Middleton's Meicher second at state

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton sophomore Kevin Meicher finished second at state at 138 pounds./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

The 2017 WIAA Division 1 state wrestling championships had just ended. And already, Middleton standout sophomore Kevin Meicher was looking forward, not back.

Meicher, who won a state championship as a freshman, couldn’t pull off a repeat Saturday night at the UW Kohl Center.

Meicher reached the state finals at 138 pounds, but dropped a 4-0 decision to Sun Prairie’s Drew Scharenbrock. Afterwards, Meicher was already plotting how to turn the loss into a positive.

“I think of this as motivation for next year and the year after that and trying to win two more (state titles),” Meicher said.

Meicher and Scharenbrock — rivals in the Big Eight Conference — had met twice during the regular season, with Scharenbrock winning both matches. Scharenbrock then took control of the championship match with a first period takedown and never let Meicher get anything going.

“He wanted to be a four-time state champ,” Middleton coach Kent Weiler said of Meicher. “Last year we said you had to win one to be a four-timer and this year was the same thing, you had to win two. He had a great tournament, a great season. He wrestled well all the way up to this match.

“We wrestle a schedule that puts our guys in front of some of the best guys in the state for a reason. So when we come here, we can be in a position to win. Unfortunately, in a situation like this, there’s always going to be a loser and today we came out on that end of it.”

Meicher, who took second at sectionals the previous week, had a tough path back to the finals. But Meicher put together another stellar tournament to put himself in position to capture another title.

In Thursday’s preliminary round, Meicher pinned Appleton North sophomore Ian Laatsch in 5:39. Meicher executed a first-period takedown for 2-0 lead and extended that advantage to 7-0 in the second period before scoring a pin in the third period.

Then in Thursday’s quarterfinals, Meicher pinned Oak Creek sophomore Joey Colla in 1:59. Meicher took Colla down early, then rode him out and pinned him just before the first-period buzzer.

“My first day went well with two pins,” Meicher said of his performance Thursday. “I came in with a good approach and got it done.”

In the semifinals, Meicher defeated New Richmond senior Bryce Younger 10-6.

“I had beaten him before and knew what to do,” Meicher said of Younger.

That set up a Meicher-Scharenbrock championship match that many had forecasted.

Scharenbrock took an early 2-0 lead with his first period takedown, forcing Meicher to wrestle from behind.

“Every match, you’ve always got to get that first takedown to open up the match,” Scharenbrock said. “That was huge.”

Weiler agreed.

“When he got the first takedown and then he rode us out for the period, that’s pretty significant,” Weiler said. “We can’t react to his score and that’s what happened in that situation.”

After a scoreless second period, Scharenbrock notched another takedown with 25 seconds left in third period to ice the match.

“Since I wrestled him twice I knew what to expect, what he was going to do,” Meicher said. “I thought I was ready, but he was ready, too. It was a good fight.

“I knew it was going to be low-scoring and I wouldn’t do anything different. I tried to work through as many ways as I could to score points. He got on more shots than I did. I didn’t get many.

“I thought I knew what to do against Drew in the finals, but I came up with nothing.”

Meicher finished the year with a 48-5 record and is now 91-8 in his two years at MHS. Scharenbrock, who was fourth at state at 120 pounds in 2016, ended the season 48-2.

“(Scharenbrock) took more shots,” Weiler said. “He was more the aggressor than we were.

“What did Kevin learn from the match? He works hard. He’s a competitor. He knows what he needs to do already. I don’t think he needs to change anything a whole lot. He worked really hard in the offseason and all the way through.

“There’s some heartbreak there. Drew’s a good kid. He’s a good wrestler. He beat us today. He beat us three times. I don’t know where they’ll be in the future in the coming weights. But I’m sure that Kevin’s going to want to get a shot at him if he can.”

Middleton’s Chris Rogers also competed at state, but lost his preliminary round match to Pewaukee junior Eric Halverson, 5-2. Rogers didn't get a wrestleback and finished the season with a 35-8 record.

 

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