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Wrestlers take third in final regular-season event

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Vandals earn 8 top-six finishes at Litchfield Invite; to seek 18th straight regional title on Saturday

By Andrew Harner

LITCHFIELD – Senior Dayin Godberson won an individual championship at 182 pounds to lead eight wrestlers who finished in the top six, as the Vandals placed third at Saturday’s Litchfield Invitational.

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Godberson, who also won the 182-pound weight class at the Civic Memorial Tournament earlier this season, scored the first takedown of his match against Peter Schlafly, the top seed from MICDS.

Schlafly was able to escape Godberson’s grip and eventually tied the match at two in the second period, but Godberson then escaped Schlafly’s hold in the third period to take the match, 3-2.

Five of the eight matches Vandalia had in the final round were decided by three or fewer points, and coach Jason Clay said he would have liked to have seen his wrestlers be more aggressive on the offensive side to score the amount of points he knows they can score.

“I don’t think we had a real good day,” he said. “Obviously, as the tournament moves on, the matches get tougher, but we have to get more offensive. We can’t try to win matches 3-2 or 2-1.”

Two other Vandals wrestled for individual championships, but at 145 pounds, junior Seth Purcell lost, 11-3, and at 285 pounds, senior Anthony Fladeland was pinned in 1:31.

Sophomore C.J. Runkel placed third at 138 pounds, with a 3-2 win, and sophomore Tyler Dagen (lost 8-2 at 126 pounds), junior Zach Jackson (lost 8-7 at 160 pounds) and senior Levi Ulmer (lost by injury default at 195 pounds) each placed fourth.

Junior Sean Newcomb placed sixth after losing his 220-pound match, 2-1.

Ulmer took fourth place despite not wrestling any matches due to injury. He received a first-round bye, and his opponent in the second round was also injured, so Ulmer advanced because he had a higher seed.

Clay said Ulmer sat out for precautionary reasons, and that he will determine Ulmer’s practice status on a day-to-day basis. Barring further setback, Ulmer will wrestle on Saturday at the Cumberland regional.

The Vandals will be attempting to win their 18th straight regional championship, and even though there have been ups and downs to the season, Clay believes his team will be prepared.

“The regional is the thing that matters,” he said. “It’d be nice to go undefeated in duals and win every tournament, but as long as you win the regional tournament, you advance to the sectional.

“The last time I checked, that’s the most important thing.”

The other teams in Vandalia’s regional tournament at Cumberland High School are:
•Carmi-White County
•St. Anthony
•Fairfield
•Lawrenceville
•Mt. Carmel
•East Richland
•Robinson
•Cumberland

Saturday, Jan. 28
at Litchfield Invite
First round
•Ryne Lipsey (106) lost by fall at 3:49
•Adam Palmer (113) lost by technical fall
• Dagen (126) won by fall at 1:43
•Jake Stewart (132) lost, 11-1
•Runkel (138) received a bye
•Purcell (145) won by fall at 0:58
•Blake Cripe (152) won by fall at 5:04
•Jackson (160) won by fall at 2:54
•Trenton Kinworthy (170) won by fall at 3:29
•Godberson (182) received a bye
•Ulmer (195) received a bye
•Newcomb (220) won, 5-0
•Fladeland (285) received a bye
Second round
•Dagen won by fall at 3:20
•Runkel won by fall at 1:21
•Purcell won, 4-3
•Cripe lost, 9-1
•Jackson won by fall at 4:56
•Kinworthy lost, 9-1
•Godberson won by fall at 2:40
•Ulmer won by injury default
•Newcomb lost by fall at 3:42
•Fladeland won by fall at 3:26
Championship semifinals
•Dagen lost by fall at 3:50
•Runkel lost, 3-1
•Purcell won by fall at 1:04
•Jackson lost by technical fall
•Godberson won, 9-0
•Ulmer lost by injury default
•Fladeland won by fall at 0:30
Third-place matches
•Dagen lost, 8-2
•Runkel won, 3-2
•Jackson lost, 8-7
•Ulmer lost by injury default
Championship matches
•Purcell lost, 11-3
•Godberson won, 3-2
•Fladeland lost by fall at 1:31

Consolation bracket
First round
•Lipsey received a bye
•Palmer received a bye
•Stewart won by fall at 1:52
Second round
•Lipsey won, 20-7
•Palmer lost by technical fall
•Stewart lost, 12-6
•Cripe won, 12-8
•Kinworthy won by fall at 3:42
•Newcomb received a bye
Consolation semifinals
•Lipsey lost by fall at 0:41
•Cripe lost by default
•Kinworthy lost by fall at 4:34
•Newcomb won by fall at 3:54
Fifth-place match
•Newcomb lost, 2-1

Team scores
•Lena Winslow, 260.5
•Litchfield, 232.5
•Vandalia, 157
•Orion, 139
•Rochester, 114