By MC WEEKLY SPORTS STAFF
---- — PERU — Peru’s wrestling team entered with 2014 Mid-Indiana Conference meet with two four-time individual conference champions in program history.
The Bengal Tigers doubled that number last week. A third straight team championship was a nice icing on the cake, as well.
With four individual champions overall, Peru grabbed its three-peat with 244 points to win going away. Runner-up Cass finished with 202 points, while Western took third with 171.5.
The Panthers tied for a meet-best with four individual champions, but Peru placed in all 14 weight classes in a conference meet for the first time in program history, as well, to finish off a historic night.
“We started out fourth on paper, so we knew we had to have those bonus points,” Peru coach Andy Hobbs said. “The kids did it. They exceeded where they got seeded in a lot of cases, and we had a lot of great upsets. It’s just a really good group of kids. We’re trying to build some things here in Peru in all sports, and as we do that and get physically stronger with the fitness center, I think the bond is getting better. We’re starting to pull depth from the group.”
Bengal seniors Kegan Kern and Evan Loe carried the banner. Kern picked up a 7-1 decision over Cass’ Zach Layer to win the title in the 132-pound class. He became the third wrestler in program history to win four conference titles. Loe followed followed at 145 with a pin over Eastern’s Andrew Turner in 54 seconds to join Kern in the elite four-time conference champion class.
”Kegan and Evan have been in the lineup for four years and have been at the semistate level pretty much the entire time,” Hobbs said. “They’re wrestlers — they play two and three sports, but they are wrestlers. They’ve been anchors for our program for four years.”
Danny Fisher also claimed a conference title for Peru at 170 in a 10-7 decision over Eastern’s Chris Biddle. Teammate Erik Hobbs scored an escape in the fourth overtime to edge the Comets’ Evan Ellis 3-2 in the 220-pound title match.
Maconaquah’s Chase Wilson also won a conference title. Wilson pinned Eastern’s Cobin Hetzner to win the title at 126, the third MIC crown of his career.
The Bengal Tigers followed their conference three-peat with a sectional repeat on Saturday.
Peru posted a score of 270.5 to win the eight-team sectional it hosted at Tig-Arena. Maconaquah (221.5), Southwood (168), Manchester (157) and North Miami (128) rounded out the top five.
Peru had six individual champs — Shane Garretson (106), Connor Quin (120), Peyton Sturgill (138), Loe (145), Fisher (170) and Erik Hobbs (220). Loe, who owns a team-best 39-2 record, is a four-time sectional champ.
The Tigers also had a pair of runners-up — Kern (132) and Garrett Sparks (160).
Maconaquah was led by 126-pound champ Wilson. He is a four-time sectional champ. Also for the Braves, Wesley Wilson (152), Taylor McKinney (170) and Nick Ingram (195) were runners-up.
Peru will host a regional Saturday.