Blugold Wrestlers Finish Sixth at WIAC Championship
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Competing in the 2013 WIAC Championship, the UW-Eau Claire wrestling team finished in sixth place out of the six teams following four rounds of competition today in the McPhee Physical Education Center.
This year's championship marked the first time in the 58-year history of the event, that the WIAC champion was crowned using a dual-meet format. The six teams earned seeds based on their performances in the regular-season round robin WIAC schedule.
Today, the Blugolds competed in three dual meets. They opened with a 42-3 loss to UW-Stevens Point in the first round and then lost to UW-Platteville 28-9 in the third round. In the final round, the fifth place match, the Blugolds narrowly fell 30-22 to UW-Oshkosh.
Against Stevens Point, Mat Rieckhoff (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./D.C. Everest) was the lone Blugold to win, securing a 3-2 victory at 184 pounds.
Facing Platteville three Blugolds won. Nathaniel Behnke (Fr.-Bruce, Wis.) won at 141 pounds with a 12-1 major decision. Rieckhoff won at 197 pounds, 2-0, and Luke Ortscheid (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./West) picked up a 7-0 win at 285 pounds.
In the fifth place match against Oshkosh, three Blugolds won by forfeit. At 174 pounds, Jacob Hoffstatter (Jr.-Stanley, Wis./Stanley-Boyd) recorded a win with a pin in five minutes.
An All-Sportsmanship Team was chosen for individuals that displayed exemplary sportsmanship throughout the season. It included one member from each school. Receiving the honor from UW-Eau Claire was Matt Koch (Fr.-Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong).
UW-Whitewater won the WIAC Championship, its 14th title in program history and second in a row.
Qualification for the NCAA Division III Championship will be based on regional competition. The Blugolds will compete in a regional hosted by Augsburg College (Minn.) beginning at 9 a.m. March 2.