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Wrestling against some of Class A’s best individual wrestlers in the state, eight Vandals finished in the top seven to lead the team to a fifth-place finish at the Princeton Tournament.
Sophomore Chaston Womack (113) and senior C.J. Runkel (160) each finished fourth to lead the Vandals, who traveled three hours north to wrestle last Friday and Saturday in the state’s premier Class A individual tournament.
Sophomore Bobby Bradley finished fifth at 195 pounds. Despite losing in the first round of the championship bracket, he rattled off four straight wins in the consolation bracket to put himself on the medal stand.
Junior Jake Stewart had a similar path after losing his first bout, 2-1. He won two bouts in the wrestle-backs to get himself into the seventh-place match.
“That’s a tough thing to do,” said coach Jason Clay. “They had to win several matches to place.”
Bradley's five overall victories at Princeton give him 20 on the season, surpassing his win total from last season (17).
Also placing fifth were senior Seth Purcell (170) and junior Dalton Blankenship (145), while sophomore Kendrick Woolsey (285) placed sixth, and junior Ryne Lipsey (120) also took seventh.
The results were a big improvement over last season, when just three wrestlers finished in the top eight and the team placed 23rd.
“It was a grind. We had a lot of close matches,” Clay said. “On Saturday, it seemed like every match was a battle, and we came to a realization that we need to get better."
Clay wasn't disappointed with how the team wrestled, but said several individuals believed they could have finished higher in the standings.
Dakota was the runaway team champion, scoring 270.5 points to easily beat second-place Byron, which scored 181.5.
The Indians – the undisputed No. 1 Class A team in the state – had three individual champions and five others finish second or third.
Jan. 10 and 11
at Princeton Tournament
106 – Trevor Philpot
•Lost in second round to Dakota Marrello, 8-5
•Lost in cons. second round to Blake Whyers, 6-1
113 – Chaston Womack
•Won in second round; def. Payton Presler, 10-4
•Won in quarterfinals; def. Jevon Hey, 6-4
•Lost in semifinals to Cody Minnick, 6-1
•Won in consolation semis; def. Logan Knisley, 6-1
•Lost in third-place bout to Alec Henze, 10-0
120 – Ryne Lipsey
•Won in second round; def. Mark Struck by fall at 3:52
•Lost in quarterfinals to Justin Kinney, 17-4
•Won in consolation third round; def. Preston Adams, 6-4
•Lost in cons. fourth round to Jared Foiles, 3-1
•Won seventh-place bout; def. Mark Struck, 8-3
126 – Luke Tessman
•Won in first round; def. Jakob Dodd by fall at 3:10
•Lost in second round to Corey Jurzak by fall at 3:40
•Won in consolation first round; def. Jacob McCarrens by fall at 3:04
•Lost in cons. second round to Luke Roach by fall at 4:42
132 – Adam Palmer
•Lost in first round to Nic Ransom, 7-3
•Won in consolation first round; def. Brandon Hey by fall at 1:58
•Lost in cons. second round to Sergio Jimenez, 4-0
138 – Rodney Tedrick
•Won in first round; def. Doran Piper by fall at 1:27
•Lost in second round to Jacob Devolder by fall at 2:40
•Won in consolation first round; def. Hunter Ferguson, 4-3
•Lost in cons. second round to Brenton Noble, 4-0
145 – Dalton Blankenship
•Won in second round; def. Lane Williams by fall at 2:51
•Lost in quarterfinals to Daniel Close, 2-0
•Won in consolation third round; def. Triston Ballinger by technical fall at 4:04
•Won in cons. quarterfinals; def. Zach O’Connor, 10-1
•Lost in cons. semifinals to Kylian Lally, 2-0
•Won fifth-place bout; def. Daniel Close by default
152 – Tyler Dagen
•Won in first round; def. Logan Winter by technical fall at 6:00
•Lost in second round to Brandon Ahlgrim, 8-6
•Won in consolation first round; def. Zach Williams by fall at 0:52
•Lost in cons. second round to Andrew Liaromatis, 2-1
160 – C.J. Runkel
•Won in second round; def. Mason Nichols by fall at 3:02
•Won in quarterfinals; def. Nick Hawkins by fall at 3:19
•Lost in semifinals to Weslye Brown, 6-3
•Won in consolation semifinals; def. Jared Packer by fall at 2:29
•Lost third-place bout to Nick Hawkins, 4-3
170 – Seth Purcell
•Won in second round; def. Cole Blankenship by fall at 1:33
•Lost in quarterfinals to Bo Bauer, 4-2
•Won in consolation third round; def. Justin Wood by fall at 2:49
•Won in cons. quarterfinals; def. Payton Loete, 6-5
•Lost in consolation semifinals to Dylan Lydon, 3-2
•Won fifth-place bout; def. Bo Bauer by default
182 – Jake Stewart
•Lost in second round to Matt Weeks, 2-1
•Consolation first-round bye
•Won in cons. second round; def. Michael Cler, 4-3
•Won in cons. third round; def. Marcos Tapia by fall at 4:29
•Lost in cons. quarterfinals to Lucas Newburgh, 1-0
•Won seventh-place bout; def. Nate Schultz, 4-1
195 – Bobby Bradley
•Lost in first round to Jacob Franklin, 3-2
•Won in consolation first round; def. Francisco Arellano, 6-4
•Won in cons. second round; def. Arthur Hill by fall at 1:43
•Won in cons. third round; def. Matt Baker, 5-3
•Won in cons. quarterfinals; def. Ryan Berman, 3-2
•Lost in cons. semifinals to Alex Puentes, 8-3
•Won fifth-place bout; def. Jordan Ladd by default
220 – Kolten Etcheson
•Lost in second round to Logan Shafer by fall at 0:29
•Consolation first-round bye
•Lost in cons. second round to Kyal Davis by fall at 2:07
285 – Kendrick Woolsey
•Won in second round; def. Ray Pigott, 2-1
•Lost in quarterfinals to Josh Wallick by fall at 2:20
•Won in consolation third round; def. Kyle Robinson by fall at 1:24
•Won in cons. quarterfinals; def. Will Adams, 8-3
•Lost in cons. semifinals to Quinton Ball, 1-0
•Lost in fifth-place bout to Wyatt Robinson, 8-5
•1. Dakota, 270.5
•2. Byron, 181.5
•3. Monticello, 168
•4. Plano, 166
•5. Vandalia, 138
VANDALIA – The Vandals had little trouble handling a pair of short-handed opponents on Tuesday night.
Vandalia swept Carlinville – which had six wrestlers – by a nearly-perfect score of 83-0, and also beat East Alton-Wood River – which had four wrestlers – 69-6.
None of Vandala’s wrestlers had a bout in both matches, and four of them had a pair of forfeits as the team improved to 13-4 on the season.
“This was one of those matches where you want to go out and take care of business,” said coach Jason Clay. “Wood River has had better days and has better days ahead. They have some junior high kids coming.
“A lot of forfeits stinks – our kids would rather wrestle,” he said. “But we have a lot of wrestling this week, so we are excited about that.”
On Thursday at 6 p.m., the Vandals host Class 2A Highland and South Central Conference rival Litchfield – which last season defeated the Vandals by one point in the first round of the state tournament.
And on Saturday, the test gets even tougher, as Monticello – the No. 4 ranked Class A school in the state – will visit the Vandals as part of a 10 a.m. quadrangular which also features Murphysboro and Robinson.
Against EAWR, freshman Trevor Philpot took a loss at 106, but made an improvement from the last time he faced Drew Sobol.
Sobol pinned Philpot during the Civic Memorial Tournament on Dec. 7, but Philpot wrestled to a 4-1 loss on Tuesday, and Luke Tessman took a hard-fought overtime loss at 126 pounds.
In the other two bouts, senior C.J. Runkel escaped with 19 seconds left to break a 4-4 tie at 160 pounds, and junior Jake Stewart picked up a pin in 1:44 at 182.
Against Carlinville, the Vandals picked up five pins – all in the first round – with junior Ryne Lipsey’s win at 120 pounds in 13 seconds being the fastest.
Also earning pins were sophomore Chaston Womack (113) in 43 seconds, junior Dalton Blankenship (145) in 57 seconds, senior Seth Purcell (170) in 48 seconds and sophomore Bobby Bradley (195) in 1:30.
Senior Tyler Dagen – who recently picked up his 100th career victory – earned a technical fall in the second round of his bout at 152.
The wrestlers debuted a new mat on Tuesday. The mat uses Velcro instead of tape to be held together and was courtesy of the Sports Boosters, wrestling parents and the athletic department.
Tuesday, Jan. 14
•106: Sobol (E) def. Philpot, 4-1
•113: Womack (V) won by forfeit
•120: Lipsey (V) won by forfeit
•126: Mike Hall (E) def. Luke Tessman, 3-1 (OT)
•132: Adam Palmer (V) won by forfeit
•138: Rodney Tedrick (V) won by forfeit
•145: Blankenship (V) won by forfeit
•152: Dagen (V) won by forfeit
•160: Runkel (V) def. Zach Blasioli, 5-4
•170: Purcell (V) won by forfeit
•182: Stewart (V) def. Darian McLemore by fall at 1:44
•195: Bradley (V) won by forfeit
•220: Kolten Etcheson (V) won by forfeit
•285: Kendrick Woolsey (V) won by forfeit
•106: Philpot won by forfeit
•113: Womack def. Tyler Martin by fall at 0:43
•120: Lipsey def. Jeff Grieve by fall at 0:13
•126: Tessman won by forfeit
•132: Palmer won by forfeit
•138: Tedrick won by forfeit
•145: Blankenship def. Austin Spears by fall at 0:57
•152: Dagen def. Dillon Rosentreter by technical fall, 15-0
•160: Runkel won by forfeit
•170: Purcell def. David Daugherty by fall at 0:48
•182: Stewart won by forfeit
•195: Bradley def. Dalton Jamieson by fall at 1:39
•220: Etcheson won by forfeit
•285: Woolsey won by forfeit