PERU — Western’s wrestling team enjoyed another record day Saturday.
A week after posting a record score in winning the Oak Hill Sectional and advancing a wrestler in every weight class, the Panthers were in dominant form again on Saturday at the Peru Regional.
The Panthers saw a school-record 11 wrestlers advance from the regional to next Saturday’s Fort Wayne Semistate, including four champions. Western qualified 14 to the regional but brought only 13 as one wrestler was out with an injury.
“Yeah, it was a good day,” Western coach Chad Shepherd said. “We lost one before the tournament started. So we were one short. To get 11 out of 13 is a really good day.
“Actually we started a little sluggish, had some really close matches, but we fought through it, got on a roll and won a lot of matches.”
Western’s Braydon Erb (220 pounds), Dylan Goudy (138), Hunter Cottingham (132) and Tyler Lechner (126) each won titles.
“Four champions — that was great,” Shepherd said. “After not wrestling last year, for Tyler to come back and have the season he’s had is really great. We knew the North Miami boy [126-pound runner-up Kasey Deardorff] was going to be good. We pretty much controlled the whole match.
“Dylan Goudy, he set himself up in good position last week and just wrestled his butt off. He’s been on fire the last few weeks. It’s hard to beat a good wrestler anyway and to beat him [Eastern’s Tytus Morrisett] back to back weekends is really good.”
Goudy won the 138-pound final 11-4 over Tytus Morrisett. Lechner won an 8-2 decision over Deardorff. Shepherd was also impressed with Cottingham’s 1-0 victory over Tri-Central’s Ethan Mason in the second championship-round meeting between those two in as many weeks.
Erb’s match was the most action-packed of the bunch. He won the 220-pound final with a second-period pin of Maconaquah’s Collin Silvers. Erb was ahead 10-2 in the second period when he caught Silvers.
“Then you’ve got the freshman 220-pounder, that was an impressive win in the finals,” Shepherd said. “They were moving weren’t they? Braydon’s not going to get beat because he’s going to be on his heels. He’s going to go forward, he’s going to look for points and that’s what we want. We don’t want dancing bears.”
Also advancing for the Panthers were Lane Eubank (fourth, 285), Luke Lushin (fourth 195), Matt Scott (fourth, 182), Jerry Padgett (third 160), Donavan Shepherd (third, 152), Chandler Ciscell (second, 120), and Justin Brantley (third, 106). The top four wrestlers at each weight in the regional qualify for the semistate.
In the team standings, Western was unchallenged. The Panthers racked up a winning score of 157.5 with Rochester well behind in second with a score of 88.5.
Eastern advanced five wrestlers to the semistate, led by 120-pound champ Tallan Morrisett. He looked sharp in an 11-4 victory over Ciscell in the final, a rematch of last week’s sectional title match that Ciscell won at Oak Hill.
In addition for Eastern, Macaiah White (third, 126), Tytus Morrisett (second, 138), Aren Turner (fourth 145), and Garrett Hetzner (third 170) each advanced to the semistate.
“It was a much better Saturday than last Saturday,” Eastern coach Bob Jarrett said. “They just wrestled with more intensity.”
Case in point, Tallan Morrisett, who led 2-1 after the first period against Ciscell then found more and more ways to score.
“They’ve wrestled three times now so it’s always tough to beat a guy you’ve wrestled before, especially when he’s as good as you are,” Jarrett said.
Maconaquah is also taking five wrestlers to the semistate, led by 195-pound champ Aaron Sedwick. He emerged with a tense 1-0 decision over Marion’s Victor Lee in the 195 final.
“He’s wrestled him last year, very similar match format, closer than I’d like it to be,” Mac coach Bob Freije said. “Those are nail-biters. He got the job done, kept his composure. He’s won regionals twice now. That’s a great accomplishment for him.”
Additionally for the Braves, Colin Silvers took second at 220, Adam Bowman was third at 285, Zack Bullock was third at 138 and Aaron McKinley was third at 145. All advance to the semistate.
“Colin Silvers did a good job to make it to the finals and I’m looking forward to him getting a good draw and performing well. Also Adam Bowman at 285 ... he ends up losing to the champion,” Freije said, noting those are results the Braves can build on next week.
Peru scored two champions, both in dominant fashion. Trey Sturgill won the 103-pound title when he pinned Oak Hill’s Aidan Hardcastle just 50 seconds into their championship match. At 170 pounds, Jordan Rader pinned Manchester’s Delton Moore in the second period, flipping Moore with a resounding thud and finishing the match seconds later.
Additionally for the Bengal Tigers, Avery Jones took second at 285 to advance to Fort Wayne.
Tri-Central’s Jarron Grubb won the championship at 145 pounds, scoring a victory by injury default when Rochester’s Haydn Prater was unable to continue while leading the match 4-1. Also advancing for TC is Mason, the runner-up at 132.
Northwestern and Cass advanced two each to the semistate. Northwestern’s Bodey Henry (fourth, 132) and Kyle Cardwell (fourth, 220) advance, as do Cass’ Noah Miller (fourth, 120) and Cade Cox (third, 132).