Mason Reinhardt simply wanted to win a state title, but did much more in the process.
Devin Lemanski’s goal was to add another championship to the one he claimed as a sophomore.
Both senior wrestlers, Reinhardt from Merrill and Lemanski of Edgar, accomplished their goals of becoming state champions. Reinhardt became the Bluejays’ 16th state champ when he won the Division 1 crown at 170, while Lemanski was the fifth Wildcat to win two championships, winning the D3 title at 170 pounds.
For their outstanding seasons on the mat, Reinhardt and Lemanski have been named Gannett Central Wisconsin Media co-wrestlers of the year.
A four-time state qualifier, Reinhardt progressed each year. He placed fifth at 145 pounds as a freshman, then was third and second at 160 pounds before making the jump to 170 this season.
Reinhardt dominated his way to the state finals by recording a pin and two major decisions, which put him on a collision course against two-time champ Beau Breske from Hartford. Breske won at 152 pounds as a freshman and 170 as a sophomore and had a winning streak of more than 100 matches entering the championship.
“I went at it like any other match,” Reinhardt said. “I didn’t do anything different to prepare and I just tried to ignore the fact that I was wrestling Beau Breske. I wanted to wrestle my style.”
Reinhardt did that and more. Down 4-2 in the third period, the Merrill wrestler’s unrelenting pressure translated into three stalling calls and two points to tie the match at 4-4 at the end of regulation.
Neither wrestler scored in the one minute sudden victory overtime period. That set up the two 30-second overtime periods. Reinhardt rode Breske for the 30 seconds. Reinhardt escaped in a matter of seconds and held off Breske’s takedown attempts to win 5-4.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling of winning a state championship,” Reinhardt said. “It’s so crazy and you have such an adrenaline rush. The whole arena erupted when I won and you can’t get a feeling like that anywhere else.”
Reinhardt is the only Wisconsin wrestler to have beaten Breske in his three-year prep career and his father, Kent, had a corner chair to witness the match.
“Having my dad in my corner meant the world to me,” Reinhardt said. “He’s coached me since I was a little kid and to have him right there going through it with me was an awesome feeling.”
Added Merrill coach Scott Arneson, “His goal all year was to win a state title, not beat any particular wrestler. He ended up doing what not a lot of people thought would happen; beat Beau Breske.”
Reinhardt concluded his high school career with a 186-17 record. His wins total is a career best for the Merrill program and his 109 pins are second to only Tyler Schmidt’s 114. He will join Schmidt at the University of Wisconsin in the fall and wrestle for the Badgers.
Lemanski is also a four-time medalist. In addition to his two state titles, he placed third at 106 pounds as a freshman and finished sixth his junior season at 145.
Both of his championship seasons he went undefeated, 45-0 as a sophomore at 126 pounds and 41-0 this year at 170. At the state tournament, he won his quarterfinal match by pin and then eked out a 1-0 decision in the semifinals over Elliott Ebert of Reedsville. In the finals, he dismantled Boyceville freshman Garrett Joles by technical fall in 5 minutes, 28 seconds (18-2).
“When Devin went out and got the first takedown, I knew that he was on,” Edgar coach Kevin Koch said. “His attacking style on his feet and on the mat is why he was so successful. He never gives up.”
Lemanski racked up takedown after takedown and turned Joles at will for near fall points.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself after I lost in the semifinals my junior year,” Lemanski said. “I was more focused this year. I worked hard in the offseason and once the season started I worked hard on my technique and doing everything right.
“I was exciting to win my second title and I’m happy with how my career ended at Edgar. I gave my all for my team and the community and they supported me.”
Lemanski won Marawood Conference, regional and sectional tournaments four times and his 160 career wins is No. 1 in the Wildcats’ history, as are his 104 career pins. His four-year career record is 160-4.
His victory on championship Saturday was his last in the sport. Lemanski is not planning on wrestling at the collegiate level, but will be in Madison in the fall studying in the Farm and Industry Short Course. His family runs a dairy farm with 90 milking cows. All through high school he helped with chores, went to school and wrestled.
“My parents let me have the day before a meet off, but I worked all the other days,” Lemanski said. “I know I’m going to miss it next year and it will probably hit me hard when the season starts. Even though I’m not going to wrestle anymore, I’d like to coach somewhere and teach what I know. I want to give back to the sport.”
Mark Massoglia can be reached at 715-423-7200, ext. 6736. Follow him on Twitter @markmazzy.
ALL-AREA FIRST TEAM
106: AJ Schoenfuss, Stratford, freshman, 46-2, Division 3 state champ
113: Jeremy Schoenherr, Stratford, freshman, 42-2, Division 3 state champ
120: Jordan Sarver, Nekoosa/Port Edwards, sophomore, 42-5, Division 2 third
126: Mason Kauffman, Stratford, sophomore, 49-0, Division 3 state champ
132: Scott Arneson, Merrill, senior, 48-3, Division 1 fourth
138: Riley Ivaska, Mosinee, senior, 35-8, Division 2 fourth
145: Joe Ziolkowski, D.C. Everest, senior, 44-1, Division 1 second
152: Brock Benitz, Wisconsin Rapids, junior, 48-5, Division 1 state champ
160: Wyatt Weiler, Auburndale, senior, 44-8, Division 3 second
170: Devin Lemanski, Edgar, senior, 41-0, Division 3 state champ; and Mason Reinhardt, Merrill, senior, 49-1, Division 1 state champ
182: Kam Bornbach, Stratford, sophomore, 41-3, Division 3 state champ
195: August Peplinski, Wittenberg-Birnamwood, junior, 51-2, Division 2 second
220: Dane Borchardt, Tomahawk, junior, 49-1, Division 2 state champ
285: Beau Thompson, Wisconsin Rapids, senior, 52-1, Division 1 state champ; and Cole Warzynski, Almond-Bancroft/Pacelli, senior, 47-3, Division 3 state champ
106: Brady Koontz, SPASH, sophomore, 49-7, Division 1 sixth; Josh Ehster, Mosinee, sophomore, 37-8, Division 2 second
113: Dylan Koontz, SPASH, sophomore, 48-6, Division 1 fifth; Clay Lieber, Nekoosa/Port Edwards, senior, 41-4, Division 2 second; Trenton McManus, Adams-Friendship, junior, 16-3, Division 2 third; Bryce Shaw, Spencer, freshman, 28-21, Division 3 sixth; Matrix Jisko, Wisconsin Rapids, junior, 42-10, Division 1 qualifier
120: Devon Schultz, Merrill, sophomore, 39-9, Division 1 qualifier; Chance Bailey, SPASH, freshman, 29-12, Division 1 qualifier; Patrick Spray, Wisconsin Rapids, junior, 48-6, Division 1 fourth; Anthony Gliniecki, Stratford, junior, 33-5, Division 3 qualifier; Val Kochiu, Edgar, freshman, 42-7, Division 3 qualifier
126: Zach Urquhart, Wittenberg-Birnamwood, junior, 35-13, Division 2 qualifier
132: Sam Tuttle, Nekoosa/Port Edwards, senior, 34-9, Division 2 qualifier; Stetson Rueth, Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal, junior, 37-11, Division 2 sixth; Sam Wenzel, Stratford, junior, 31-13, Division 3 qualifier; Tim Bauer, Spencer, junior, 29-16, Division 3 qualifier
138: Derek Nielsen, Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal, junior, 22-14, Division 2 qualifier
145: Kolten Hanson, Medford, freshman, 40-6, Division 2 qualifier; Paul Willfahrt, Auburndale, senior, 44-7, Division 3 fifth
152: Fritz Schierl, SPASH, junior, 37-7, Division 1 qualifier; Tucker Peterson, Medford, junior 41-6, Division 2 qualifier; Alex Lemanski, Edgar, sophomore, 25-10, Division 3 qualifier
160: Mitch Hertel, Marshfield, senior, 30-2, Division 1 third; Tony Kontney, Rosholt, senior, 39-13, Division 3 sixth; Peyton Einerson, Wisconsin Rapids, senior, 36-11, Division 1 qualifier;
170: Alex Peplinski, Wittenberg-Birnamwood, sophomore, 47-6, Division 2 fifth; Nathan Fuller, Wisconsin Rapids, junior, 40-8, Division 1 qualifier; Jake Rueth, Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal, senior, 42-6, Division 2 sixth
182: Kaleb Kaminski, Tomahawk, junior, 49-2, Division 2 fourth
195: Josh Lang, Marshfield, junior, 32-7, Division 1 fourth; Cody Abel, Wisconsin Rapids, senior, 45-5, Division 1 qualifier; Hunter, Luepke, Spencer, freshman, 41-6, Division 3 qualifier
220: Wesley Dittman, Edgar, senior 35-6, Division 3 fourth; Hunter Kauffman, Stratford, senior, 40-4, Division 3 sixth; Noel Winch, SPASH, senior, 37-12, Division 1 qualifier; Nick Rueth, Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal, sophomore, 39-6, Division 2 qualifier
285: Jake Borchardt, Tomahawk, senior, 44-8, Division 2 fifth; Tyson Kauffman, Stratford, sophomore, 32-14, Division 3 qualifier; Nathan Tessmer, Wausau West, senior, 23-12, Division 1 qualifier
*Wrestlers who qualified for the WIAA state tournament were considered for the all-area team.