Nail-biter

Barron senior Chase Peltier went toe-to-toe with Jaden Anderson of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro in the 160-pound third place match at the Div. 2 Osceola Sectional. Peltier pulled out a 14-13 decision to claim a spot in this week’s state wrestling tournament.

Barron senior Chase Peltier, who won his 100th career match while advancing through the Feb. 15 regional, finished third in the 160-pound bracket at the Div. 2 WIAA Osceola Sectional held Saturday, Feb. 22, ensuring that he’ll close out his high school wrestling career at the state tournament.

The highlight of the day was a thrilling 14-13 decision won over Jaden Anderson of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro for a berth into the state tourney.

Peltier, now 34-9 on the season, will next wrestle Thursday evening in the preliminary round of the WIAA Individual Wrestling State Tournament against 48-3 Prairie du Chien senior Traeton Saint. The winner will go on to face 37-1 senior Adam Kilgas of Little Chute in the Friday quarterfinals, while the loser will have his season end.

Peltier had his work cut out at Osceola in order to earn his way to Madison’s Kohl Center floor.

“The Osceola Sectional was a day full of work for Chase,” Barron coach Darryl Stephens said. “Every match was a battle that could’ve gone either way.”

Peltier first wrestled Tommy Friemoth of Neillsville, a 27-12 junior. With Devin Wasley, a 42-1 sophomore from St. Croix Central lurking in the next round, there was a good chance that the loser of the Peltier/Friemoth bout wouldn’t get a chance to wrestle again.

“Chase and Friemoth had wrestled at the Badger (in December),” Stephens said. “It was close then, as it was on Saturday. Tommy is a strong, young wrestler. Chase had his hands full, but he won the match by the score 9-5.

“In the semifinals Chase went against Devin Wasley. With a 42-1 record, it was going to be a tough road. It was close after the first period but opened up in the second period. In the third period, Chase mounted a comeback. He got one takedown and was working on more. He cut the lead to 11-7 and then gave up a takedown late to lose 13-7. This gave Chase some confidence for the rest of the day.”

After losing to Wasley – who went on to win the sectional title in relative ease – Peltier needed to win his next two matches to earn a state tournament berth.

“In the consultation semifinals, Chase won a 9-4 match over Eli Rohl from Ellsworth (13-23). Chase had some nice takedowns to win the match, and get in position for a third place match and a berth to state.”

Up next was the big showdown with Jaden Anderson, a 37-13 senior.

“This match that had a lot of turns and it was stressful as all get-out,” Stephens said. “Chase had a lead at the end of the first period. In the second, Jaden came back with a vengeance and had Chase on his back. I don’t know how Chase got out, but he did, and just like that, it was 5-4. This back and forth went the rest of the match

“With less than a minute in the match, Chase was behind by three points and made a comeback. With less than 10 seconds left, Chase took the lead, 14-13, and had to hold Anderson down for two seconds. That was a long two seconds; this was some match.”

With a ticket to the state tournament already in hand, Peltier got a chance to wrestle back for second place against 25-6 senior Preston Potaczek of Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee. Potaczek had lost the sectional title match to Wasley by a technical fall.

“Chase took an early lead with a takedown, but Preston reached back for a head lock,” Stephens said. “Chase tried to roll through and it did not work.”

Peltier was pinned in 1:15, but moved on to Madison nonetheless.

Meza, Ecklor at Sectional

Barron had two other wrestlers qualify for the Osceola Sectional who did not advance to state.

“Lorenzo Meza wrestled at 120 pounds,” Stephens said. “It was a tough draw, right away wrestling Blaine Brenner from Stanley Boyd, who is 42-0 and a returning state champ. Lorenzo wrestled well in the first period, fought out of some takedowns and had a good shot that was countered. In the second period, things turned around and Lorenzo was pinned in 3:13.”

When Brenner advanced through the semifinals over Cole Nelson of Ellsworth (23-8 senior) by way of a technical fall, Meza got another chance to wrestle. However, Meza lost a 16-0 tech fall to Nelson.

The loss ended Meza’s senior season at 17-18. Nelson’s season ended with a 17-7 loss in the third place match, while Brenner won the sectional title by a 14-0 major decision.

“Lorenzo was a valuable leader for the Bears all year long and a key part of our team the whole year,” the coach said.

Mason Ecklor, a 132-pound sophomore, also wrestled his way to Osceola.

“Mason also had two tough matches,” the coach said. “He first had Sawyer Best from Bloomer/Colfax (46-1), who is tough all the way around. Mason held his own in the first period but lost by a tech fall in the second period.”

Best next defeated Carson Church of Medford (25-5 sophomore) by a 7-0 decision, setting up a consolation semifinal match between Church and Ecklor.

“Church was a strong wrestler and won by a fall in 1:18,” Stephens said. “Moving down to 132 pounds was big for Mason. It helped him get to the sectional tournament and gain the experience of the next level of wrestling. That will help out in the future.”

Ecklor ended the season with a 13-19 record, while Church had his season end with a 9-0 loss in the third place match. Best won the sectional title match, 8-6.

“Good luck to all the area wrestlers at state,” Stephens concluded.