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Badgers wrestling

Three Badgers place at CKLV



Three Wisconsin wrestlers placed as the Badgers finished tied for 12th as a team at the two-day, 46-team Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Friday and Saturday.

No.17 Evan Wick finished second at 165 pounds, while No.11 Ricky Robertson placed fifth at 184 and 18th-ranked Zander Wick was seventh at 149.

Evan Wick’s journey to the finals included four wins, two over top-10 opponents.

He began Friday with an 11-3 major decision over North Carolina’s Clay Lautt. He followed that performance with an 8-4 triumph over Jonathan Viruet (Brown) to advance to the quarterfinals.

That set the table for, arguably, the redshirt freshman’s most impressive win to date: an 8-4 decision over No.3 Logan Massa of Michigan.

In the semis, Wick bested No.9 Nick Wanzek (Minnesota) by a count of 10-4.

But the finals spelled the end of the road for Wick’s impressive run. He was pinned by No.5 David McFadden of Virginia Tech at the 2:58 mark of the title bout.

Wick’s appearance in the finals marks the third straight year Wisconsin has been represented in a championship macth at this tournament. Connor Medbery won the heavyweight title in Vegas a year ago, while Isaac Jordan took top honors at 165 back in 2015.

Robertson slipped past Bucknell’s Drew Phipps 6-5 in his first match of the tournament. He followed the narrow victory with a 3-1 decision over No.16 Chirstian LaFrogola (Brown)

In the quarterfinals, Robertson was blanked by No.5 Domenic Abounader of Michigan 8-0.

A 5-0 win over Greg Harvey of Pitt kept Robertson in contention for a third-place finish as Saturday’s action began. He kept rolling with a 2-0 victory against Northern Iowa’s Drew Foster.

With an 8-3 loss to Taylor Venz (Nebraska) in the consolation semifinals, Robertson was relegated to the fifth-place match. There, he topped No.14 Steven Schneider (Binghamton) 5-2.

Zander Wick cruised into the quarterfinals with wins by decision and technical fall.

In the quarters, he was edged by No.5 Colton McCrystal of Nebraska 11-10.

With his 8-2 win over Sam Krivus (Virginia) in his first consolation match, Wick assured himself a top-8 finish.

A loss to No.12 Josh Maruca (Arizona State) landed Wick in the seventh-place match where he topped Michael Sprague of American, 7-5.

As a team, the Badgers tied Pitt for 12th with 56 points. That was half a point behind 11th-place American and just 2.5 points behind Stanford for a top-10 spot.

Eli Stickley (141), Ryan Christensen (174) and No.18 Hunter Ritter (197) each advanced to Day 2, but did not place.

Stickley won his first two matches with major decisions over Christian Monserrat (West Virgina) and Michael Longo (Oklahoma) to advance to quarterfinals.

There, he fell to No.7 Chad Red (Nebraska) 7-5.

Stickley was one-and-done and Saturday, losing to No.20 Mason Smith (Central Michigan) by technical fall, 18-3.

Christensen earned a trio of wins in the tournament’s opening day. He began with a 5-1 win over Dylan Urbach (North Dakota State).

In the next round, he was tripped up by No.3 Bo Jordan (Ohio State) 7-2.

But Christensen strung together a pair of 2-0 victories to advance to Day 2. In his first consolation match, he upended Beau Breske (Nebraska). Next, he topped No.10 Drew Hughes of Michigan State.

It was the second time Hughes and Christensen crossed paths on the season. Hughes took the first matchup courtesy of a 4-2 decision in sudden victory. With their season series tied at one apiece, the pair will likely meet again when the Badgers and Spartans face off in a dual on Jan. 21.

Saturday’s opening match proved to be the last of the tournament for Christensen. He dropped a 9-4 decision to No.13 Yoanse Mejias of Oklahoma.

Ritter got off to a hot start on Friday as a pair of 3-2 wins pushed him into the quarterfinals.

But No.1 Kollin Moore of Ohio State put an abrupt end to Ritter’s championship bid with a 20-7 major decision.

On Saturday, Jacob Holschlag (Northern Iowa) pinned Ritter in 4:24 of their consolation match.

Ethan Rotondo (125), Jens Lantz (133) and No.18 Andrew Crone (157) were each eliminated on the first day of the tournament.

Crone was an even .500, posting a 2-2 record on Friday.

He topped Adam Santoro (Cornell) 12-6 in his opening match. Crone then fell to No.19 Taleb Rahmani of Pittsburgh in the second round, 13-0. It was the second time the two of squared off this season, each wrestler has now won one match by decision.

Crone bounced back by pinning Purdue’s Griffin Parriott in 4:44 to advance in consolation action.

However, a 3-1 loss to Oklahoma’s Justin Thomas ended Crone’s tournament on the opening day.

Lantz was 1-2 for the tournament. His lone win was a pin against Austin Iorga (North Idaho College) in 2:26.

Rotondo finished the event 0-2.

The No.20 Badgers (2-0) open Big Ten competition Thursday as they host Maryland (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten) at the UW Field House. With a win, Wisconsin would start its dual season 3-0 for the second consecutive year.

The match begins at 8 p.m. and will air live on Big Ten Network.

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Badgers wrestling

Badgers tab Bono new head wrestling coach



The University of Wisconsin wrestling team has a new head coach.

On Saturday, UW tabbed former South Dakota State front man Chris Bono as the 16th head coach in program history.

The nation-wide coaching search came to a head just hours after Friday night’s application deadline.

Bono was named Big 12 Coach of the Year this past season and coached the first national champion in program history.

In the last six years, Bono has coached five All-Americans. The Jackrabbits have had at least one NCAA qualifier in each season under Bono’s guidance.

Prior to his stint in Brookings, Bono spent three seasons at the helm of Chattanooga. There he coached a pair of All-Americans and 19 NCAA qualifiers. The Mocs won three Southern Conference championships during his tenure.

Bono competed at Iowa State during his college days, qualifying for four NCAA tournaments. He won a national championship at 150 pounds and attained All-American status on three occasions.

In freestyle competition, Bono made the US world team on three occasions. He was a two-time freestyle champion and placed first at the World Cup in both 2002 and 2003.

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Badgers wrestling

Barry Davis resigns as head wrestling coach



Wisconsin wrestling head coach Barry Davis is stepping down at the end of the season.

That announcement came from the UW Athletic Department early Monday afternoon, just hours after the Badgers advanced seven of their 10 wrestlers to the 2018 NCAA Division I National Championships.

The move reportedly comes after a recent meeting between Davis and athletic director Barry Alvarez.

Davis, who has been the head coach at Wisconsin for the last 25 seasons, will remain onboard through the end of next week’s NCAA Tournament.

During his tenure, Davis has coached 26 All-Americans and three NCAA champions. He is the winningest coach in program history, sporting a career dual meet record of 234-172-11. This season, Davis guided the Badgers to a 7-5 dual record and a 4-5 mark in the Big Ten.

The veteran head coach reportedly met with the team this morning to inform them of the circumstances.

A timeline on the search for Davis’ replacement has not been announced. But a UW official confirmed that a national search will take place.

Associate head coach Trevor Brandvold and assistant coach Kyle Ruschell will remain on staff through the end of the spring semester to aid in the transition process.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Badgers wrestling

Wisconsin wrestling upends No. 13 Illinois



A strong team effort lifted the No. 20 Wisconsin wrestling team to a 19-16 win over host No. 13 Illinois in a Big Ten Conference dual Sunday afternoon.

Though each squad one five matches, the Badgers were able to pull the upset due to some timely performances.

Johnny Jimenez got UW (7-3, 4-3 Big Ten) off on the right foot as he upended No. 18 Travis Piotrowski 1-0 in the dual’s opening match at 125 pounds.

It was the first conference win of the season for Jimenez who is now 2-6, 1-3 as an attached wrestler.

The Illini (7-4, 6-3) earned decisions in the next two bouts to grab a 6-3 lead heading to 149 pounds.

That’s where Wisconsin’s Cole Martin recorded a key pin, winning by fall over Eric Barone in 5:15. Martin’s victory gave the Badgers a lead they managed to cling to for the remainder of the day.

Next up, No. 19 Andrew Crone scored his second win over a ranked opponent in a 48-hour span. The redshirt senior topped No. 20 Kyle Langenderfer 8-2 in sudden victory.

Crone is now 3-2 against Langenderfer at the collegiate level, including a 1-1 mark against him this season.

Illinois got back on track with a major decision from second-ranked Isaiah Martinez at 165 pounds. He topped No. 6 Evan Wick 14-6.

The match was the second in a string of three consecutive bouts against ranked opponents for Wick. He is set to face No. 11 Richie Lewis of Rutgers when the Badgers and Scarlet Knights tangle Friday.

Ryan Christensen restored order for Wisconsin with a major decision of his own at 174 pounds.

For the second straight dual, No. 9 Ricky Robertson faced a fellow top-10 foe. This time, he crossed paths with No. 6 Emery Parker.

Parker emerged victorious by a count of 9-4. That win brought the Illini back within three with two matches to go.

Sunday marked the second time the two had met this season. Robertson took the first meeting by a count of 3-1 in sudden victory back in mid-November.

Hunter Ritter pushed UW’s advantage to six points courtesy of a 3-2 decision over Andre Lee.

That meant Illinois needed a pin at heavyweight to tie the match and force the dual meet to be decided by criteria.

For a brief moment, in the latter portion of the second period, it looked like the Illini were about to get their fall.

Deuce Rachal was able to put UW’s Ben Stone on his back. But Stone fought to avoid the pin.

Facing a 7-1 deficit, Stone fought back to cut the deficit to two. While he fell 7-5, Stone’s loss by decision preserved the dual meet win for the Badgers.

Wisconsin returns home to finish out the dual portion of its schedule. The Badgers host No. 16 Rutgers Friday before squaring off with No. 22 Purdue Sunday.


No. 20 Wisconsin 19, No. 13 Illinois 16

125: Johnny Jimenez (UW) dec. No. 18 Travis Piotrowski, 1-0

133: Dylan Duncan (UI) dec. Jens Lantz, 5-2

141: Mike Carr (UI) dec. Eli Stickley, 10-4

149: Cole Martin (UW) p. Eric Barone, 5:15

157: No. 19 Andrew Crone (UW) dec. No. 20 Kyle Langenderfer, 8-2 (SV-1)

165: No. 2 Isaiah Martinez (UI) maj. dec. No. 6 Evan Wick, 14-6

174: Ryan Christensen (UW) maj. dec. David Rojas, 17-4

184: No. 6 Emery Parker (UI) dec. No. 9 Ricky Robertson, 9-4

197: Hunter Ritter (UW) dec. Andre Lee, 3-2

HWT: Deuce Rachal (UI0 dec. Ben Stone, 7-5

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Badgers wrestling

Badgers fall to No. 14 Nebraska



Visiting Nebraska won seven of 10 matches en route to a 24-10 over Wisconsin at the UW Field House Friday night.

The evening’s proceedings began at 165 pounds where No. 12 Isaiah White of Nebraska upended No. 6 Evan Wick by a count of 7-3 to give the Cornhuskers an early 3-0 lead.

UW’s Ryan Christensen (174 pounds) knotted the team score a match later as he edged Beau Breske 3-2.

The back and forth affair continued at 184 pounds. Seventh-ranked Taylor Venz got the better of No. 9 Ricky Robertson in their top-10 showdown. Venz’s 12-7 decision put No. 14 Nebraska (9-4, 7-2 Big Ten) back on top by three.

Wisconsin responded by way of Hunter Ritter who picked up a 9-6 win at 197 pounds to draw the team score back to even.

The Huskers grabbed the lead once and for all when David Jensen scored a pin at heavyweight, giving Nebraska a 12-6 lead at intermission.

That win sparked a five-match winning streak for the Huskers.

No. 19 Andrew Crone halted that run with an 11-3 major decision over No. 8 Tyler Berger. Crone scored 10 of his 13 points in the second period.

No. 20 Wisconsin (6-3, 3-3) heads to Champaign to take on No. 13 Illinois Sunday afternoon.


No. 14 Nebraska 24, No. 20 Wisconsin 10

165: No. 12 Isaiah White (N) dec. No. 6 Evan Wick, 7-3

174: Ryan Christensen (UW) dec. Beau Breske, 3-2

184: No. 7 Taylor Venz (N) dec. No. 9 Ricky Robertson, 12-7

197: Hunter Ritter (UW) dec. Eric Schultz, 9-6

HWT: David Jensen (N) p. Ben Stone, 1:33

125: Mitchell Maginnis (N) dec. Johnny Jimenez, 5-2

133: No. 19 Jason Renteria (N) dec. Jens Lantz, 11-4

141: No. 13 Chad Red Jr. (N) dec. Eli Stickley, 6-3

149: No. 10 Colton McCrystal (N) dec. Cole Martin, 7-4

157: No. 19 Andrew Crone (UW) maj dec. No. 8 Tyler Berger, 11-3


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