TONY – The final hours of a lengthy wait had little anxiety.
For the first time since forming as a co-op, the Luck-Frederic-Grantsburg-Siren wrestling team earned a Lakeland Conference title a week after securing the Lakeland’s dual-meet championship. LFGS ended with 187.5 points and four 1st-place finishers to top Clear Lake (129.5) and Unity (120) in the team standings.
“The title was never in doubt,” LFGS coach Chris Bartlett said. “Each school in the co-op had a kid who took 1st-place, which showed each school contributed to the championship.”
Taedon Nichols (120), Landyn Johnson (138), Brad Lucas (195) and Dominic Caroon (220) had 1st-place finishes for LFGS. In his division final, Nichols claimed a 4-2 decision over Tyler Schunck (Shell Lake) for LFGS. Lucas did the same in his division, needing just a pin of Saint Mortenson (Bruce) in 3:13 to take the 1st-place match.
Johnson won two matches by pin – a win over Benjamin Coen (Shell Lake) in 44 seconds and another over Braeden Person (Cornell-Gilman-Lake Holcombe) in 3:49. His undefeated day gave Johnson a triple-digit career win total.
“(Johnson) earned his 100th win in the 1st-place match (and) he is only the 10th wrestler from all four schools to get 100 wins,” Bartlett said. “It is a great accomplishment. He was the heavy favorite for the weight class and he showed it; he pinned his way through the tournament.”
Caroon also won his division by getting two wins by pin; he defeated Morgan Smith (Flambeau) in 1:36 and Seth Symond (Shell Lake) in 2:32. While he wasn’t in the division he competed in during most of the season, Caroon still claimed a 1st-place finish.
“We decided to move Dom up to 220 to get him more matches and also to help the team,” Bartlett said. “He was giving-up some weight (and) he has been out most of the second half of the season; he needed to knockoff some rust.”
Nolan Johnson (106), Cory Popham (120) and Isaac Quimby (160) earned 2nd-place finishes for LFGS; Gavin Fredericks (145), Logan Czech (152) and Aiden Burkman (170) added 3rd-place finishes.
LFGS now prepares for this Saturday’s Division 2 regional at Somerset.
“If you ask me, it is one of the toughest regionals in the state,” Bartlett said. “There are seven schools and we all have good wrestlers. I can see a handful making it through and giving themselves a shot to go to the state final.”
Carter Melton earned a conference title in his division and led the Rails to a tie for eighth in the Heart O’ North Conference finale on Saturday.
Spooner-Webster finished with 99 points, tying Cumberland in the team standings while St. Croix Falls won the team title with 218.5 points. Northwestern was second with 205 and Ashland was third with 145.
Melton opened with a win by pin over Trevor Derick (Superior) in 1:55 and secured a spot in the 1st-place match by defeating Isaac Nichols (Northwestern) 10-8 in the semifinal. Melton’s final match of the day was his quickest, pinning Calvin Mansheim (Hayward) in 40 seconds.
Brandon Meister (152) and Ian Perrine (285) had 4th-place finishes for Spooner-Webster, which goes to the Division 2 regional at Ashland this Saturday.