Marmion sends four downstate
Jacob Tinajero, Antonio Torres and Dzhabrail Khurshidov could not have had three more disparate championships on Saturday afternoon at the Class 3A Hinsdale Central individual wrestling sectional.
Tinajero, a Marmion senior, earned teammate Diego Sotelo some solace by capturing for the program the 138-pound championship victory after Sotelo, a defending state champion and top-ranked 113-pounder, was stunned four weight classes earlier.
Torres had the only points in the 170-pound championship for Waubonsie Valley.
Khurshidov secured his triumph in the finals at 195 pounds when an accidental head butt knocked Marist sophomore Ghee Rachal out of the competition eight seconds before the end of the first period.
The West Aurora senior, ranked third in state, had already secured an automatic second straight berth to the state tournament at the University of Illinois' State Farm Center.
Thirteen other area athletes also made the cut to the three-day state tournament, beginning Thursday in Champaign.
Tinajero (34-5) spotted Marist junior Maheen Taylor the first 4 points, only to storm back with 8 of the last 9, including a takedown at the buzzer, to win 8-5.
Sotelo the reigning 106-pound state champion, surrendered a third-period reversal in his showdown with Mt. Carmel second-ranked freshman Sergio Lemley to fall 4-3 in the epic battle between the two top-rated athletes at 113 pounds.
"I was trying to win it for him," Tinajero said of his devotion to Sotelo. "My coaches were just telling me to wrestle my match. I slid at him (Taylor) and kept my hip in (for the final takedown)."
"I am pretty disappointed," said Sotelo, who fell to 39-3 as Lemley trumped his three escapes with a takedown and the decisive reversal. "It was just small mistakes that cost me the match. I just want to make sure I fix those areas before next week."
Naperville Central snapped the Cadets' run of seven consecutive regional team titles last week, but Marmion earned a small measure of consolation by leading the area programs in state qualifiers with four.
Jameson Garcia, a freshman 106-pounder, was third; Charlie O'Connor was fourth in his final sectional at 170 for the Cadets.
Khurshidov earned the last of three titles for an Aurora high school when Rachal was unable to continue as the second period was winding down.
The Blackhawks' senior was leading 2-0 at the time.
"My head just bumped into his forehead," Khrushidov said, pointing to a particularly vulnerable spot above the eye. "It puffed up right away. I didn't end it the way I wanted to win."
Khurshidov went unscored upon in his three matches.
On an afternoon in which traditional powers Mt. Carmel, Oak Park-River Forest and Sandburg dominated the championship bracket, DuPage County was guaranteed a titlist at 170 when Torres and Hinsdale Central senior Ron Kruse met in the finals.
Torres, third ranked in the class, earned the Warriors back-to-back sectional champions in shutting out Kruse 6-0 on a first-period fall, followed by an immediate reversal to start the second and a clinching takedown with 53 seconds remaining.
"I work on that all the time in practice," said Torres, a junior, on his defense. "I circled up high to kind of a nice clutch to a double- (leg takedown). I did a spin to get over on top (for the reversal)."
"I can't really say I am that disappointed with the loss," Kruse said. "I am just really excited to be going to Champaign."
Four other local wrestlers dropped championship matches.
The host Red Devils' Cody Tavaso is 41-5 at 106 after the freshman fell 8-1 to once-beaten Sandburg sophomore Sammie Hayes.
Naperville Central senior Angelo Eklou didn't score against Hayes' teammate Kevin Zimmer in the 220-pound final.
"I wasn't able to get to my shots," Eklou said. "I have to be able to do better on top. He was able to ride me out the whole second period."
Aidan Waszak was run over by a figurative mack truck in OPRF state luminary Jacob Rundell, who scored an astonishing 20 points in the first period en route to a technical fall.
"This is my first time going to state," said Waszak, the Wheaton Warrenville South senior 126-pounder. "He was in my face the whole time. I wasn't expecting that much pressure."
Downers South second-ranked 160-pounder Robert Major was vanquished 6-2 by Mt. Carmel senior Ashton Breen in suffering his second defeat this season.
Naperville Central state contender Tyler Driessens had his 2020 winning streak snapped in the semifinals before claiming the third-place match at 120.
"It was a tough draw," said Driessens, on facing Mt. Carmel senior Colton Drousias. "He's the defending state champion. He's the kid I have to beat to win the state title."