Coleman wrestling

Members of the Coleman wrestling team pose with their second-place trophy at the WIAA team state finals, Saturday at Wausau West High School.

WAUSAU, Wis.—The Coleman wrestling team was in attendance for the WIAA Division 3 team state tournament at Wausau West High School on Saturday, and in a nailbiter of a championship match the Cougars fell just short of repeating as state champions.

After demolishing Cadott 46-18 in the semifinals where Coleman won 11 of the 14 matches, all that stood in the way of another state title was Mineral Point in the finals.

Mineral Point took the first three matches as Reid Spurley won by technical fall over John Nowak at 120-pounds, Tarrin Riley (126) pinned Brady Gross in 44 seconds and Trapper Nafzger won by 4-2 decision over Chance Gruber (132) to hold a 14-0 lead.

The Cougars were not about to go down without a fight as Will Bieber (138) got his team on the baord by pinning Ross Lindsey in 4:09 and Karson Casper (145) followed suit with a pin of his own over Jimmy Tibbits in 5:25 to cut the deficit to 14-12.

At 152, Owen Kinzinger defeated Hayden Bakken by 7-2 decision and at 160, Peter Kuchta pinned Bo Hanson in 2:43 as Coleman now held a 21-14 advantage with seven matches remaining.

Nolan Springer got Mineral Point off the schneid with a pin of Cole Klimek (170) in 1:16 and Mason Hughes kept the pins rolling at 182 against Tyler Blanchard in 1:52 before MItch Aurit defeated Coby DenRuyter (195) by 2-1 decision.

Trailing 29-21, Coleman’s Brody Zahn (220) won a 6-2 decision over Daniel Nordstrom for three team points and Spencer Karban brought his team within one (29-28) with a major decision victory over Will Straka at 285. Cameron Kimmell (106) then won by major decision over Joey Robinson to give Coleman a 32-29 lead heading into the final match.

In the last match at 113, Lucas Sullivan defeated Ray LeMieux by major decision for four team points to seal a 33-32 victory for Mineral Point.

“I’m very proud of what this team accomplished this year, especially in a year that unlike any other with all of the restrictions put in front of us,” Coleman coach Kevin Casper said. “I thought our kids wrestled amazing in the semifinals against a very good Cadott team, and the championship match was unbelievable between two top programs who both wanted it as bad as the other. We’re very proud of our team and for making it to the state finals. Ending up second is still a great accomplishment.”