The University of Wisconsin wrestling team’s season came to a close this past weekend at the NCAA Championships.
Six wrestlers headed to the tournament, each picking up at least one victory, but only two advanced to the quarterfinals.
In his first season as coach, Chris Bono led the Badgers to a 9-6 record in duel-matches this season, including the team’s highest finish at the Midlands Championships since 2010 and the first season with two All-Americans since 2017.
“This team is a bunch of fighters,” Bono said. “We’ve got some really great kids.”
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Wisconsin was represented in the quarterfinals by the two-time All-American, Evan Wick, who weighs in at 165 lbs and his All-American teammate, Trent Hillger, who weighs in at 285 lbs.
Fourth-seeded Wick, a redshirt sophomore, found his first action Saturday where he met No. 7 Isaiah White who was competing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Wick had already matched up against White twice during the regular season and won both matches.
Saturday however, White jumped out to an early 2–1 lead, but a critical hands-to-the-face call at the beginning of the third went against White to tie the match at two.
Wick went on to record a takedown in the final minute and secure a 4–3 win to move on to the third-place match.
That match featured a remake of last year’s third-place match between Lock Haven wrestler Chance Marsteller and Wick.
Wick had won his previous two matches against Marsteller, but did not find the same result over this past weekend.
Marsteller advanced with a 6–5 victory over Wick, putting Wick in fourth place overall for the tournament.
Redshirt freshman No. 7 Hillger found defeat in the seventh-place match against No. 9 Matt Stencel of Central Michigan.
Hillger tried to make a move late in the match, but Stencel countered the move and recorded a takedown as time was expiring to win 3–1.
Hillger placed eighth in his NCAA Tournament debut.
“We didn’t end on the brightest note, but we are leaving here with two All-Americans, which is something to build on and bring back to Madison,” Bono said. “We are excited to start building for next year. The future is bright in Madison, Wisconsin.”