Four wrestlers place at Princeton

Four Vandalia wrestlers placed in one of the top state tournaments for the second year in a row, leading the Vandals to a ninth-place finish.
Vandalia totaled 107 points in the Princeton Invitational Tournament, tying Wilmington for ninth in the 33-team event.
Tanner Swain and Anthony Enlow recorded second-place finishes, Trevor Philpot placed third in his class and Jarrett Paslay finished in fifth place.
The top 10 team scores for the tournament were: Coal City, 170.5; Dakota, 143.5; Mercer County, 138; Olympia, 137.5; Ottawa, 136; Morrison, 130; Byron, 116; Palos Heights, 109.5; Vandalia and Wilmington, 107.
“I thought we had a good tournament,” Vandals coach Jason Clay said. “We took nine kids up, and I think that every kid won at least one match.”
Placing four wrestlers and having two in the finals, Clay said, is a good finish at a tough tournament.
“There are a lot of good kids up there,” he said. “Looking at the history of the tournament, sometimes it’s tougher to place at Princeton than it is at the state tournament, because there are so many tough kids up there.”
The field included some of the top wrestlers not only in the same class as the Vandals, but also some in Class 2A and even 3A/
“It’s good preparation for regionals, sectionals and state,” Clay said. “(Our kids) are going to be facing some of these same kids (in the postseason), so it helps prepare for their styles and strategies.
“Also, just being in tough matches, you’ve been there before, so the kids know that they can handle that competition.
“That’s why we try to go out and seek tough competition, so we can be prepared when we get into tough spots, so our kids are mentally strong enough to wrestle through that tough spot and come out on the other end and be successful,” Clay said.
He was pleased with the effort by the five wrestlers who placed at the tournament.
Swain lost in the finals by a 6-2 score, “but it was basically 4-2, because he had to try to go for a takedown at the end,” Clay said about Swain’s match with Jake Hiles of Coal City, who was fourth at 120 pounds at last year’s state tournament.
“That’s a kid he is going to have to beat if he wants to accomplish his goals of being at the top, so it helps to get some experience against him,” Clay said.
Enlow lost in the finals at 285 only because of an escape by his opponent, Ryan Troutman of Dixon, who is ranked No. 5 in Class 2A.
“Anthony had a good tournament,” Clay said. “In the semifinals, he pinned an undefeated kid from Roxana. And nobody was able to get any takedowns (on him).”
Philpot, wrestling at 152, “had a really good tournament,” Clay said.
He was moved to the losers’ bracket after being pinned in the quarterfinals, “and he came back and won four straight matches to get third place.
“He had several tough matches,” Clay said. “He won in double overtime and he won two 1-0 matches.
“That brings out the competitiveness in you and prepares you for those end-of-the-year situations,” the Vandals coach said.
Clay was really pleased with Paslay’s performance given his competition at 126.
“He came through probably the toughest bracket in the tournament,” Clay said. “It was absolutely insane how tough it was.
“In the second round, he faced the kid from Illini Bluffs who was in the finals last year at state. As a state qualifier, that shouldn’t be a second-round match he (Paslay) should have,” Clay said.
“He beat that kid in overtime (on Friday), then beat him in overtime again” in the fifth-place match.
“He (Paslay) had a heck of a tournament,” Clay said.
The tournament results for the Vandals follow:
• 106 – Dakota Gasaway won by forfeit; lost by technical fall to Luke Fleming of Ottawa, 17-0; lost by fall to Isaac Bergen of IVC at 1:27.
• 120 – Tanner Swain won by fall over Grant Strode of Monticello at :55; defeated Tyler Harris of Clinton, 4-1; defeated Lane Litwiller of Olympia, 6-3; lost in the finals to Hiles of Coal City, 6-2. His record stands at 22-2.
• 126 – Jarrett Paslay won by fall over Kaleb Johnson of Clinton at 2:03; defeated Joe Worms of Illini Bluffs in OT, 6-4; lost to Stone Engle of Mercer County, 6-2; won by major decision, 10-0, over Adam Meenen of Rock Falls; defeated Alex Porter of Dakota, 5-1; lost to Caleb Boudreau of Manteno; defeated Worms in OT, 2-0.
• 132 – Logan Sullens defeated Bradley Ruger of Ottawa, 10-3; lost to Brody Ivey of Sterling, 9-1; lost to Matt Nutt of Wilmington, 2-0.
• 138 – Bradyn Kaiser defeated Nick Lange of Alleman, 3-2; lost to Alex Maguire of Roxana by fall at 1:44; lost to T.J. Quinlan of Palos Heights by fall at 1:41.
• 152 – Trevor Philpot won by decision over Richard Syverson of Ottawa at :53 seconds; defeated Jimmy Silva of Manteno, 1-0; lost to Kaehl VanDalsen of Monticello, 5-2; defeated Manny Ponce of Riverdale, 5-0; defeated Ricky Messling of Byron by fall at 3:29; defeated Wilson Ferry of Orion; defeated Silva in the third-place match, 1-0.
• 160 – Dustin Lott lost to Parker Smith of Rockridge by fall at 1:43; defeated Alec Carton of Alleman by fall at 3:52; lost to Clin Scheilein of Dixon by fall at 4:40.
• 195 – Garret Stewart won by fall over Hunter LeMaster of Riverdale at 3:18; lost to Robbie Carey of Mercer County, 7-2; defeated Dayne Wiggins of Leroy in a major decision, 12-2; won by fall over Jesse Cox of Wilmington at 2:34; lost to Mason Moore of Olympia by fall at 3:45.
• 285 – Anthony Enlow won by fall over John Carroll of Reed Custer at 3:11; won by major decision over Jacob Gohde of Illini Bluffs, 8-0; won by fall over Brett Nyswonger of Roxana at 5:38; lost to Ryan Troutman of Dixon in the finals, 1-0.

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