By Paul Lecker
MADISON – For the second year in a row, the Stratford wrestling team is walking out of the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament with four gold medals.
Sophomores A.J. Schoenfuss and Jeremy Schoenherr, and junior Kamren Bornbach repeated as champions for the Tigers, and junior Tyson Kauffman also captured a Division 3 state title during the tournament finals Saturday night at the Kohl Center.
Schoenherr completed an undefeated season moving to 41-0 by edging Alston Nutter (41-6) of Fennimore 15-13 to win the Division 3 126-pound title. Schoenherr was a 113-pound champ last year.
Schoenherr and Nutter used a flurry of moves to combine for 14 points during the final 1:08 of the match. An escape and takedown by Schoenherr gave him a 15-12 lead with about 20 seconds to go and he was able to hold off Nutter, who earned an escape at the buzzer. Schoenherr is now 82-2 in his career.
Schoenfuss, a 103-pound champion in 2015, won the 120-pound title with a commanding 6-2 win over Riley Blair (25-5) of Fennimore. Schoenfuss finishes the season with a 49-3 record.
Bornbach (48-2) held off Garrett Joles (44-4) of Boyceville 4-3 to win his second-straight 182-pound title for Stratford.
Mason Kauffman, who also on a state title last year, was unable to wrestle in the finals after suffering an undisclosed injury in his semifinal win on Friday night that left him hospitalized. Bradon Roen (30-2) of Riverdale won the 152-pound title by forfeit and Kauffman (51-1) dropped the first match of his career, ending a 99-match win streak.
Tyson Kauffman (48-3) used an escape with 1:08 to go in the third period and added a takedown with 5 seconds left to beat Bennett Gunderson (43-10) of Bonduel 3-0 in the 285-pound championship match to win his first state title.
Stratford freshman Macey Kilty, who was only the second female to ever qualify for the finals at the WIAA state tournament, lost her bid to become a state champion, falling 9-6 to Clear Lake’s Ryan Anderson (41-1).
Kilty (28-5) led 5-0 after the first period but Anderson started the second period in control and had two nearfalls to tie the match.
Anderson earned a reversal midway through the third period and turned that into a two-point nearfall to make it 9-5 before Kilty earned an escape late.
Stratford had two others earn medals earlier Saturday as Jake Drexler took fifth at 113 pounds and David Marquardt finished sixth at 145.
Drexler (47-4) lost a consolation semifinal match to Lucas Schevikhoven of Shoreland Lutheran 5-3. Drexler came back to beat Dylan Bune of Spring Valley/Elmwood 8-7 in the fifth-place match.
Marquardt (37-14) lost a pair of matches at 145 pounds, falling to Austin Engel of Athens 6-1 in a consolation match and to Jordan Blanchard of Coleman 9-2 in the fifth-place match.
Spencer/Columbus sophomore Hunter Luepke ended up taking fifth at 182 pounds in Division 2.
Luepke (42-7) lost a consolation semifinal match to Trent Smith of St. Croix Central 3-1, but came back to beat Brad Kautzer of Valders with a pin in 2:19 to earn his first state tournament medal in two appearances.
For complete state tournament results, go to trackwrestling.com.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
2016 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament
Feb. 25-27, at Kohl Center, Madison
Stratford’s Division 3 Championship Matches
106 pounds: Ryan Anderson (41-1) Clear Lake def. Macey Kilty (28-5) Stratford, 9-6.
120 pounds: A.J. Schoenfuss (49-3) Stratford def. Riley Blair (25-5) Fennimore, 6-2.
126 pounds: Jeremy Schoenherr (41-0) Stratford def. Alston Nutter (41-6) Fennimore, 15-13.
152 pounds: Bradon Roen (30-2) Riverdale def. Mason Kauffman (50-1) Stratford, forfeit.
182 pounds: Kamren Bornbach (48-2) Stratford def. Garrett Joles (44-4) Boyceville, 4-3.
285 pounds: Tyson Kauffman (48-3) Stratford def. Bennett Gunderson (43-10) Bonduel, 3-0.