Mattson, Zylke work their way onto podium
For the first time since 2007, Mukwonago put two wrestlers on the podium at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, with Hank Mattson and Kirk Zylke both finishing in fifth place.
Zylke's path was particularly entertaining. Wrestling at 160 pounds, the senior dropped a razor-thin 8-6 decision in the opening round on a takedown in the final seconds. The wrestler who defeated Zylke (26-11) - Mitchell Cole of Ashwaubenon - went all the way to the state championship match.
In a twist of fate, the wrestler who was awarded the championship when Cole was forced to injury default in the final, Waterford's Cody Nannemann, fell to Zylke at both the regional and sectional.
"He was up, 6-5, and had him on his back for possibly four seconds," Mukwonago coach Jon Wierzbicki said of Zylke's match with Cole. "The kid scrambled out and got his escape (to tie), and in the flurry, Kirk thought he was losing and extended on the edge. The clock read four seconds when (Cole) was awarded the takedown."
Zylke followed with a 3-2 win over Zach Barbee of Arrowhead and a sudden-victory win over Tristian Luther of Mt. Horeb/Barneveld before falling to powerful Mason Reinhardt of Merrill in the consolation semifinal.
Dima Hawksford of Hudson, who was disqualified from his semifinal match in which Cole was injured, topped Zylke in the fifth-place battle.
Mattson (13-5) dropped a 5-4 call to Austin Fjoser of Sauk Prairie in the fifth-place match, a battle that could recur less than a week later when the two meet in the team state quarterfinal Friday in Madison.
Competing at 132 pounds, Mattson fell to eventual champion Andrew Crone in the second round but bounced back for consecutive victories before falling to Chad Osmanski of Bay Port in the consolation semifinal. That led into a meeting with Fjoser (43-6), whom Wierzbicki said is likely to meet Mattson again, even in the fluid context of the dual matchups.
"It's a huge match where arguably our best wrestlers are going at it," Wierzbicki said.
There were some tough setbacks, as well. Mayson Madden dropped a 3-2 decision at 182 pounds in the first round and finished 23-5. Mitch Major, who qualified at 195, couldn't make the trip with illness and deferred to Kettle Moraine's Noah Martinez, who took third at the sectional. Martinez took Major's place, and the field was redrawn.
Joe Mattson dropped both his matches at 145 but met a brutal draw, falling to the eventual runnerup (Eric Schmid of Verona) and third-place finisher (Mitch Berenz of Arrowhead). Wierzbicki said Matson also wasn't 100 percent physically in the tourney.
Tommy Kolasinski dropped both his matches at 138 but was able to get in some high-level wrestling after competing for the first time this year in the regional. Kolasinski had been sidelined with injury most of the year, but he'll be key in Friday's match with Sauk Prairie.
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