Class 3A Conant Regional: At Hoffman Estates, DeKalb qualified six wrestlers for the state tournament, including Jacob Luce behind his first-place finish at 165 pounds.
Luce improved to 44-2 on the year, recorded a pair of pins and edged St. Charles East’s Anthony Gutierrez for the title.
Coach Sam Hiatt said Luce’s singular focus is winning a state title. He was the only champ for the Barbs on Saturday, but five other wrestlers qualified.
Mekhi Cave took second for DeKalb at 144, dropping the title match to St. Charles East’s Jayden Colon on a pin in the final second of the first period.
Teammate Lamar Bradley, who won the DeKalb Regional last week at 215, lost 7-3 to Oak Park-River Forest’s Eric Harris, whom he beat earlier in the year. Kaden Klapprdot and Sean Kolkebeck also lost semifinal matches to wrestlers they beat before, but each bounced back in the consolation semifinals with a win, earning the trip to state.
Each also won their third-place match.
“That’s hard to overcome,” Hiatt said. “A lot of kids can’t do that. But our kids do a really good job about forgetting about it and moving on. They did that today.”
Hudson Ikens also took third for DeKalb at 138, dropping his quarterfinal, but winning three straight elimination matches before beating York’s Frank Nitti for third.
“It was a great day for us,” Hiatt said. “The kids have worked hard for us all year long and it was great to see them accomplish one of their big goals.”
Class 1A Byron Sectional: Brady Brewick was second, punching his ticket to the state championship for Genoa-Kingston.
Brewick set the school record with 38 wins this year, and is at 98 in his career.
His last two matches were both thrillers. He held on for a 6-4 win against Rockridge’s Taylor Ridge, then lost in overtime to Marian’s Max Astacio.
Geneseo Sectional: Kaneland’s Angelina Gochis beat DeKalb’s Alex Gregorio-Perez 18-6 for the 105-pound title on Saturday.
Both will advance to state in two weeks in Bloomington. One other Knight and two other Barbs also qualified for the season finale.
“It feels pretty good. It’s a good feeling,” Gochis said.
Brooklyn Sheaffer was third at 125 to earn a trip to state, as well for Kaneland.
Also qualifying for DeKalb was Reese Zimmer (third at 115) and Aariana Bloyd (fourth at 235).
Bloyd went to Geneseo as an alternate but ended up wrestling. She reached the semifinals, won her semifinal and lost the third-place match 1-0 on a penalty call in overtime.
“She had an awesome tournament,” DeKalb coach Connor Infelise said. “She helped her teammate out at 190, kept practicing for two weeks, came and got in the tournament. She had a tough semifinal loss, .... wrestled back, won the blood round. ... She took advantage of the opportunity.”