Panthers are third in Lancaster, Wis.

Kain Luensman of Monticello (back) works to control Vince Polhamus of Sparta in the 138-pound championship match at the Lancaster, Wis. tournament Jan. 4. Luensman won the title. (Photos courtesy of Dana Hansen)

Monticello’s Kale Hansen (top) works on turning Jordan Parker of River Ridge/Cassville, Wis., during the Lancaster tournament.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Monticello High School’s wrestling team ventured to a neighboring state to start the new year, competing and finishing third in the Lancaster (Wis.) Invitational Jan. 4.

     The Panthers had two champions, Mark Sunlin at 113 pounds and Kain Luensman at 138; and three runners-up: Kale Hansen at 106, Ethan Tallman at 126 and Spencer Avery at 182.

     “It was good to get back on the mat,” Monticello coach Ryan Luensman said. “I was happy with the finish, as we competed with 11 guys. This is a tough tournament, and it is fun to wrestle different competition. We learned a lot of things that will help us improve.”

     Mark Sunlin pinned his first three opponents and then won by major decision in the finals to secure his title and raise his season record to 19-2. Kain Luensman followed a first round bye with a pin, a major decision and a decision, remaining unbeaten at 23-0.

     “Mark had four matches and dominated them all,” coach Luensman said. “He is improving technically, and I like the direction he is going.

     “Kain had some hard-fought matches. We have been keeping him up at 138 to try and get situations like this.”

     The coach also was proud of the three second place finishers.

     “Kale Hansen, Ethan Tallman and Spencer Avery all had a solid tournament,” he said. “Spencer had a great come-from-behind win in the semifinals. Kale had a tough finals opponent and made one mistake at the end to lose the lead. Ethan had a great semifinals match and did a nice job of pinning a tough wrestler from Wisconsin.”

     Bo Kramer had a third place finish, and three others – Owen Ray, Ty Jesenovec and Mason Reuter – finished fifth.

     “Bo Kramer is improving every week as well,” coach Luensman said. “Bo had a very exciting third place match that got the crowd going.

     “Mason Reuter, Owen Ray and Ty Jesenovec, all did a nice job of bouncing back after their losses in the quarterfinals. They all took fifth, which is the highest you can finish in this tournament if you don’t reach the semifinals.”

     The Panthers will now head into the busy January portion of the schedule, returning to River Valley Conference competition Jan. 9 with a double dual meet against West Liberty and North Cedar in Clarence; and then compete in the Highland tournament Jan. 11.

     “This is the time of year where you really have to buckle down,” the coach said. “We are in a conference title hunt, and we need everyone to keep improving every day.”


Jan. 4

Lancaster (Wis.) Inv.


     1, Lancaster 220; 2, Iowa-Grant/Highland 209; 3, Monticello 172; 4, Sparta 160; 5, MFL MarMac 133.5; 6, Darlington/Black Hawk 94; 7, Cuba City/Benton/Southwestern 94; 8 (tie), Brodhead 91 and Dubuque Senior 91; 10, Waterloo 79; 11, Boscobel 30; 12, River Ridge/Cassville 27.


     106 – Kale Hansen (runner-up) received a bye; pinned Jordan Parker, RRC, 1:21; pinned Jacob Lomar, BRO, 1:10; lost to Mason Welch, IGH, 10-6.

     106 (varsity reserve) – Alaina Sunlin pinned Christian Kemp, DS, 1:09; weas pinned by Ayden Nolan, CCBS, 3:31; received a bye; lost to Joe Esser, L, 7-2.

     113 – Mark Sunlin (champion) pinned Tyler Smith, DS, 0:59; pinned Carter Erickson, S, 0:41; pinned Abrham Boebel, L, 1:24; won by major dec. over Caleb Nordheim, MFL, 14-4.

     120 – Owen Ray (fifth place) received a bye; was pinned by Caden Lindner, IGH, 1:52; received a bye; pinned Kadence Paper, MFL, 0:46; pinned Seth Mansfield, BRO, 0:55.

     126 – Ethan Tallman (runner-up) received a bye; pinned Michael Ihm, L, 1:02; pinned Treyton Starkey, IGH, 1:30; was pinned by Karter Decker, MFL, 1:37.

     132 – Ty Jesenovec (fifth) received a bye; was pinned by Blake Sander, BOS, 2:35; received a bye; won by major dec. over Levi Wehrle, RRC, 10-1; dec. Jack Vorwald, MFL, 4-0.

     138 – Kain Luensman (champion) received a bye; pinned Luke Busch, DS, 3:36; won by major dec. over Matthew Crosby, L, 17-4; dec. Vince Polhamus, S, 6-3.

     145 – Dylan Roher received a bye; was pinned by Thomas Treu, S, 1:28; received a bye; was pinned by Jordi Aguero, W, 2:17.

     152 – Bo Kramer (third) received a bye; dec. Owen Halverson, IGH, 10-4; was pinned by Jason Sedbrook, IGH, 3:44; pinned Isaac Oyen, L, 2:57.

     160 – Jaydon Ray received a bye; lost by major dec. to Blake Dax, IGH, 9-0; pinned Austin Nikolai, MFL, 0:25; was pinned by Reynol Limon, W, 3:52.

     182 – Spencer Avery (runner-up) received two byes; pinned Dashawn Tigges, DS, 5:27; lost to Marcus Cox, S, 7-1.

     285 – Mason Reuter (fifth) dec. Spencer Palm, DS, 1-0; was pinned by Leif Bredeson, DBH, 1:25; pinned Fredi Santos, RRC, 2:37; pinned Jacob Miller, BRO, 1:31; dec. Myles Bender, L, 8-7.



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