A returning state medalist, a senior who also gets a return trip and two wrestlers experiencing state for the first time make up the Lisle contingent that survived Saturday's Class 1A Plano sectional finals and heads to the individual state meet that starts Thursday in Champaign.
Senior Brian Czyl was sectional champ at 145 pounds. Senior Ryan Kilroy (132 pounds) and junior Ben Buchelt (138) were second in their respective weight classes, and senior A.J. Pascente (113) won his third-place bout.
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"I think we had a pretty good day. These (four) have been our main core all year," said Lisle coach John Davis.
Kilroy finished fourth in state last season at 120 and goes into this year's state meet with a 29-3 record.
He fell in the 132 final 10-6 to Wilmington's Andy Rodawald. Rodawald controlled most of the match, but things got interesting when Kilroy scored a 3-point near fall with less than a minute remaining.
"I knew I had to pull a desperation move and try to score more points," Kilroy said.
His sectional began with a bye followed by a 5-2 decision victory and a win by fall at 2:53.
"This was pretty tough. It was one of my harder sectionals. But I know it will make me better," he said. "It will be a very hard weight class (at state). Every match will be tough."
Kilroy was ranked third in a Class 1A poll at 132. Rodawald was second. Rodawald had already beaten Kilroy this season.
"This should give (Kilroy) confidence if he sees him again," Davis said.
Czyl edged Coal City's Jake Czaja 3-2 in the 145 final to raise his record to 25-1. Both wrestlers are ranked in the top 10 of their weight class.
"First time going to state it's overwhelming. The second time you know what to expect," Czyl said. "I'm going after it and try to have a good run."
He went into the final after winning by fall in 4:42 and a 17-2 technical fall.
Pascente (33-5) is making his first trip to state after beating Clifton Central's Kenton Knorr by a 12-3 major decision in the 113-pound third-place bout.
"I'm thinking the four years have finally paid off," Pascente said. "I can fine-tune a couple of things in practice this week, but I feel pretty well prepared. But there's always room for improvement."
It was a wild final at 138 with Plano's Ivan Lopez and Lisle's Ben Buchelt, with Lopez finally prevailing 8-7.
Buchelt is making his first trip to state and takes a 35-2 record to Champaign. Like his three teammates, he is also a top 10-ranked wrestler.
"I'm excited to be going to state. I wish, though, I had wrestled better in the finals," he said. "This week I'll work on speed and takedowns. I didn't have enough takedowns in the final."
Champaign won't be the last stop of the season for Lisle. The Lions travel to the Wilmington Dual Team Sectional on Feb. 19 and battle Peotone. The winner advances to state competition the following weekend in Bloomington.
"We're talking about it. It comes down to how bad we want it. The team is going to have to step up," Pascente said of the team competition.