Madison — Zander Wick and Ryan Christensen each picked up a pair of wins as the Wisconsin wrestling team unofficially opened its season with the Red/White intrasquad scrimmage at the UW Field House Thursday night.
The event featured 14 matches between 26 of the Badgers’ wrestlers, with the Red Team emerging victorious by a count of 42-19.
Gabriel Grahek put the Red Team on top out of the gates with a 1-0 decision over Luke Rowh in a 149-pound bout.
The White Team immediately answered as Wick recorded the first pin of the evening, winning by fall over Patrick Spray in 5:29.
Wick was appreciative of the opportunity to make his formal UW debut, even in an scrimmage setting.
“It was nice to be able to wear the Wisconsin singlet for the first time. Last year I redshirted, so we had to wear our own gear,” said Wick, who wrestled unattached last season. “So it was nice to finally get out there and wear the Wisconsin red. It was really nice to proudly show the “W” to the fans for the first time.”
From there, Red gained control of the dual rattling off a trio of consecutive wins.
Ryan Christensen (174) scored a 16-0 technical fall over Jackson Hemauer in 5:24 to put the Red Team on top for good.
Next, Jacob Covaciu (174) and Tyler Shilson (149/157) each won by injury default as their opponents, Izaec Quintanilla and Davin Bahr each suffered leg injuries.
Quintanilla left the mat with assistance from the training staff, while Bahr, one of the top recruits of the 2017 class, appeared to gingerly walk off on his own.
After the dual, Wisconsin head coach Barry Davis seemed cautiously optimistic about the status of his two injured grapplers.
“They’ll be alright, I think,” Davis said. “It’s too bad it happened, but it happened.”
Eric Peissig got White rolling again with a 10-2 major decision over Jake Stilling at 197 pounds.
However, the Red Team got two big responses from Ricky Robertson (184) and Ben Stone (285) who each recorded technical falls.
Michael Cullen (133) scored a win for the White Team as he slipped past Jens Lantz 3-2 in three overtimes.
At 141 pounds, Cole Martin pinned Eli Stickley to post six more points for Red.
Andrew Crone (157) added to the lead with a 12-7 comeback win over Jared Scharenbrock. Crone tallied eight points in the third period, including a takedown and four nearfall in the final minute, to secure the victory.
The White Team notched back-to-back wins courtesy of a decisions from Hunter Ritter (197) and Wick who blanked Grahek 7-0 in a matchup of the night’s previous winners at 149 pounds.
For Wick, Thursday night served a shakedown run of sorts – a much-needed taste of live action with the regular season lurking.
“Yeah, it was wrestling teammates but, it was a match. It was 100 percent,” Wick said. “It wasn’t a live match, like in the practice room. It was set up to be like a dual. It felt real. It kind of gets the nerves out of you. It felt good and I wrestled well, so I’m happy with it.”
Christensen capped the night with his second win, a 1-0 triumph over Covaciu in a clash of the night’s winners at 174. A second-period escape proved to be the difference in that bout.
Overall, Davis is pleased with the effort his wrestlers put forth.
“You know, they wrestled. There was a lot of offense out there,” Davis said. “Position-wise, offense-wise, we saw a lot of good things. We’re making a lot of headway. We’re moving forward and I’ll be excited for next week.”
The regular season begins Nov.5 as the Badgers travel to East Lansing, Mich. to take part in the Michigan State Open.
Red 42, White 19
149: Gabriel Grahek (R) dec. Luke Rowh, 1-0
149: Zander Wick (W) p. Patrick Spray, 5:29
174: Ryan Christensen (R) tf. Jackson Hemauer, 16-0 (5:24)
174: Jacob Covaciu (R) def. Izaec Quintanilla (injury default)
149/157: Tyler Shilson (R) def. Devin Bahr (injury default)
197: Eric Peissig (W) maj. dec. Jake Stilling, 10-2
285: Ben Stone (R) tf. Ian Dretzka 17-2 (3:20)
184: Ricky Robertson (R) tf. Brady Wetter, 16-0 (6:38)
133: Michael Cullen (W) dec. Jens Lantz, 3-2 (OT)
141: Cole Martin (R) p. Eli Stickley, 6:08
157: Andrew Crone (R) dec. Jared Scharenbrock, 12-7
197: Hunter Ritter (W) dec. Mason Reinhardt, 5-3
149: Zander Wick (W) dec. Gabriel Grahek, 7-0
174: Ryan Christensen (R) dec. Jacon Covaciu, 1-0