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Waterford’s Jared Krattiger and Jack Trautman are on target for fantastic finishes to their high school wrestling careers.

Hayden Halter of Burlington and Cade Willis of Union Grove are in position for a potential state championship meeting.

And Jake Skrundz of Burlington and Tre Williams of Park rounded out an impressive display of wrestling for Racine County athletes.

All six reached the semifinals of their respective weight classes, and guaranteed themselves a state medal, at the WIAA State Individual Tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Another eight county wrestlers advanced to the consolation bracket to stay in medal contention, while nine others were eliminated.

Seniors Krattiger, at 182 pounds and Trautman, at 195, didn’t have a lot of trouble reaching the semifinals.

Krattiger (48-1), ranked No. 1 all season by Wisconsin Wrestling Online, was especially impressive, spending just 6 minutes, 43 seconds on the mat. He pinned senior Nate Crayton of Burlington (43-6) in 2:20 in the first round, then beat Jacob Zupke of Mequon Homestead (41-5) on a technical fall in 4:23 (17-1).

In the semifinals Friday, Krattiger will face surprising Brooks Empey of Stoughton (31-19), the only freshman in the weight class. Empey, ranked 13th, had two pins in 7:10 to advance. Krattiger will be ready.

“He’s focused,” Wolverines coach Tom Fitzpatrick said of Krattiger. “This has been on this radar for a long time. He just has to control what he can control.”

Trautman (46-3), ranked second, rolled past 15th-ranked Kyle Burkhardt of Holmen (35-17) on a technical fall in 3:23 (15-0) in the first round, then won his quarterfinal 7-0 over fourth-ranked Stephen Maule of Watertown (31-2).

In the semifinals, Trautman will face ninth-ranked Adam Jones of South Milwaukee (43-3).

“In Jack’s second match, (Maule) never had a chance to score on him,” Fitzpatrick said. “Jack did what he needed to do — get takedowns and back points.”

Halter (48-2), ranked third at 106 pounds, had a major victory to reach the semifinals, winning a 6-3 decision over top-ranked Cody Minor of Ashwaubenon (43-2) in the quarterfinals. Halter won 12-1 over 16th-ranked Casey Reigstad of Menomonee Falls (26-12) in the first round.

In the semifinals, Halter will face sixth-ranked Sam Lorenz of Waunakee (46-4).

“He dominated his first match,” Burlington coach Jade Gribble said of Halter. “In the second match, he did a great job.”

Skrundz (37-4), ranked fifth at 145, won 12-4 over 13th-ranked Nico Roscioli of Fort Atkinson (31-9) in the first round and won 5-1 over 14th-ranked Jake Schulte of Mukwonago (30-18) in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals, Skrundz will face third-ranked Max Bruss of De Pere (42-4).

“Jake is in a good spot,” Gribble said. “He controlled the first match completely and had a steady, strong match in the quarterfinals.”

Willis (43-5), ranked seventh at 106, won 9-5 over 15th-ranked Liam Hughes of Milwaukee Marquette (35-10) in the first round, then won 8-0 over ninth-ranked Tyler Goebel of Mukwonago (30-10) in the quarterfinals.

Willis, who could make the 106 title match an all-county matchup if Halter wins his semifinal, faces second-ranked Justin Groshek of Stevens Point (42-1) in his semifinal.

Williams (26-7), ranked 15th at 285, continued to shine, pinning both of his opponents. He beat seventh-ranked Aodan Marshall of Stoughton (35-7) in 4:29 in the first round and 10th-ranked Logan Fallon of Menomonee Falls (33-2) in 4:27 in the quarterfinals.

Williams, who Park coach Jon Burdick said is the first Panthers wrestler in the semifinals since 2009, faces the ultimate test by going against top-ranked and defending 285 champion Keaton Kluever of Kaukauna (46-2).

“Tre is wrestling the best he has all year and is peaking at the right time,” Burdick said. “He looked really strong in his first two matches.”

County wrestlers in the consolation bracket are Horlick’s Antonio Puentes (38-6 at 113), Park’s Isiah Culp (29-12 at 120) and six Burlington wrestlers — Cody Welker (40-10 at 120), Ben Stevenson (41-9 at 126), Zach Weiler (43-9 at 132), Ben Kumprey (38-14 at 152), Crayton and Wyatt Hayes (15-8 at 285).

Welker, Stevenson and Weiler each won their first match and lost their second.


Sports Reporter

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