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Ryan Merkel continued his undefeated season at the Baraboo Thunderbird Classic last weekend. The Hamilton senior claimed first place at 138 pounds with two technical falls and a pin.

In the finals, Merkel edged Tomah's Hunter Pierce in an ultimate tiebreaker win, 3-2. Pierce was ranked on the honorable-mention list in Division 1.

'I think (Merkel) is improving,' coach Doug Pulvermacher said. 'I'm not sure we've seen the best. He's wrestled some tough guys, but this is the first more-elite wrestler that he's wrestled. I think we still really need to see him get some tougher competition. Has he been dominant? Absolutely.'

Jake Macaluso (16-2) also won a title at 220.

'He was solid all day,' Pulvermacher said. 'He went out there, took care of business and he was dominant. He looked good, he looked strong.'

Dustin Griepentrog (132), Owen Gorges (145), Dylan Klemstein (152), Ben Sciortino (170) and Grant Gorski (182) all finished in second place.

As a team, Hamilton placed fourth. On Jan. 7, Hamilton lost to West Allis Central in a dual meet, 49-18.

The junior varsity wrestlers competed at the Wisconsin Challenge Series Qualifier at Homestead over the weekend. Two freshmen, Josh Reindl (106) and Gino Givionni (170), won titles and qualified for state in less than two weeks. Christian Farmer also qualified at 113 with a second-place finish.