The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Wrestlers pin UW-Oshkosh

    Ben Smidt

    The wrestling team stayed on a roll by registering a 20-12 victory over UW-Oshkosh Friday night at McPhee.

    Sophomore Matt Renkas’ win in the 149-pound match to conclude the meet allowed the Blugolds to escape with a victory against a young Oshkosh team hungry for an upset.

    “We had some guys that really haven’t done too much this year come up big for us,” coach Don Parker said. “It’s kind of disappointing that we lost a couple matches we were ahead in, but that happens.”

    Chris Muller gave the Blugolds an early lead and improved his record to 20-9 with a 13-8 win over Mike Sebasta at 157.

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    Senior Travis Buchholz followed by recording three takedowns en route to an 8-4 win over Jason Gruszynski at 165.

    Oshkosh gained momentum when Mike Kratz and Nick Jasurda defeated sophomores Troy Seubert and Josh Frie at 174 and 184, respectively.

    Junior Adam Kolo got the Blugolds back on track with a 12-4 major-decision victory over Jed Lechleitner at 197, improving his overall record to 15-2.

    Heavyweight sophomore Nick Campbell then defeated Dustin Drexel in overtime, 5-4, in what Parker called one of the meet’s key matches.

    After a double-forfeit at 125, junior Davey Starks moved up to 133 and beat Tim DeMars, 6-1.

    Oshkosh’s Luke Madson defeated freshman Jesse Matchey at 141 by technical fall to keep the Titans’ hopes alive.

    But Renkas came from behind to top Mike Uyeda final match.

    “Renkas fought off his back, came back and got the win,” Parker said. “If he gets pinned, we lose the meet.”

    Starks, ranked eighth in the nation at 125 in the latest Brute-Adidas Div. III National Individual Rankings, said the team should’ve won in a more convincing fashion.

    “We wrestled well, but we should’ve beat Oshkosh by more,” he said. “We came in expecting a win, and that’s what we got out of it.”

    Eau Claire has won three straight dual meets and will host two consecutive meets before the WIAC Championships, which is scheduled for Feb. 17 at River Falls.

    Parker said staying healthy and filling all the weights are two huge factors that will heavily influence how the team finishes the season.

    The Blugolds have no backups at 125, 133 and 141.

    Last season the team took third place in the WIAC, partly because it wasn’t able to fill all the weights.

    Four-time defending champion UW-La Crosse is still considered the top team in the conference this season, but Parker said it’s tough to determine where the rest of the squads will place.

    “The points are going to be so tight from second to fifth, it’s going to be pitiful.”

    Starks believes the team should be able to match last year’s performance.

    “If everyone wrestles as well as they should, we should get third,” Starks said. “We just need to get our conditioning better, but that’s going to come around.”

    Eau Claire has plenty of time to tune up for conference, starting with Saturday’s Blugold Invitational, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

    After that, the Blugolds will stay home to wrap up the regular season against Stevens Point, a team they haven’t yet faced.

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