Athlete of the Week
Luis won the Class 1A Oregon Sectional at 106 pounds Saturday. In the semifinals, Luis (36-6), defeated Erie-Prophetstown’s Brandon
McCullough, 7-3. McCullough (35-3) is ranked No. 5 by illinoismatmen.com. Luis decisioned No. 6-ranked Hunter Spengler (31-5) from Sherrard, 8-1, in the championship match. Luis is ranked No. 2.
Qualifiers: There were 36 area wrestlers who qualified for the state finals with top-four finishes in sectional tournaments Saturday. By Class, there were four in 1A, 20 in 2A and 12 in 3A. By place, there were five champions, 10 runners up, 12 thirds and nine fourth places.
Sectional champions were Luis in 1A, Richmond-Burton’s Garret Sutton at 152 and Crystal Lake Central’s Andrew Marsden (170) in 2A and Cary-Grove’s Michael Cullen (113) and McHenry’s Wade Lardy (145) in 3A.
The consolation semifinals were the sectional elimination rounds. Winning sends wrestlers into the third-place match and losing ends the season. In those critical matches, area wrestlers were 20-7.
Class 3A’s 12 qualifiers is the most in that class since wrestling split into three classes in the 2008-2009 school year. Last year in 3A, there were eight qualifiers. Cullen, Lardy and Crystal Lake South’s Nick Gil are the only returning state qualifiers in 3A.
In all classes, 13 of the 36 area state qualifiers also qualified last year.
There are five returning state place winners who are looking to improve or repeat their finish from last year. Luis was fourth at 106 in 1A last year. In 2A, Richmond-Burton’s Grant Sutton (fifth at 106), Cameron Kennedy (third at 120) and Garrett Sutton (third at 138) all return to state. Cullen (fourth at 106) returns in 3A.
Also, coming one match from placing last year were Johnsburg’s Branden Peshek, who lost in an ultimate tiebreaker in the quarterfinal wrestlebacks, and Gil, who also lost in the quarterfinal wrestlebacks.
That was no decision: Marsden dominated in winning his sectional title, but the IHSA results did not report the correct score. The official results had Marsden winning by decision in the semifinals and finals at Antioch. In reality, Marsden recorded a second-period pin against Wauconda’s Alex Schwickrath in the semis. In the finals, Marsden pinned Montini’s Michael Maduko in the third period.
Schwickrath is ranked No. 12 and Maduko is No. 3. Marsden (39-4) is ranked No. 2 and has five pins in his five regional and sectional matches.
At Assembly Hall in Champaign 2:30 p.m. Thursday 8:30 a.m. Friday 9 a.m. Saturday
Thirty six area wrestlers will be competing in the individual state tournament.
– Rob Smith, email@example.com