Becoming an individual state champion was always high up on the goals sheet for Oshkosh West wrestler Nick Osowski.
On Thursday at the Kohl Center in Madison, that goal became a little more reachable.
Osowski got two wins over Holmen’s Noah Risch and Badger’s Tayler Hildebrandt to advance to the semifinals at 195 pounds tonight at the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Meet.
“It feels great,” Osowski said. “I’m kind of taking it match by match and wasn’t really thinking about it being a quarterfinal, it was just the next guy I got to beat.”
Both wins were very similar in nature, as he picked up the needed points in the third period to propel him to victory in close matches.
Against Risch, Osowski scored a reversal in the final period which vaulted him to a 2-1 decision.
Against Hildebrandt, he did much the same, scoring an escape and then a takedown just seconds later in the third period to secure the points needed in a 3-2 decision.
Even though the matches were close, it was all a calcuated effort from the Wildcats standout.
“Well I knew something about both of the guys going into the matches,” Osowski said. “I knew it was going to be close and both are good at keeping close. I had to take my points when I could get them.
“In the third (period), I knew in both matches I was in good position. Just played it smart.”
Osowski now moves on to face Rhinelander’s Connor Johnson in the semifinals tonight. But even with his goal two wins away, he’s not changing his view.
“It’s kind of exciting but in the same respect I have to view it as it’s just the next match,” he said. “It’s just another tournament.”
He will be joined tomorrow by teammate Quincy Stokes. Stokes lost his first-round match to Onconomowoc’s Michael Mohr 4-1 at 285 pounds, with some of those points being technical points against Stokes.
Mohr would win his quarterfinal match, moving Stokes into the consolation bracket where he will face Martin Flemming from Milwaukee Hamilton this morning.
West coach J.R. Zemke is glad Stokes gets another shot at it.
“He wrestled great in a close match,” he said. “We feel he was just inches away from being in the semifinals, too. Hopefully he wrestles a whole bunch of matches tomorrow.”
The other Oshkosh West qualifier, Cole Yoder, lost his first-round match to Arrowhead’s Mitch Berenz by pin. Berenz lost in the quarterfinals, ending Yoder’s season.
There were also two 195-pounders in the late session on Thursday in Lourdes’ John Fehring and Ripon’s Brady Jacobson.
However, both lost, ending their seasons. Fehring fell to Brandon Wilcox of Northwood/Solon Springs 6-0 in his first-round match in Division 3.
Jacobson’s was a little closer, losing a heartbreaker, 5-4, against Ellsworth’s Jacob Murphy in Division 2, in which Jacobson held a late lead on a takedown, but was then reversed by Murphy just seconds later.
Not all of the smaller division area wrestlers are done. Lourdes Academy’s Austin Loos will take to the mat today in Division 3 at 126 pounds against Jackson Margis from Coleman, who won his first-round match on Thursday.