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Two first-time state wrestlers win for Ellsworth

MADISON -- When you've already participated in the Wisconsin youth wrestling state tournament, competing in the high school state tournament seems like old hat.

Ellsworth High School wrestler Shawn Helmueller, a veteran of the kids state tournament, had no trouble adjusting to the high school version as he pinned Cole Zimmerman of Union Grove to advance in the 64th WIAA State Individual Tournament Thursday at the Kohl Center.

Helmueller was one of three Ellsworth wrestlers making their first-ever appearances at the state meet. The Panthers' Jeremy Nelson advanced with a 9-3 win over Waupun's Luke Marwitz at 171 pounds, while Mike Brunner fell at 119 to West De Pere's Alex Puckhaber 4-1.

"At that kids state tournament they have 20 mats laid out in the Alliant Center Arena right here in Madison," Ellsworth coach Jack Radabaugh said. "So coming in here and wrestling for the first time wasn't going make (Helmueller) nervous at all."

Helmueller practically tackled Zimmerman right at the opening whistle and never let him up for two periods.

He eventually pinned him in 3:21.

"I did what's called a 'Kelly' move where I got my arm across his chest, worked it over his head then to a 'Langer bar' where I got him down," Helmueller said. "He wasn't doing much on the bottom, so I made sure to control his wrists and keep the pressure on him."

In other Ellsworth matches, Nelson used his explosive speed to score several takedowns on Marwitz. Brunner, trailing Puckhaber 2-1 in the third period, tried for the takedown with both wrestlers in a neutral position but missed and couldn't avoid Puckhaber's weight falling on him for the takedown that won the match.

Helmueller will take on Luxemburg-Casco's Zac Cibula, who at 42-1 is considered one of the best wrestlers in the state pound for pound. Nelson's quarterfinal match is against Denmark's Joey Lotto, 30-12.

Also wrestling for the Panthers in Friday's D-2 quarterfinals are Chace Kinneman, 38-3, vs. Kory Kleuskens of Freedom, 38-10, at 103; Jordan Foy, 38-2, vs. Ryan Seidler of Adams-Friendship, 43-4, at 125; Hayden Hauschildt, 35-6, vs. Matt Thiesen of Adams-Friendship, 26-1, at 130 and Derek Foley vs. Dustin Johannes of Berlin, 38-10, at 160.

The Division 2 quarterfinals will begin at 12:45 p.m. Friday. The semifinals are 7 p.m.