By Brian Suchocki
On May 7, the Freestyle state tournament, and on May 8, the Greco-Roman state tournament, were held at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The tournaments are for youth to college-age wrestlers. The difference between the two styles of wrestling is that Freestyle is more similar to Folkstyle wrestling, which you can use your upper body and lower body to compete, but Greco-Roman only allows a wrestler to use their upper body to wrestle.
Wyatt and Walker Bathke competed in both styles of wrestling. Holden Smith and Devon Schultz only competed in Greco-Roman. Wyatt won both styles in the novice division at the 140+ weight class and Walker was runner-up in both styles in the school boy division at the 210 pound weight class. Devon Schultz took 5th in the junior division at the 126 pound weight class. Holden Smith went 2-2 in the cadet division at the 126 pound weight class.
These four wrestlers along with other Merrill wrestlers have been training for the last couple months at Northern Exposure, a training camp lead by Scott Arneson and assisted by Tom Reamer and Ben Natzke. This extra wrestling and training really helps our Merrill wrestlers prepare for next season. We are fortunate that Northern Exposure is right here in Merrill, benefiting our athletes. As for these four and the others who trained, it is awesome to see them take advantage of this opportunity.
At the Greco-Roman State, the Merrill Wrestling Club was able to donate a check for $100 towards two-time Greco Roman Olympian Ben Provisor. Ben will compete in Rio, Brazil this summer for the Olympics. Ben wrestled for SPASH in high school. Merrill’s Brad Welter was able to beat Ben on his way to winning the 2007 Division I high school state title. It is great to see how strong wrestling is in this area of the state.