at the state tournament, winning by major decision with a 9-1 score. The loss sent the River Ridge freshman into the consolation side of the bracket, while Kuge eventually went on to finish as the D3 152-pound girls state runner-up to Hailie Krueger of New London.

In her first of four consolation matches, Petsche pinned No. 15 seed Lana Borchardt (27-15) of Wausau West in a time of 2:04 during her Friday morning session. The win assured her of at least and eighth-place finish among the field of 16.

On Friday afternoon, Petsche took to the mat against No. 6 seed Madi Zube (28-8) of Viroqua, who had handed Petsche her only loss prior to the state tournament.

Petsche avenged her earlier season loss to Zube with a 6-2 victory at the state tournament, assuring herself a spot on the medal stand and a finish no less than sixth.

Making it to championship Saturday, Petsche made the most of her opportunity, and defeated No. 5 seed Mackenzie Schiedermayer (29-10) of Hortonville by a score of 5-3, sending her into the third-place match against No. 3 seed Hailey Veeser (36-8) of Southern Door.

Petsche and Veeser battled back and forth in their third-place match until the Southern Door senior eventually held a 6-5 lead over Petsche late in the third period.

Petsche found the strength and determination to score a takedown in the final three seconds though, pulling out a thrilling 7-6 last-second victory and laying claim to the third spot on the state medal podium.

Petsche concluded a very impressive freshman season at River Ridge with a record of 20-2, a state medal around her neck and a lifetime of memories that no doubt will fuel her passion for wrestling in the coming years.

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