Blugold Wrestlers Finish Sixth at WIAC Championship

LA CROSSE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire wrestling team finished in sixth place at the 2014 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championship, hosted by UW-La Crosse, today.

Results | WIAC Championship Website

Eau Claire opened the day against UW-Oshkosh with a 31-18 loss and followed with a 31-18 loss to UW-Platteville in the fifth-place match.

Three Blugolds were undefeated for the day.

At 141 pounds, Nathaniel Behnke (So.-Bruce, Wis.) opened the day with a pin over Oshkosh's Joe Pelkey in 50 seconds, his 10th pin this season and second fastest in his career. He followed with a 20-4 win over Platteville's Mason Bohm. For the season, Behnke now holds a 33-9 record.

Ryan Seidler (Sr.-Adams, Wis./Adams-Friendship) also went undefeated, wrestling at 149 pounds. He started the day with a 16-0 victory over Oshkosh's Hunter Mullock and then won 12-3 against Platteville's Emeric Williams. He is now 26-7 this year.

Luke Ortscheid (Sr.-Wausau, Wis./West) was the other Blugold to win both of his matches today at 197 pounds. He began the day with a 1-0 victory over Oshkosh's Tyler Wetenkamp and closed the day with a 4-2 victory over Bryant Etherton from UW-Platteville. Ortscheid now holds a 25-15 record on the season.

Other victories from the day for Eau Claire came at 285 pounds as Justin Karkula (Fr.-Oshkosh, Wis./West) won with a pin in 39 seconds over Platteville's Brandon Boyle, the sixth fastest pin for any Blugold this season, and from Josh Cormican (Fr.-Boyceville, Wis.) as he won his opening 184-pound match against Oshkosh's Korey Kleinhans with a score of 13-4.

This is the second year in a row the Blugolds finished in sixth place. UW-Whitewater won the WIAC Championship for the 15th time overall and third straight year.

At the conclusion of the championship, Ortscheid was announced as the WIAC's Max Sparger Scholar-Athlete, the second Blugold in school history to be recognized with the honor and first since the 2002-03 season. Additionally, Behnke was named to the All-Sportsmanship Team.

Next up the Blugolds will compete at the NCAA Division III West Regional, hosted by Augsburg College (Minn.), on March 1 beginning at 9 a.m.

-KM-