Rapid Reaction: Badgers crown five champs, take second at SIUE Cougar Clash

Updated 12/11/19 at 3:54 p.m.

Saturday was an eventful day as the Wisconsin wrestling team had five individual champions and took second as a team at the SIU-Edwardsville Cougar Clash in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Here are some off-the-cuff thoughts on the highlights of the day’s proceedings:

Barnett, Stilling, and Christensen have redshirts pulled 

Freshmen Eric Barnett (125), Dan Stilling (149) and Peter Christensen (197) each competed as attached wrestlers for the first time this season, effectively nullifying their redshirts.

UW officials confirmed that every UW wrestler competing in Edwardsville Saturday was competing attached.

Barnett won a championship at 125, while Christensen placed fifth at 197.

While neither choice was a complete shock, the decision to pull each redshirt came with its own level of intrigue.

Barnett wrestling attached could imply the injury Michael Cullen suffered in the Iowa dual Sunday is potentially serious, though nothing has been officially announced.

The fact Christensen wrestled attached seemed like UW admitting how desperate the situation at 197 pounds has become.

However, UW’s starter at that weight, Taylor Watkins, had himself a day.

It seemed as though Christensen’s presence lit a fire under the previously winless Watkins, who posted a 4-2 record on the day, including a 5-1 win over Christensen in the consolation semifinals.

Watkins ultimately placed fourth. Christensen was fifth.

Stilling ended the day with a 2-3 record that was good enough for a sixth-place showing. Both of Stilling’s wins came via fall.

Five (!) individual champions 

UW had champions at half of all weight classes Saturday.

Granted, this tournament was only a six-team affair. But champions are champions.

In addition to the aforementioned Barnett, No. 2 Seth Gross got back to his winning ways with an individual title at 133.

No. 10 Tristan Moran upended No. 5 Grant Leeth of Missouri in the finals to win it all at 141.

No. 3 Evan Wick returned to form with a title at 165 and No. 3 Trent Hillger took care of business at heavyweight,

Not enough for a team title … 

Unfortunately for the ninth-ranked Badgers, No. 12 Missouri also had five team champions and took the team title at Saturday’s event.

The Tigers amassed 138.5 team points in contrast to UW’s 121.5.

And while Wisconsin was without the services of No. 14 Cole Martin (149), his performance couldn’t have possibly been worth enough points to change the outcome of the team race.

What’s up at 157?

UW brought three 157-pounders to Edwardsville Saturday.

To me, this is telling because, in a six-team tournament you can rest assured that at least two of your guys are going to hit.

That’s exactly what happened.

Drew Scharenbrock and Devin Bahr clashed in the consolation semis. Scharenbrock emerged victorious via a 5-4 decision.

Bahr and starter Garrett Model met in the fifth-place-match. And Bahr topped Model 6-4.

To recap:

  • Scharebrock placed fourth and beat both his teammates.
  • Bahr placed fifth.
  • Model (the incumbent starter) finished sixth with a loss to Bahr.

It will be interesting to see what, if any, bearing this has on the starting lineup in the near future.

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