Jorge Zavala was in eighth grade the last time Elgin produced an individual state wrestling qualifier.
But the Maroons' senior abruptly ended the four-year program drought by advancing to the championship match at 195 pounds Saturday at the Glenbard North sectional.
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Zavala (23-7) dropped a 7-6 verdict to Naperville Central's Ryan Berg in the title match.
"There was a lot of pressure," Zavala said. "Elgin hasn't had a state qualifier in four years. It's time to show that U-46 has something to do down there."
By also making the finals at heavyweight, Larkin's Devontae Joshua earned automatic inclusion to the three-day day state tournament, which begins Thursday in Champaign. Joshua lost to West Aurora's Austin Beebe 5-0 in the championship.
The Fox Valley's lone champion of the day was Bartlett's Sal Annoreno (35-3) at 132.
The junior had a takedown and a reversal to circumvent 2 escapes and a penalty point by Glenbard North junior Johnny Gosinski to win his first sectional title, 4-3.
"I feel like I'm dreaming right now," Annoreno said of his first state berth. "It makes me feel great. The first-round bye (at state) is fantastic."
Geneva junior Brad Martens is thankful the IHSA has eliminated the walkover in the state tournament.
One day after an agonizing loss to South Elgin 113-pounder Cory Pych, Martens met the Storm junior with dramatically different results in taking the top consolation prize.
"I couldn't fall asleep (Friday night)," Martens said of his surrendering 3 points in an equal number of seconds to lose by one. "I ended up putting him on his back (during a critical stretch of the 9-1 win)."
But Pych (29-9) still made the state field for South Elgin as did his senior brother Cody (34-4), who finished fourth at 170 pounds.