IOWA CITY, Iowa – Ben Provisor wasn’t even born when Aaron Sieracki won his first Wisconsin high school state wrestling championship.
And Sunday night he deprived Sieracki of something that both Wisconsin-born wrestlers wanted very badly – a berth in the Olympic Games in London three months from now.
The 21-year-old Provisor eked out a narrow victory over the 37-year-old Sieracki in the 74-kilogram (163 pounds) Greco Roman finals in the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials Sunday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“All the hard work I’ve put in the past 15 years paid off,’’ said Provisor, who is from Stevens Point. “I can’t be any happier than I am right now.
“I probably don’t even know what it’s like to be an Olympian yet,’’ added Provisor, a four-time WIAA state individual meet qualifier whose best finish was a third-place showing in the Division 1 171-pound bracket as a senior in 2009.
Sieracki, a former Richland Center High School and Lindenwood College star, was competing in his fourth Olympic trials. He was sixth in 2000, fourth in 2004 and second in 2008, but couldn’t quite take the next step as Provisor was the aggressor throughout their best-of-three championship series.
Sieracki won the first match, but Provisor made short work of him in the second match, winning each of the first two rounds. The youngster won the first period in the finale, but Sieracki scratched out a 1-0 win in the second period.
With 43 seconds remaining in the last period of the last match, Provisor tried for a one-point pushout only to have the referee award the point to Sieracki. Provisor’s corner challenged the call and got it reversed, giving him a one-point lead.
He held on from there, much to the delight of his own personal cheering section tucked away in the record crowd of 13,712.
“I’m just so glad that it happened here,’’ Provisor said. “It’s just a four-hour drive from home and I think I had 82 people here to watch me, I couldn’t be any happier to have done it in front of them.’’
Tomahawk native Alyssa Lampe also made a strong bid for an Olympic berth Sunday but came up just short, losing to 2008 Olympian Clarissa Chun in the finals of the 48-kilogram (105.5 pounds) women’s freestyle division.
On three different occasions during the competition, Lampe scored points with one second remaining in a period to stave off elimination.
She did it once in the final period of her match with Victoria Anthony of the New York Athletic Club, which put her in the finals.
“Someone’s looking out for me, I think …’’ she said after that match.
Lampe did it again in the second period of both her second and third matches with Chun. In the final match, she took the 2008 world champion from her feet to her back with one second left in the second period to overcome a 2-0 deficit and stay alive.
But Chun finally built an insurmountable 4-0 lead in the final period and the 24-year-old Lampe ran out of miracles.
“I didn’t have enough time and she was blocking my shots pretty good by that point,’’ Lampe said.
Other Wisconsin wrestlers in Sunday’s action:
• Former Hartford High School and University of Wisconsin wrestler Dennis Hall, an Olympic silver medalist in 1996, was defeated by former Northern Illinois wrestler Chad Vandiver in his first 60-kilogram (132 pounds) Greco Roman match. The 41-year-old Hall protested what he considered an illegal maneuver and angrily stomped off the mat.
“That referee doesn’t like me,’’ Hall told reporters.
• UW recruit Jesse Thielke, also competing in the 60-kilogram Greco Roman class, lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Ellis Coleman, then won three wrestleback matches before losing to Jeremiah Davis in the third-place bout.
• Charles Fish, a former Hartland Arrowhead star, lost to John Helgerson 2-0 in his opening 120-kilogram (264 pounds) freestyle match, then lost a consolation match to Justin Grant.
• Max Askren, another Hartland Arrowhead alum, won his first match in the 84-kilogram (185 pounds) freestyle division, then lost to No. 1 seed Jake Herbert. Askren won two consolation matches before losing again.