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Vandal wrestlers win SCC; split home tri-meet

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Vandalia is undefeated vs. conference opponents after beating Litchfield last Thursday

By Andrew Harner

With an “emotional” team win at Litchfield last Thursday, the Vandalia wrestlers secured a perfect South Central Conference record, and the Vandals followed that with a split at a home tri-meet on Saturday.

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Freshman Ryne Lispey – who earned the clinching pin against Litchfield, during a 33-31 victory – had a chance to secure another team win against Monticello on Saturday, but he was pinned by a more-experience opponent.

That match tied the team score at 33, and Monticello went on to win, because it secured wins at seven weight classes, while Vandalia had just six.

The battle, however, was exciting throughout.

Vandalia opened the match with a pair of losses to go down, 11-0, but a pin from junior Tyler Dagen (132) and a forfeit to freshman Dalton Blankenship (138) put the Vandals ahead, 12-11.

Sophomore C.J. Runkel (145), who leads the team in pins this season, entered the third period of his match tied at three, but he scored a quick reversal to take a lead.

With 20 seconds left, Monticello’s Ramsey Hoss reversed Runkel’s hold to tie the match at five, but Runkel would break out of Hoss’ hold to score a point for an escape with just seven seconds left in the match to earn the victory.

“That was a little close for comfort, but he was able to score,” said coach Jason Clay. “We work on those situations in practice, and when it comes to matches, you have to win those battles.”

Junior Seth Purcell (152) continued Vandalia’s momentum surge by pinning Dylan Knisley in 1:11. Earlier this season, Knisley had defeated Purcell in  a tournament.

Monticello earned pins in the next two matches, and senior Dayin Godberson (182) was hit with a tough one-point stalling penalty with just 10 seconds left in his match, which he was leading, 1-0.

He was taken down in overtime to give Monticello a 24-21 lead.

“It’s one of those deals where it just worked out that way,” Clay said.

Seniors Levi Ulmer (195) and Anthony Fladeland (285) were able to secure pins, but Monticello earned enough points at 220 and 106 pounds to force the tie-breaker.

In the first match against Murphysboro on Saturday, the Vandals got forfeits at five weights and earned three pins during a 54-16 win.

One of the pins was earned by freshman Blake Cripe (160), who went 1-1 on the day and is 16-13 on the season.

Cripe has been bumped up in weight classes because of injuries to junior Zach Jackson and senior Daniel Edwards, so Clay is not concerned with his near .500 record.

“Some people may be concerned that he has picked up some losses, but he’s just fine,” Clay said.

Jackson began practicing again last Friday, and Clay is moving “safely” with Edwards, who is suffering from lingering concussion issues. Clay said he hopes to be at full strength by the time the postseason begins.

Saturday, Jan. 14
vs. Monticello
Monticello 34 (criteria)
Vandalia 33
•106 – Lipsey lost by fall at 3:38
•113 – Double forfeit
•120 – Adam Palmer lost by fall at 1:54
•126 – Emily Miles lost by technical fall at 2:56
•132 – Dagen won by fall at 5:30
•138 – Blankenship won by forfeit
•145 – Runkel won, 6-5
•152 – Purcell won by fall at 1:11
•160 – Cripe lost by fall at 3:35
•170 – Trenton Kinworthy lost, 13-3
•182 – Godberson lost, 3-1 (OT)
•195 – Ulmer won by fall at 3:06
•220 – Sean Newcomb lost, 5-0
•285 – Fladeland won by fall at 1:56

vs. Murphysboro
Vandalia 54
Murphysboro 16
•106 – Lipsey won, 20-13
•113 – Double forfeit
•120 – Palmer lost by fall at 5:13
•126 – Miles lost by fall at 3:23
•132 – Dagen won by forfeit
•138 – Blankenship won, 6-4
•145 – Runkel won by fall at 0:28
•152 – Purcell won by fall at 1:05
•160 – Cripe won by fall at 3:26
•170 – Kinworthy lost, 11-0
•182 – Godberson won by forfeit
•195 – Ulmer won by forfeit
•220 – Newcomb won by forfeit
•285 – Fladeland won by forfeit

Thursday, Jan. 12
at Litchfield
vs. Highland
Vandalia 44
Highland 26
•106 – Lipsey won by forfeit
•113 – Highland won by forfeit
•120 – Palmer lost, 10-2.
•126 – Dagen won by fall at 5:21
•132 – Jake Stewart lost, 6-2
•138 – Blankenship lost, 13-2
•145 – Runkel won by fall at 5:12
•152 – Purcell won by fall at 3:11
•160 – Cripe won, 10-7
•170 – Daniel Edwards won by forfeit
•182 – Godberson won by fall at 0:58
•195 – Ulmer won, 15-0
•220 – Newcomb lost, 8-5
•285 – Fladeland lost by fall at 0:32

vs. Litchfield
Vandalia 33
Litchfield 31
•106 – Lipsey won by fall at 1:50
•113 – Litchfield won by forfeit
•120 – Litchfield won by forfeit
•126 – Dagen won, 11-4
•132 – Stewart lost, 6-0
•138 – Blankenship lost, 9-5
•145 – Runkel won, 5-2
•152 – Purcell won by fall at 4:38
•160 – Cripe lost, 11-3
•170 – Kinworthy lost by fall at 3:04
•182 – Godberson won by fall at 1:30
•195 – Ulmer won, 12-3
•220 – Newcomb lost, 6-1
•285 – Fladeland won by fall at 3:45