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Krueger makes it three in a row

New London’s Hailey Krueger made history at the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Championships Feb. 24 as the first girls’ three-time state champion. Krueger wrapped up her third title with a 7-3 win over Lomira’s Kara Kuge in the 152-pound title match. Melissa Thomas Photo

New London wrestler wins state title

By Greg Seubert

If Hailie Krueger didn’t have a reputation as one of Wisconsin’s top high school wrestlers, she does now.

The New London High School junior became Wisconsin’s first-ever three-time girls’ champion Feb. 24 with a 7-3 win over Lomira’s Kara Kuge at the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Championships in Madison.

Krueger won her first two state titles in 2022 and 1023 at 145 pounds before moving up a weight class to 152 and finished the 2023-24 season with a 46-0 record.

She wasn’t the only area girl to advance to state, as Hortonville’s Mackenzie Schiedermayer placed fifth at 152 in her second trip to state and Waupaca freshman Caylin Johnson posted a 1-2 record at 145.

Krueger’s path to a third championship included a matchup with Schiedermayer in the semifinals. Schiedermayer would have advanced to the final with a win, but she ended up getting pinned in 1:59.

Krueger opened the tournament Feb. 22 with a pair of first-period pins over Watertown’s Nohra Good (1:30) and Oregon’s Teagan Simpson (1:58).

“It was definitely important,” she said. “It gave me a lot of confidence and made me feel a lot better about it. We have two down and hopefully only two more to go. It just makes me so proud of where I’ve come from, coming from my first year of not winning a single match to winning three straight titles.”

Waupaca’s Caylin Johnson wrestles Turner’s Sydney Andrews in a 145-pound match at the WiAA State Individual Wrestling Championships in Madison. Johnson posted a 1-2 record at the tournament, which included three divisions of boys and one for girls. Greg Seubert Photo


Schiedermayer advanced to the semifinal round by pinning Cameron’s Grace Dexter in 43 seconds and beating Shoreland Lutheran’s Lexi Mentink 10-7.

Schiedermayer’s loss to Krueger set her up in the consolation round, where she dropped a 5-3 decision to River Ridge’s Britney Petschke before beating Mentink for a second time 6-2 in the fifth-place match.

Schiedermayer didn’t place at state last year as a freshman at 145, but was happy to open this year’s tournament with a pair of wins.

“It was so good coming down here as a freshman to get the experience,” she said. “My brother started when he was in seventh grade, so I would have been in sixth grade. He made me go to a couple practices with him to watch it and I was like, ‘Wow, this looks so much like what we do at home just for fun.’ I started in seventh grade and I’ve been hooked ever since. It took me over a month to start to understand the basics.”

Greg Dietzen coaches the girls on Hortonville’s team that had five qualifiers on the boys’ side, including a second-place finisher in Henry Niebauer.

“She brings a lot of character, a lot of experience, a lot of talent,” he said of Schiedermayer. “She has a lot of ambition and a big heart of competitiveness. She comes from a big family, so she doesn’t take any business from her brothers. She just has to continue what she’s been doing: working hard and wrestling her match, not letting the other person dictate what happens in the match. She has to wrestle her match.”

Johnson, a freshman, opened the tournament by pinning Mukwonago’s Ella Schueler in 1:27 to improve to 29-6 on the season.

“All my uncles and cousins wrestled,” she said minutes after getting her first win. “My mom threw me out on the mat in 4K and I’ve been doing it since.”

Turner’s Sydney Andrews then pinned Johnson in 2:39 in the second round and her season ended after Barron’s Michalee Skjerly pinned her in 1:19 in the consolation round.

“I’ve coached Caylin since she was in middle school,” Waupaca coach Bryon Prey said. “I knew what I was getting. I’m not sure if I was expecting the amount of success she had to start, but if you watch her out there, she’s tough and girls are going to start running from her. She brings intensity and she’s a hammer when she goes out there.”

Prey won’t be surprised to see Johnson back at the Kohl Center in the future.

“We’re up to almost 1,200 girls in the state wrestling,” he said. “I just love the competitiveness of it. These girls get to come down here and they battle just like the guys. It’s great for Caylin, it’s great for the girls, it’s great for the sport.”

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