MADISON – August Peplinski will get another opportunity at the only wrestler who has defeated him this year.
The Wittenberg-Birnamwood junior scored a 5-2 decision over Dodgeville’s Brady Wetter in a 195-pound semifinal Friday at the Kohl Center and now has a chance to win a Division 2 championship.
All he has to do is beat Ramsey Bloy, a week after he lost to the Freedom senior by an 8-3 decision during a sectional meet in Oconto Falls.
“That’s big motivation right there, to end my season against someone who handed me my first loss of the year,” said Peplinski, who improved to 51-1. “I lost (last week) but I’m going to come out as hard as I can.”
Peplinski lost in the state semifinals as a sophomore and is one of three area wrestlers who will be vying for their first state title Saturday.
Mosinee sophomore Josh Ehster advanced with a 6-2 decision over Wisconsin Lutheran’s Tyler Roecker in a Division 2 matchup at 106 pounds, and Tomahawk junior Dane Borchardt moved on with a 7-4 decision over Wisconsin Lutheran’s Bryce Roberts at 220 pounds.
“All that hard work you put in pays off,” Borchardt said. “It’s just a great feeling. I just want to make the most of (the opportunity).”
Ehster (37-7) faces Denmark’s Brock Bergelin, while Borchardt (48-1) is matched against Sheboygan Falls’ Brady Koller.
Edgar senior Devin Lemanski (40-0) scored a 1-0 win over Reedsville’s Elliot Ebert in a Division 3, 170 pound semifinal. He faces Boyceville’s Garrett Jones in the championship.
Lemanski will have the chance to win the second state title of his career. Two years ago as a sophomore he went 45-0 and won the championship at 126 pounds.
“It was a life goal for me when I was younger to be a three-time or four-time state champ. When I came up short freshman year and junior year, it made me want (the title) more,” Lemanski said. “After last year it just felt like I had unfinished business.”
Tomahawk junior Kaleb Kaminski lost a 6-2 decision to Mount Horeb’s Matt Blome in a 195 pound semifinal for his first loss of the season.
Kaminski (48-1) survived his quarterfinal matchup with Chetek-Weyerhuaser/Prairie Farm’s Mitchell Wozniak earlier in the day, winning on an ultimate tie breaker. Kaminski prevented Wozniak from escaping during a final 30-second overtime period to earn the 5-4 decision.
Peplinski’s brother, Alex (46-5) was edged 6-4 by Luck/Frederic’s Tony Britton at 170 pounds, and Mosinee’s Riley Ivaska (34-7) was pinned by Two Rivers’ Chris Yauch at 138 pounds. All three have the opportunity to finish as high as third.
Edgar’s Wiley Dittman (34-5) lost a 8-6 decision to Cumberland’s Ben Stone.
Tomahawk’s Jake Borchardt lost a 5-0 decision to Chetek-Weyerhauser/Prairie Farm’s Cole LaLiberty in the Division 2 285-pound quarterfinals, but rebounded with a pin of Catholic Memorial’s Sam Gromacki in a consolation matchup. Borchardt can finish as high as third today.
Tomahawk’s Zach Urquhart was pinned by Amery’s Hunter Marko in the 126-pound quarterfinals, and the sophomore was eliminated in the consolation rounds as he was pinned by Sheboygan Falls’ Ryan McGinnes.
Edgar freshman Veliko Kochiu lost his quarterfinal matchup at 120 pounds to Johnson Creek’s Adam Becker in a 7-2 decision, and then was eliminated with a 6-2 loss to Cochrane-Fountain City’s Tate Murty in the consolation bracket.
Tim Johnson can be reached at 715-845-0731. Find him on Twitter @timmyjo11