Meicher, Huff qualify for state

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By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton's Dion Huff qualified for the state wrestling tournament for the first time./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Kevin Meicher knows the bright lights and the full houses that await him better than anyone.

For Dion Huff, the chaos and the commotion will all be new.

Both Middleton wrestlers can’t wait to get a taste of the craziness.

Meicher and Huff both won championships in their weight classes at last Saturday’s WIAA Division 1 Waunakee Sectional. Now, Huff and Meicher have earned trips to the state tournament, which begins Thursday at the UW Kohl Center.

“It’s going to be great,” Huff said after winning a regional title at 195 pounds. “The crowd’s going to be amazing. It’s just a great atmosphere. I’m really excited about that.

“I’ve been there to watch pretty much every year. I can’t wait to compete there. It will be fun having another teammate there and sharing the experience. It’s going to be great.”

This, of course, is familiar territory for Meicher.

Middleton’s junior standout won a state title at 126 pounds as a freshman in 2016. Meicher then finished second at 138 pounds in 2017.

Meicher jumped to 152 pounds this year and is currently 43-0. Meicher is also the top-ranked 152-pounder in Division 1 in the wiwrestling.com on-line poll and is trying to become the first undefeated wrestler in Middleton history.

“This year has been as much fun competing as the last two years,” Meicher said after winning a sectional title. “But definitely there was a lot of motivation this year coming off that loss (in the state finals).”

Meicher received a first-round bye in the sectional quarterfinals when Holmen junior Wyatt McCutchen forfeited due to an illness. Meicher then pinned Sparta senior David Hayes in 3:59 in the semifinals.

Meicher then defeated Sauk Prairie’s Bryant Schaaf in the sectional finals, 7-0, to earn his third straight state tournament berth.

“Kevin has been a pleasure to coach this year,” Middleton coach Kent Weiler said. “We are excited to get to the Kohl Center and win the next match.”

Meicher, who went 43-3 as a freshman and 46-5 last year, carries a 132-8 career record back to state.

Meicher will meet Oconomowoc junior Keagan Lazar (31-7) in a first round match Thursday at 3 p.m. The quarterfinals would be Thursday evening, the semifinals are Friday at approximately 7 p.m., and the finals would be Saturday at roughly 5 p.m.

“I just go out there and wrestle my guy like it’s any other guy,” Meicher said of his strategy. “I just try to wrestle my match and not wrestle his match.”

Huff (33-8) earned his first state berth with a 7-2 decision over Sauk Prairie’s Marcus Hankins at 195 in the finals. Huff pinned Sparta freshman Madden Connelly in 4:25 in the quarterfinals and won an 18-4 major decision over Holmen senior Kyle Burkhardt in the semifinals.

Huff was a Big Eight Conference runner-up and also won the regional title, defeating Sauk Prairie’s Marcus Hankins.

“I got third at sectionals last year,” Huff said. “That definitely motivated me. Coming in this year, I decided I had to top the place I got last year and put in a lot of work.”

Huff will meet Kettle Moraine’s Josh Nowak (44-2) — the No. 4 ranked wrestler at 195 — in Thursday’s first round match.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Huff said. “All of the hard work has paid off.”

Meicher was extremely pleased for Huff, as well.

“I’m proud of him,” Meicher said. “I knew he would be here some day and to make it senior year is good for him.”

Middleton’s Joseph Hoffman finished fourth at sectionals at 138 pounds and missed out on a trip to state.

Hoffman opened with a 12-6 win over Dylan Casey of Portage, but then fell to Pablo Ramirez of Baraboo, 9-2. In the third place match, Ty Miller of Waunakee defeated Hoffman, 12-8.

Middleton’s Jeremiah Huff (145), Remington Lockwood (160), Eliot Zanon (170) and Gavin Adler (220) all lost their first matches at sectionals.

But now, all attention turns to Meicher and Dion Huff.

“My expectation for the both of them is to not worry about winning or losing, just keep scoring points and perform,” Weiler said. “They are trusting the process and have done the work — chopped wood and carried water, so to speak — throughout the entire season. On Thursday they continue to reap the rewards of everything they have done up until this point.”

 

138

Joseph Hoffman (25-15) placed 4th and scored 6.00 team points.

  • Championship Bracket - Joseph Hoffman (Middleton) 25-15 won by decision over Dylan Casey (Portage) 29-14 (Dec 12-6)
  • Championship Bracket - Pablo Ramirez (Baraboo) 44-6 won by decision over Joseph Hoffman (Middleton) 25-15 (Dec 9-2)
  • 3rd Place Match - Ty Miller (Waunakee) 26-18 won by decision over Joseph Hoffman (Middleton) 25-15 (Dec 12-8)

145

Jeremiah Huff (17-8) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.

  • Championship Bracket - Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 39-3 won by major decision over Jeremiah Huff (Middleton) 17-8 (MD 12-0)

152

Kevin Meicher (43-0) placed 1st and scored 22.00 team points.

  • Championship Bracket - Kevin Meicher (Middleton) 43-0 received a bye Forfeit Forfeit (Holmen) 0-1 (Bye)
  • Championship Bracket - Kevin Meicher (Middleton) 43-0 won by fall over David Hayes (Sparta) 35-11 (Fall 3:59)
  • 1st Place Match - Kevin Meicher (Middleton) 43-0 won by decision over Bryant Schaaf (Sauk Prairie) 24-9 (Dec 7-0)

160

Remington Lockwood (21-16) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.

  • Championship Bracket - Marques Fritsche (Tomah) 33-13 won by fall over Remington Lockwood (Middleton) 21-16 (Fall 0:45)

170

Elliot Zanon (19-15) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.

  • Championship Bracket - Hayden Krein (Sparta) 40-6 won by tech fall over Elliot Zanon (Middleton) 19-15 (TF-1.5 2:41 (15-0))

195

Dion Huff (33-8) placed 1st and scored 21.00 team points.

  • Championship Bracket - Dion Huff (Middleton) 33-8 won by fall over Madden Connelly (Sparta) 8-11 (Fall 4:25)
  • Championship Bracket - Dion Huff (Middleton) 33-8 won by major decision over Kyle Burkhardt (Holmen) 35-16 (MD 18-4)
  • 1st Place Match - Dion Huff (Middleton) 33-8 won by decision over Marcus Hankins (Sauk Prairie) 31-17 (Dec 7-2)

220

Gavin Adler (22-13) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.

  • Championship Bracket - Angel Burkhalter (Tomah) 27-20 won in sudden victory - 1 over Gavin Adler (Middleton) 22-13 (SV-1 13-9)

 

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