Blugolds GO 1-2 at UW-W Border Brawl

Three UW-Eau Claire wrestlers went 3-0 in competition over the weekend

Story by Austin Mai, Staff Writer

The UW-Eau Claire wrestling team went 1-2 in the 2013 UW-Whitewater Border Brawls on Saturday.  The Blugolds were defeated by Concordia University and North Central (Ill.) but ended their day with a win against Manchester (Ind.).

“I like competition outside of Wisconsin. We get to see kids that we might see at nationals,” sophomore Nathaniel Behnke said. “A lot of these teams have different styles.”

Behnke said other states have wrestlers at his weight who provide a tougher match in preparation for a shot at Nationals.

“Those are the kids I want to see,” Behnke said. “They only make me better.”

In the first brawl against Concordia, wrestling at 141 pounds, Behnke won by major decision over Josh Cursio, 12-3.

At 184 pounds, senior Luke Ortscheid won by major decision over Thomas Schmidt, 10-2.

“Getting towards this time of year, all matchups are starting to count,” Ortscheid said. “Coming down to regionals, you want to get on a roll.”

To finish against Concordia, at 285 pounds, freshman Justin Karkula won by decision over Seth Kilkelly, 4-2.

Eau Claire was defeated 17-30 overall. Next for the Blugolds were the North Central Cardinals.

Behnke won by major decision over Andrew Rodawold, 14-0.

At 149 pounds, senior Ryan Seidler won by decision over Nathan Segal, 3-1.

At 174 pounds, freshman Josh Cormican defeated Eric Kirkman with a decision of 7-2.

The Blugolds last individual win against North Central came courtesy of Ortscheid winning by decision over Vince Pizzo, 9-4.

But yet again, Eau Claire ended with a 13-33 loss. Despite being down 0-2,  Eau Claire’s moral laid the groundwork for personal wins.

“Our team was happy,” Behnke said. “We were doing well as a team and wrestling like we can.”

The Blugolds would conclude their time at the 2013 UW-W Border Brawls by taking on Manchester.

Behnke won by major decision over Josh Juarez, 13-0. He was a perfect 3-0 on the day.

“This tournament brought up my confidence,” he said. “It set the standard for how I want to wrestle for the rest of this season.”

Behnke said he’s been struggling with losses lately and last weekend provided the reassurance of his ability to contend with great competition.

He said he looks forward to this weekend’s invitational after his success at the UW-W Border Brawl.

Seidler defeated Manchester’s Bryce Roberts by technical fall, 15-0. He was also perfect at the Border Brawls, including a forfeit victory, going 3-0.

Cormican won by fall against Logan Floor, pinning his opponent at 2:25.

Finishing the day perfect at 3-0 as well, Ortscheid defeated Brian Clark by fall at 1:46.

“I’ve been wrestling well and went into it feeling pretty confident,” Ortscheid said. “As a senior, you realize that your career for the most part is coming to a close in the next month or two. I think it makes you focus harder on every match and every day in the practice room.”

Eau Claire will compete this weekend at the Pete Willson Invitational hosted by Wheaton College (Ill.).