MADISON – Coming in to the 2015 WIAA individual state wrestling tournament, Campbellsport’s Alex Costello had the mindset of winning a state championship.
After all, Costello finished fifth a season ago and watched his brother, Ryan Costello, win a title two years ago.
But Costello’s dream fell short as the senior ended his high school career with another fifth-place finish.
And once his final match was over, he realized that not winning a state title was OK.
“I wrestled my best, I lost two matches by a total of four points between the two them and I just kept fighting back after the losses to do the best I can to finish fifth again,” Costello said. “I have to look at the big picture, there is more to life than just wrestling and a lot of kids don’t even have a chance to get here and I’ve been grateful to get here twice.
“To come away with two medals, you can’t ask for much than this.”
Costello lost the first consolation match on a 6-3 decision to Adams-Friendship’s Trenton McManus but then dominated the fifth-place match where he won 11-5 over Luck/Frederick’s Cole Britton.
“I just kept thinking that this is my last match ever and I was thinking I had to leave everything out there,” Costello said on the final match. “It’s pretty emotional because my whole life is wrestling.”
Laconia was well represented at the state tournament, sending four individuals and three ended up finishing on the podium.
Zach Coffeen (152) and Alec Potter (120) finished fifth while Eli Moses was sixth at 195 pounds.
All three started the day with a loss in the consolation semifinals, but Coffeen and Potter were able to come back with wins in the fifth-place match.
Coffeen, trailing 2-0 late in the third period, pinned Chequamegon’s Isaac Weik in 4 minutes, 15 seconds.
“I came in and got fifth, felt like we fell a couple of steps where we should have been, lost a tough match in both of my losses and it felt like I could have wrestled better in each of them,” Coffeen said of his fifth-place finish.
Things weren’t looking good for the sophomore then in the final match as he trailed 2-0. But when his opponent chose down, he took advantage.
“He chose down and I felt like that was my chance to get to get him,” Coffeen said. “My strongest suit is when I am able to ride kids.”
Potter lost a 6-2 decision in the consolation semis before picking up a close 4-3 decision over Cochrane-Fountain City’s Tate Murty to give him his fifth-place medal.
“It’s a sweet victory,” Potter said, “I have to thank my coaches again for helping me out with the whole year and this state tournament, it’s a pretty sweet feeling.”
Potter, who went two-and-out last year at state, said it felt good to finally get on the podium.
Moses was the other Spartan to wrestle Saturday, but the senior fell short in both matches. Moses was pinned in 1:43 in the fifth-place match while losing a 7-4 decision in the semifinals.
Jordan Michael was the only Lomira wrestler left on Saturday and the junior finished fourth overall.
He received a forfeit for a chance to go to the third-place match after his opponent was out due to an injury.
In the final match, Jordan lost 5-1 to Wrightstown’s Brandon Buechler. Michael had a chance to tie it up at 3-3 late in the third period, but Buechler was able to take control, making it 5-1.
“It was my goal to place but I really wanted that last one,” Michael said. “I just tried pushing the pace and he just knew how to defend it.”
Despite that, it’s been a trip to remember.
“It’s been the best thing I have ever done in my life, it’s so awesome winning on the mat,” he said.