UWEC wrestling team has its first match of the season

Wrestling team has two second-place winners at the first match of the season
“I think I’m not exaggerating when I say this is probably one of the most promising groups we’ve had in a decade,” third-year wrestler Zach Sato said. (Photo by Shane Opatz, UWEC)
“I think I’m not exaggerating when I say this is probably one of the most promising groups we’ve had in a decade,” third-year wrestler Zach Sato said. (Photo by Shane Opatz, UWEC)

On Nov. 4, 2023, the UW-Eau Claire wrestling team had their first meet against Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, Minnesota. 

Overall the team had 12 wrestlers place.

Wrestlers Travis Moelter and Zander Church, both first-year students, placed second.

Coach Tim Fader said that he was excited for the season, as the team is ranked eighth in the country, and that they have high hopes for the season. 

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“We’ve had record-setting seasons the last couple of years,” Fader said. “Every year has been better than the one before. I want to see that continue.

Fader said there were a number of positives that had happened on Saturday, including the amount of wrestlers the team had and overall excitement.

“The number of wrestlers that we had entered in the tournament, we have a lot of wrestlers,” Fader said. “We had a lot of energy and enthusiasm with our wrestling program right now, and as a coach, that is always exciting to see.” 

Tyler Fleetwood, a fourth-year student, said he thought the team did really well in their first match of the season.

“I think our team wrestled really well,” Fleetwood said. “The young guys showed a lot of fight, which is what the coaches are looking for. Overall we did really well this weekend.”

Zach Sato, a third-year student, said that the newcomers are a promising group of people.

“I think I’m not exaggerating when I say this is probably one of the most promising groups we’ve had in a decade,” Sato said. “Newcomers make newcomer mistakes, and there are some little things we are gonna learn from.”

Landon Church, a first-year student, said that he thought the team had good positioning while on the mats.

“I think basically everything went well,” Church said. “The turnouts were good and we had good positioning.”

Sato said that the match was one of the best the team had in his time on the team.

“I think just in general, at least in my time here, the best performance we’ve had,” Sato said.

Fleetwood said that the team needs to keep fighting and keep their effort up 100% to maintain their good start to the season.

“I think just keeping our fight and effort up 100%,” Fleetwood said. “That’s all we can ask of our guys and if they fight every match and keep their effort up, the wins are gonna come.”

Sato said that for himself this season, he wants to focus on being more outcome-oriented.

“I think personally I’m trying to work on enjoying the process more than the progress,” Sato said. “Being outcome-oriented is good for post-season, but right now it’s good to focus on the day-to-day.”

Church said that overall the team needs to work on conditioning themselves for their next match.

“We need to work on conditioning in my opinion, a lot of us were tired,” Church said.

Fleetwood said he is excited to see the team grow while looking ahead at the season.

“Just to see this team grow and where we can be at the end of the year,” Fleetwood said. “I’m really excited to see these young guys develop and see where this team can go.”

Sato said he is excited to see how the season will turn out, as they have a loaded schedule and that they can only go up from here.

“I think our schedule is big this year, and I think every year is a breakout year,” Sato said. “Starting the season ranked number eight in the country is big, and we can only go up from there.”

Church said he is looking forward to getting better and competing in his freshman year.

“I look forward to just competing and getting better,” Church said. “Especially my freshman year.”

Fader said he is excited for the team’s first home meet on Nov. 11 against Johnson and Wales.

“They are the fourth-ranked school in the country and we’re number eight in the pre-season ranking,” Fader said. “It’s a really good starting point for us, while also being military appreciation night.”

More information on the team’s schedule can be found on Blugold Athletics


Boggess can be reached at [email protected].

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