Day one state wrestling recap

MADISON, Wis. (WSAW)- Nine wrestlers fought their way through the preliminaries in order to continue their dream of winning a state title.

Wisconsin Rapids wrestler Preston Spray during at match at the state tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin, on February 27, 2020. (WSAW)

The mats were set and the athletes were ready to go.

Let's start in the smallest class. Wisconsin Rapids' Preston Spray was tied at 2-2 until he labored his way out of Riley Nilo's arms. The escape sealed the eventual 4-2 decision.

"I was super happy. I came in. Last year, I went 0-1, and that was a bad experience,” said Spray. “I didn't like that feeling. I just decided I was going to take it one match at a time, and I was happy when I won."

Up one weight class in 113. SPASH's Justin Groshek shows off his quick twitch with the two point takedown. He eventually gets the fall in 3 minutes and 39 seconds.

Groshek is looking to improve off of last year's third place finish.

"I'm shooting to win it, but I know one match at a time is going to be crucial, so I don't think ahead and try to overlook someone that I might have a hard match against,” said Groshek. “Hopefully, I pin my way through the bracket and have fun doing it."

Finally at 120, Keagan Cliver of Marshfield was in a shootout. Cliver gets the cradle and a three-point near fall. He would hang on to win by decision 14-11.

"I wanted to come out really intense in the first,” Cliver said. “I knew he would get tired and it means a lot. The seniors last year showed me what it takes to become a state place runner."

If you did the math at home, nine wrestlers came into the quarters, three wrestlers advanced to the semis. Those three will take the mat again tomorrow night at 7.