Created:Tuesday, February 5, 2013 6:20 p.m.CDT
Updated:Wednesday, February 6, 2013 12:21 a.m.CDT
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Inside Wrestling

Athlete of the Week

MIKE INFELISE

McHenry, sr.

Infelise won the Grant Regional at 126 pounds Saturday to advance to the Barrington Sectional this weekend. In the semifinals, Infelise (33-4) won a 1-0 decision against Gurnee Warren’s Craig Mason and defeated Zion-Benton’s Tyler Braswell, 6-3, in the championship match. All three wrestlers are honorable mentions in the Illiniosmatmen.com rankings.

Noteworthy

Regionals by the numbers: Eighty-six local wrestlers placed in the top three at regionals and will represent their schools at sectional meets Friday and Saturday. That’s down slightly from 2012 when 90 qualified for sectionals.

The numbers were boosted at the Class 2A Hampshire Regional, which hosted all local schools. By class, 17 qualified in 1A, 42 in 2A and 27 in 3A.

Of the qualifiers, 30 brought home regional titles, including three freshmen. Prairie Ridge’s Travis Piotrowski won the Grant Regional at 106 pound in Class 3A, Woodstock North’s Jake Fiorito was first at the Hampshire Regional at 106 and Harvard’s Zack Martin won his home regional in 1A at 195 pounds.

Overall, 12 freshmen qualified for sectionals, mostly at the lighter weights. Six of the 12 qualified at either 106 or 113. Martin was the only freshman to qualify in a weight class over 145.

In the critical third-place regional matches that served as sectional eliminators, local wrestlers had some close win. Jacobs’ Cody Ferencz won a 4-2 overtime decision in his 126-pound third place match at the Huntley Regional. Also at Huntley, Crystal Lake South’s Casey Callahan took third with a 2-1 decision at 113, and Huntley's Ricky Vigil won an 8-7 decision at 120 to qualify.

Cary-Grove’s Patrick O’Malley won a 3-2 decision in his 220 third-place match at the Lake Zurich Regional.

In Class 2A, Woodstock’s Nick Sundberg won his third-place match at 145 with a 3-2 decision at the Hampshire Regional. The Blue Streaks were perfect in third-place matches, going 4-0.

At the other end of the experience spectrum, 12 seniors made it out of regionals for the first time. Senior sectional qualifiers were:

Cary-Grove: Patrick O’Malley (182), Nick Huff (220), Jeramey Dermont (285)

Crystal Lake Central: Brent Pfaff (195), Darwin Stone (220)

Woodstock: Ben Brucki (120), Thomas Rodriguez (132)

Marian Central: Zach Schuler (132), Matt Carlson (152)

McHenry: Infelise (126), Brad Ostdick (132)

Johnsburg: D.J. Leppien (160)

Dundee-Crown: Ray Griggel (220)

Dual team tournament: By winning their regional team championships, Harvard and Crystal Lake Central will compete at dual team sectionals Feb. 19.

The Hornets will face Aledo Mercer County at the Class 1A Byron Sectional. Aledo is ranked fourth as a team and Harvard is No. 10.

The Tigers will wrestle Montini at the Antioch Sectional. Montini is ranked No. 1 and is going for its sixth consecutive dual team state championship in Class 2A. Crystal Lake Central is ranked No. 8.

This week’s sectional meets

Class 1A at Oregon

Session I – 4:30 p.m. Friday

Session II – 9 a.m. Saturday

Session III – 2:30 p.m. Saturday

Class 2A at Antioch

Session I – 4:30 p.m. Friday

Session II – 11 a.m. Saturday

Session III – 4:30 p.m. Saturday

Class 3A at Barrington

Session I – 5 p.m. Friday

Session II – 9 a.m. Saturday

Session III – 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Sectional qualifiers need a top-four finish to make it to the State Finals Feb. 14-16 at Assembly Hall in Champaign.

Rob Smith

rsmith@shawmedia.com