Lake Mills sends 4 wrestlers to state

Published 9:25 am Monday, February 17, 2014

For the first time since 2003, four Lake Mills wrestlers qualified for the individual state tournament by finishing first or second at the Class 1A District 2 tournament Saturday at Clarion-Goldfield, according to a press release.

“Our six wrestlers all wrestled hard and got after it,” said Lake Mills head coach Alex Brandenburg. “We tell the kids they need to wrestle the same way they have the whole year and be aggressive.”

Noah Irons was the lone champion. He picked up two pins and his 150th career win.

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“Noah took care of business like usual,” Brandenburg said. “He now has one thing on his mind, and it’s a state title.”

The other three qualifiers all placed second. Freshman Michael Olsen got a semifinal pin before losing in the finals.

“Michael wrestled great today by pinning the other sectional’s champion,” Brandenburg said, “Michael has improved so much this year and now is one of the few freshmen ever to qualify for state from Lake Mills.”

Junior Brady Schmidt split his first two matches before winning the wrestleback to qualify.

“Brady wrestled the best match I’ve ever seen him wrestle,” Brandenburg said. “He was more aggressive than I have ever seen him, and it made all his hard work this year pay off.”

The final qualifier for the Bulldogs was junior Andrew Olsen. Like Schmidt, Andrew split his first two matches before wrestling well in the wrestleback.

“Andrew did a great job bouncing back from a tough finals loss,” said Brandenburg. “He was able to take down the Newman kid for the first time in four meetings and then get the quick pin.”

Despite wrestling tough, the day marked the end of the season for two wrestlers. Freshman Slade Sifuentes defeated the tenth-ranked wrestler in the first round, lost a close match to the eighth-ranked kid in the finals and was pinned in his wrestleback.

“Slade wrestled great the first two matches today,” said Brandenburg. “In the wrestleback, he just fell behind early and got away from his style. To do what he did this season as a freshman at 160 pounds is amazing, and there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll get to Des Moines his last three years and place.”

Senior Tyler Mary battled hard but lost both matches and finished fourth.

“Tyler did a very good job for us the past three years on varsity,” said Brandenburg. “He’s always been a team wrestler and had to wrestle kids much bigger than him. I appreciate all that he’s done for our program.”