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Monroe grapples to 2nd at Verona
Monroe sophomore Patrick Rielly at 160 pounds pinned Janesville Craigs Xavier Hulbert in 1 minute, 36 seconds Saturday at the Verona Duals. Rielly went 5-0 and helped the Cheesemakers finish 4-1 as a team to take second place. (Duke Goetz Imagery)
VERONA - The Monroe wrestling team finished second at the Verona Duals Saturday.

Monroe went 4-1, and the only loss for the Cheesemakers came to eventual champion Lake Geneva Badger, 45-30. The Cheesemakers edged Badger South Conference counterpart Watertown 40-36 and rolled past Verona 57-15. Monroe knocked off Madison Memorial 54-15 and then smashed the Janesville Craig reserves 72-6.

"To be honest, the competition wasn't as stiff as we have seen," Monroe coach Tom Witt said. "Obviously, Watertown, Badger and us were all really close. It was a good tournament for all of our guys to get some wins."

Monroe sophomore Patrick Rielly, ranked No. 9 at 160 pounds in the Division 2 Wisconsin Wrestling Online state poll, and senior Dempzy Foley (182), ranked 12th, each went 5-0 with five pins. Sophomore teammate Bodie Minder went 4-0 wrestling at 220 and heavyweight and racked up four pins.

Witt said he expected the Cheesemakers' upper weight class wrestlers to dominate.

Monroe senior Sam Kind, ranked No. 6 at 170, sophomore Dakota Wickstrum (106) and Zach Roper (113) each went 4-1. Wickstrum and Roper each had one pin and wins on three forfeits. Monroe sophomore Alex Witt (145), senior Travis Wolf (152) and sophomore Julian Gruber (195) each went 5-2.

In the Cheesemakers' win over Watertown, Monroe got three pins from Rielly, who pinned Roy Canas in 1 minute, 15 seconds; Foley (182), who pinned Miguel Hernandez in 1:05; and Minder (heavyweight), who pinned James Sippel in 2:43. Kind (170) defeated the Goslings' Tanner Nachtigall 12-2. Wickstrum and Roper each won on forfeits.

With Watertown forfeiting the two lowest weight classes, it gave the Cheesemakers 12 points that helped make the difference. Monroe will host Watertown Jan. 26 in the final Badger South Conference dual meet of the regular season.

Witt isn't looking at the Cheesemakers' win over the Goslings in the Verona Duals as a precursor of what may happen in the conference dual later this month.

"We were banged up," Witt said. "Tyson Welsch wasn't feeling well and didn't wrestle. Watertown was missing their guy at 220 who is a pretty good wrestler. We will see come three weeks."

In Monroe's only loss to Badger, the Cheesemakers had three pins from Minder (220), Rielly (160) and Foley (182). Minder pinned Badger's Jimmy Stackpool in 1:07. Rielly pinned Badger's Austin Peck in 3:34, and Foley pinned John Lininger in 47 seconds.

"There wasn't anyone there to push them," Witt said of Rielly and Foley.

Monroe will wrestle a conference dual match at Monona Grove Thursday and will then host Stoughton in a rescheduled dual meet Friday. Stoughton is ranked No. 1 in Division 1.

"Hopefully, we will get healthy," Witt said.