In his final appearance in the WIAA Division 3 individual state wrestling tournament, Bill Condon wanted to make a statement.
The Horicon senior did just that Thursday night as the rolled to a 10-1 win over Cumberland senior Isaiah Skidmore in his 145-pound preliminary match to advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals at the Kohl Center in Madison.
“It feels great,” Condon said, making his third straight state appearance. “I just wanted to make a statement for the rest of these couple days.”
Condon (40-6) got out to a 2-0 lead after the first period and added a reversal early in the second to take a 4-0 lead into the fourth. In the third, Condon continued to roll, outscoring Skidmore 6-1 to ease home to the major decision victory.
“It’s huge. We’ve been training for this for years,” Horicon coach Lucas Kern said. “It’s awesome, but our goals are beyond tonight. It feels good, but we’re getting ready for tomorrow.”
Condon wasn’t the only local to move on to Friday’s quarterfinals as Markesan’s Bryce Friday was victorious in his 220-pound preliminary match. The sophomore edged out Saint Croix Falls senior Caleb Gearhart, 6-5, to win in his state debut.
The pair spent most of the first two periods grappling for position, ultimately tying at 2 heading to the third. In the final period, Gearhart opened the scoring with a reversal, but Friday answered with one of his own and got a switch for a late takedown to go up 5-3. He added a stalling point to seal the win.
“He’s very good on the bottom and he’s good at doing little guy moves when it comes to reversals,” Markesan coach Mike Thom said. “He’s good at blocking off and he capitalizes on those moves.”
Like Condon, Friday was eager to come out of the gates strong and is eager to keep things going.
“It feels good,” he said. “Why stop here; let’s keep moving.”