Record-setting day for Antioch at sectional
It was a record-breaking day for host Antioch as the Sequoits hosted the final day of their IHSA Class 2A individual wrestling sectional Saturday.
Antioch set a school record with a whopping seven individual qualifiers heading to the 82nd Annual IHSA state meet in Champaign beginning Thursday at State Farm Center.
Carmel Catholic had the next best showing with five of its individuals heading downstate next week followed by Grayslake Central with four, Crystal Lake South with three, and Vernon Hills with two.
Antioch's squad was led by second-place finishers Alex Barbarise (35-4 at 120 pounds), Elijah Reyes (34-15 at 132), Jackie Sistrunk (43-7 at 145), and Xavier Sanchez (21-4 at 285).
The Sequoits also got a third-place medal from Danny McPherson (40-6 at 126) along with fourths from Drew Lehn (113), and Mikey Volkmar (160). Antioch junior Niall Shoenfelder reached state last year, but a knee injury at regionals prevented him from competing this weekend.
Schoenfelder could be ready to wrestle when Antioch faces No. 2-seeded Marian Central (22-0) Feb. 19 at the Wauconda dual-team sectional.
Antioch coach Wilbur Borrero was ecstatic about getting seven individuals downstate this season.
"It's a situation where the kids really wrestled well, they battled back, and they showed a lot of heart," said Borrero. "We had a lot of young kids qualify, two seniors qualified, but the rest are underclassmen."
Carmel's troops were led by defending state champion and No. 1-ranked Riley Palm (28-1), who rolled to the 138-pound title with a 7-0 decision.
The Corsairs will also be represented in Champaign by runner-up Tommy Hoy (35-2 at 160), and third-place medalist Christian Valadez (26-2 at 132). Carmel also got fourths from Vince Swindell (145), and Yovaniel Garcia (170).
"It's been a good weekend, we brought seven, and we got five out," said Carmel coach Bob Kuykendall. "I'm happy for all of the kids, I'm happy for their families, and they've worked really hard to get here."
Grayslake Central senior Alex Cramer (43-0 at 170) continued his march toward back-to-back state crowns with three more pins, but top-ranked younger brother Adrien (41-1 at 182) had to settle for third place after losing a 6-3 decision in the semifinals.
"I'm just staying calm and focused and enjoying this last ride," said Alex Cramer, who has recorded roughly 30 pins this season. "My goal is to put up as many points as possible (at state), and I'm confident in my skills."
The Rams also got a title from senior Joey Murphy (39-5 at 145), and a third from sophomore Joey Jens (32-8 at 152).
"I'm definitely happy to get four (to state). I'm really excited for Joey Murphy making it after he was an alternate the last two years," said Grayslake Central coach Matt Joseph. "That kid (Alex Cramer) has wrestled through injuries this year and he's just a competitor."
Crystal Lake South walked away with three individual champions including 2018 fourth-place state medalist Christian Olsen (35-1 at 113), Peyton Timmons (33-2 at 126), and Jason Burburija (25-5 at 220).
"He (Olsen) works well on his feet, and when you simplify it and stick with the plan it makes things easier for everyone," said Crystal Lake South coach Ross Ryan. "I'm just super-proud to get three champions, it's great for the program, great for the school, and it's great to see these kids building from the past year."
Vernon Hills got a second from senior Casey Wood (34-10 at 195), and a third from Faheem Mannan at 220.
"I'm really happy for both of them because Casey is really a second-year wrestler who put in a lot of time in the offseason," said Vernon Hills coach Jerry Miceli.
"He (Mannan) started putting it all together last year, and he's just been on a nice roll. But he's a really light 220-pounder; he only weighs 201."
Lakes' Jack Brunati (40-3) bounced back strongly from regionals to take home first place at 285 with a 5-2 decision over Sanchez.
Other qualifiers in fourth place were Grayslake North's Adam Blonski (152), Wauconda's Jack Sullivan (106), and Fenton's Jeremiasz Piskorz (138).