To say the least the past eight days of wrestling has been filled with a lot of wrestling action. On top of that a lot of top ranked wrestlers and teams hit the mats in some of the biggest events of the year. Here is a recap of each of the events over the course of the past week.
IHSWCA Team State Duals
In the first year of the duals it was a home run as Adams Central, Yorktown and Perry Meridian all claimed titles. Adams Central defeated Churubusco in a hotly contested dual, but utilized a strong lower part of their line-up to fend off the Eagles. Yorktown handled Evansville Memorial in the finals, only losing two matches in the championship bout. Perry Meridian fended off a tough Franklin squad in the 3A finals. Franklin won three matches and lost four others by three points or less.
On the individual side in Outstanding Wrestlers were 1A #10 Cody Walburn of Adams Central, 2A #3 Chandler Carroll of Yorktown and 3A #2 Brandon James of Perry Meridian. The Technical Superiourity awards were given to 1A Brandon Wormcastle of Churubusco, 2A #1 Nick Crume of Jimtown and 3A DJ Smith of Franklin.
Al Smith Invitational
As always the Al Smith Invitational is littered with state ranked teams and individuals. Due to snowmagedon Danville, Jasper and Princeton were not able to make the trip. On the team side, Penn won by one point over Merrillville on superior depth. Penn started the second day with nine wrestlers in the semi-finals, but only one made it to the finals. Merrillville however landed five in the finals, but only came away with one championship. Mishawaka and South Bend Clay both had three champions while Lowell came away with two champions thanks to the Hughes family. Another team that had a great tournament was Peru who finished in 8th place.
With every Al Smith Invitational comes a boat load of upsets and this year was no different. Mishawaka’s Jake Sinkovics dominated #2 Hayden Lee 6-2 in the finals and #4 Michael Garza in the semi-finals 6-1 to claim the 106lbs championship. At 120lbs the 8th seeded Drew Hughes went through a meat grinder to come away the champion, defeating #1 Adam Garcia, #8 Alex Sparks, and #13 Zach Davis along the way. Jimtown Jimmie Nick Crume was dominate all day long with bonus point victories in every match. Tommy Forte and Bobby Steveson both claimed their second Al Smith titles in as many years and are on track to become the second and third four-time titlists. Triva: Who is the only 4-time Al Smith Champion? (Answer at the end of the article)
Both Hartman brothers brought home titles for the Colonials along with heavyweight Shakir Carr. Kenny Hughes of Lowell had five pins along the way to his championship to also join his brother on top of the podium. Gelen Robinson claimed his second Al Smith title and 195lber Dominique Avila claimed his first title for South Bend Riley. Bellmont’s Brad Busse had four pins and then an injury default in the finals to claim his championship. Rounding out the champions were Mishawaka’s Tristan Macri and Columbus East’s Kyle Stillinger.
Connersville Spartan Classic
East Noble pulled away from conference rival Carroll to claim the team championship on the strength of championship performances from Garrett Pepple, Connor Knapp and Sterling Lutter. Carroll was led by Riley Lefever who claimed a championship at 170lbs and defeated #2 ranked Anthony Linnear 12-1 in the semi-finals. Another big match-up was at 152lbs where #2 Josh Farrell defeated #5 Vinny Corsaro in the finals. Mitch Sliga of Fishers won the 195lbs bracket and also was voted outstanding wrestler for the tournament. Wesley Bernard gave Cathedral a second champion claiming the big boys weight class. Other top wrestlers with championship include Tom Gettinger, Zach Krumlauf, Tyler Hupp and Austin McCloskey.
Mater Dei Holiday Classic
The Mater Dei Classic had more than its fair share of great wrestling on Friday and Saturday. The host Mater Dei, Franklin and New Palestine were all hoping to bring home championship, but it was Union County out of Kentucky taking the title away from the host Wildcats for the first time in 29 years. Franklin and Mater Dei were within striking distance, but could not pull it out at the end.
On the individual side, #1 Chad Red defeated #3 DJ Smith in the finals 6-4 in a great matchup that could be a preview of the state finals. Terrence Kennedy claimed the championship at 113lbs for Floyd Central. Grizzly Cub #14 Skyler Lykins defeated #12 Josh Pierre in the finals at 132lbs in a battle of ranked wrestlers. At 160lbs #4 Mahlon Parkinson defeated #8 Luke Kriech 7-0 to claim the only championship for the host school. Avon had two champions in 182lber Jonah Zorringer and 220lber Dylan Jones who defeated Franklin’s Conner Tolley in the finals. Jacob Brownfield of Franklin rounded out the Hoosier champions at the tournament.
North Montgomery Holiday Duals
Perry Meridian continue their roll through the state in going undefeated in the tough dual tournament. They shut out a very tough Portage team along with New Haven. They only allowed 10 points against Carmel, 6 against North Montgomery and 15 against Bloomington South. Warren Central defeated both Bloomington South and Portage to help make their case for a top three ranking. Conner Galvin of Bloomington South was voted Outstanding wrestler after going undefeated at 170lbs.
Mooresville Holiday Classic
Yorktown took the title at Mooresville in their 16-team tournament. They were lead by champions Cael McCormick, Schuyler Phillips, Dalton Baysinger, Eli Walker and Rhett Hiestand. While not winning a championship, Yorktown’s Chandler Carroll, had a great match with Evansville Central’s Brendon Kelley. The match featured numerous scrambles and close calls, yet Kelley came out on top 2-0 on a reversal in the second period. Bishop Dwenger’s Ben Evans won the 182lbs bracket over #11 Conner Ludwig.