By Jason Arndt
Burlington High School wrestlers, once again, had a phenomenal performance at a tournament.
One week removed from winning the Southern Lakes Conference tournament by 80.5 points in Elkhorn, the Demons arrived to the WIAA Division 1 Regional in Wilmot and captured a regional title with 250.5 points, well ahead of second-place Wilmot’s 157.
The Demons advanced 13 wrestlers to individual sectionals set for Saturday in Burlington.
The Demons, who saw three individual title winners, had four runner-ups, five wrestlers who finished in third place and one fourth-place finisher.
Demons coach Jade Gribble, who places an emphasis on trusting the process and effort, said his team’s regional performance left him pleased.
“I am just happy about the strides that we made this week,” he said. “I am proud our kids and I am proud of our program and we hope we can continue.”
In individual sectionals, the top two finishers in each weight class move to the Division 1 WIAA Individual State Tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Capturing regional titles for the Demons were Evan Gill (106), Patrick Skrundz (113) and Grant Otter (220).
After Gill (39-7) opened with a first-round bye, he pinned Bradford’s Ezequiel Dominguez (20-27) in 1:57 during the semifinal, which set him up for a title match with Braxton Storbeck (12-13) from Union Grove.
In the title match, Gill defeated Storbeck on a technical fall (4:47, 16-0).
Patrick Skrundz, meanwhile, cruised in his weight class to secure a championship with back-to-back pins.
Patrick Skrundz, who pinned Wilmot’s Sam Schwebke (4-13) in 0:47 to win the semifinal match, won the title with a pin of Tremper’s Alex Donkor (23-18) in 1:29.
For Otter (37-9), who received a first round bye, he pinned Union Grove’s Willem Riley (13-18) in 1:22 during the semifinal. He secured first-place with a pin of Bradford’s Ethan McClain (31-8) in 3:36.
Brody Toledo (132), Nolan Myszkewicz (145), Austin Skrundz (152) and Kade Boyd (160) captured second place in their respective weight classes.
After Toledo (30-12) won the quarterfinal on a technical fall (4:16, 16-1) against Waterford’s Zane Bluhm (5-17), he defeated Connor Crawford (25-19) from Tremper by pin in 1:38, moving Toledo the first-place match against Union Grove’s Cole Dummer (39-4).
Dummer, however, defeated Toledo on an 11-0 major decision.
Myszkewicz (38-11) defeated Diego Torres (5-9) of Waterford on a technical fall (4:08, 17-1) in the quarterfinal and pinned Indian Trail’s Colin Timmes (8-15) in 0:38 during the semifinal.
After Myszkewicz lost in the first-place match to Bradford’s Corbin Ramos (43-1) on a pin at 3:20, he faced a second-place wrestleback, but secured his placement with a pinfall over Jeremiah Cook (13-18) from Union Grove in 5:50.
Austin Skrundz (40-7) received a first-round bye before he pinned Talib Young (13-14) from Bradford in 1:02.
In the first-place match, Wilmot’s Joel Sullivan edged Austin Skrundz on a tightly contested 7-5 decision, which moved Austin Skrundz to second-place wrestleback with Tremper’s Nathan Johnson (34-8).
But Austin Skrundz defeated Johnson on 9-1 major decision to maintain second place.
Kade Boyd (160), meanwhile, opened with a quarterfinal pin of Logan Hansen (7-34) from Tremper in 1:03 and defeated Waterford’s Bryce Konwent (24-14) on a 12-2 major decision in the semifinal.
Indian Trail’s Luke Hogan (38-10) defeated Boyd on a 12-8 decision.
Finishing third for the Demons were Landon Jacobs (120), Mason Perez (138), Lee Gauger (182), Dane Loppnow (195) and Jordan Moldenhauer (285), while Ben Guerra (126) notched fourth to qualify for individual sectionals.
The Demons’ 13 sectional qualifiers, according to Gribble, will need to trust their abilities to advance to the state tournament.
“Just wrestle what got you here and believe in your abilities,” said Gribble