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Cheesemakers finish fifth
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RICHLAND CENTER - The Richland Center Invitational was set up like a regional wrestling tournament and Monroe had a banner day.

The Cheesemakers finished fifth at the 16-team invite and had four wrestlers take second place at their weight classes. Kaukauna ran away with the team title, outdistancing Badger North power Baraboo 303.5-221. Weston-Ithaca (211) was third and River Valley finished fourth (191.5), just ahead of Monroe (175). Nine of the 10 Monroe wrestlers placed at the tournament.

"It's the most we have had at this tournament since I started coaching," Monroe coach Jeriamy Jackson said. "We have a lot of things to work on and that final round was a bit disappointing for the guys, but certainly nothing to hang our heads about. We just wrestled in a very tough tournament with a great field and had good opportunities to take home four firsts instead of the four seconds."

The four Cheesemaker wrestlers who finished in second place include sophomore Kevin Klopfenstein at 125 pounds, senior Dylan Schwitz (152), sophomore Trevor Gorr (215) and senior heavyweight Nick Walker.

Klopfenstein went 3-1 for the Cheesemakers. He lost a championship match to Weston-Ithaca's Marcus McCauley 5-1. Schwitz lost a heartbreaker in the title match 2-1 to Kaukauna's Alex DeGroot. Schwitz won his 100th career match in the quarterfinals.

"It's a great accomplishment for any wrestler," Jackson said of 100 career wins.

Klopfenstein had a 1-0 lead on McCauley with about 15 seconds left. Klopfenstein was about to score on a takedown when McCauley did a quick switch underneath and put him on his back for five points.

"The score doesn't really tell the match," Jackson said. "Kevin dominated the entire match up to the last 15 seconds, which was a desperation scramble by McCauley that, unfortunately for us, went his way."

At 215, Gorr lost another tough match in the finals 4-3 to Richland Center's Logan Schmidt, who was a state qualifier last year. Baraboo's Jordan Mukite pinned Walker in the title match in 2:12.

"Trevor was actually in position to score and win this match a couple of times, however he was unable to finish," Jackson said. "Trevor did wrestle great though and had a good tournament. Hopefully, this shows him how close he is to being that elite level wrestler in this weight class.

Monroe sophomore Aaron Hesgard (119) finished fourth after going 3-2 and freshman Ryan Hughes went 4-1 and took fifth. Hesgard lost a third-place match to Lancaster's Kyle Mezera 7-1. Hughes defeated Hillsboro's Max Sebranek 8-1 to win the fifth-place match.

"Aaron Hesgard wrestled great, beating a previously undefeated Baraboo wrestler in the quarterfinals to get into the top four," Jackson said.

Monroe sophomore Dusty Burkhalter finished 2-2 Saturday and took sixth place. Junior Cody Stamm (140) and Caleb Rupnow (145) each took eighth for the Cheesemakers.

Darlington finished 12th as a team (79 points) and Sugar River took 15th (59). Sugar River senior Mike Nolden took second at 189 pounds. Nolden finished 2-1 after getting a bye. He lost a title match to Baraboo's Adair Ebright 13-9. Sugar River's Brooks Hendrickson (140) finished fourth and freshman Young-Chul Vetterli (135) was eighth.

Darlington senior Colton Hackett (189) and senior Brandon Heins (215) each finished fourth for the Redbirds. Hackett lost a third place match to Waunakee's Josh Wipperfurth 4-0. Heins lost a third-place match to Weston-Ithaca's Clayton Jennings 5-1.

Darlington's Tyler Black (171) took fifth, Joey Meylor (125) finished sixth and Matt McDaniel (145) was seventh.