Toughness matters in wrestling, which partly explains why host Glenbard North secured its 13th straight regional title Saturday and advanced 10 individuals to next week's Class 3A sectional.
Seven Panthers competed in championship matches Saturday afternoon. Six wrestled their way to individual titles, thereby lifting Glenbard North (222 points) to the team title ahead of Wheaton North (183.5) and St. Charles East (174.5).
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"I thought we wrestled pretty tough," Glenbard North coach Mark Hahn said. "We wanted the whole team to contribute points and we needed everybody -- even if they weren't seeded as well -- to score points and everybody did. We knew it would be really close with St. Charles (East) and Wheaton North. We knew it would be a battle and I thought we stepped up."
Glenbard North regional champions included 106-pound sophomore Patrick Augustyn (36-5), 120-pound junior Jon Marmolejo (40-3), 126-pound junior Jered Cortez (41-0), 132-pound senior Johnny Gosinski (31-5), 152-pound senior Brian Murphy (31-1) and 160-pound sophomore Jimique Davis (24-8).
Glenbard North also won three third-place matches, qualifying Evan Finger (182), Luke Greenberg (195) and Chris Edwards (285) for next week's Class 3A sectional at Maine East. Glenbard North will compete in the team dual sectional at Lake Park
"Our big guns stepped up and even our younger guys stepped up and came up with some big wins," Hahn said. "They got a lot of pins, which is huge. That kind of separated us."
Wheaton North placed wrestlers in six title bouts, winning three. Kegan Calkins defeated Elgin's Zach McColllough 10-6 to win the title at 113 pounds, Kaelen Bradford defeated St. Charles East's Jordan Meadows to win the 182-pound title, and Kellen Cleveland won the title at 195 pounds with a 3-0 decision over Elgin's Richard Santana.
The Falcons advanced seven wrestlers, including 170-pound Matt Ramirez, who took third.
Upstate Eight Conference Tournament champ St. Charles East entered the regional with visions of halting Glenbard North's streak of regional titles only to have its hopes dashed relatively early in the day.
"We didn't have our best day," St. Charles East coach Jason Potter said. "Coming in here we thought we could contend for this, but it fell apart for us in that second round. We didn't have a good round, we got flustered and it fell apart from there.
"The good news is a lot of those kids we're going to have to beat next week, so we'll fix some things and try to go back at them."
St. Charles East wrestlers lost 5 of the 7 title matches in which they appeared. The only regional champions for the Saints were 145-pound sophomore Keone Derain (28-6) and 170-pound Cam Carlson (29-8). Derain defeated Wheaton North's Vinnie Terrazas 4-0, while Carlson scored a 5-2 decision against Glenbard North's Colton Wegner.
"I'd never wrestled him before so I wanted to be offensive," Carlson said, "but I didn't want to give up anything defensively at the same time. I know Glenbard North is a tough team. I was hoping to win by major decision or fall but I'll take what I can get."
Defending state champion Sal Annoreno (27-1) from Bartlett won the regional title at 138 pounds, thanks to a 5-1 decision over Wheaton North's Sean Murray. Annoreno's second straight regional title left the senior unimpressed, however.
"I did OK," he said, "My last match, I wish it wasn't as sloppy as it was."
Other Bartlett wrestlers who qualified for the sectional included Brian Boyle (26-10) at 152 pounds and 220-pounder Alex Piedra. (19-13). Both seniors won third-place matches.
In addition to second-place finishers McCollough and Santana, Elgin advanced third-place finishers Jeff Morrow (106) and Tyler VonEssen (120). VonEssen, a junior, pinned Wheaton North freshman Dylan Thurston in 1:28.
"I ankle picked him and from there went into a half nelson," Von Essen said. "I've been fighting for this 120 spot, so it feels good to advance to the next level."
Larkin advanced juniors Duke Bogicevic (132) and Alex Duran (145), while South Elgin advanced seniors Cory Pych (126) and William Aleman (160).
West Chicago's John Carlos won the 285-pound title bout against South Elgin's Nick Kowalski with a fall at 3:55. Carlos was one of three Wildcats to advance.
A lone St. Charles North wrestler emerged from the regional tournament: 220-pound senior Wes Poshock. He improved to 27-4 and qualified for his second consecutive sectional with a 4-2 win over Wheaton North junior Anthony Yanan.