BCR Sectional Wrestling Preview: State berths on the line for area grapplers

Boys will wrestle at Byron, the girls at Geneseo

Princeton's Augustus Swanson battles Vince Hefke of Aurora Central Catholic in Saturday's regional title match at Sandwich. Swanson won by fall. He is a returning state qualifier and ranked No. 1 at 106 pounds.

State tournament berths will be on the line for wrestlers from St. Bede, Putnam County-Hall and Princeton at sectionals this weekend.

The girls will be wrestling at the Geneseo Sectional while the boys will wrestle at the Class 1A Byron Sectional on Friday and Saturday.

The top four boys wrestlers in each weight class advance to the state tournament Feb. 15-17 in Champaign, while the top four girls in each class qualify for the state tournament Feb. 23-24 in Bloomington.

Class 1A Byron Boys Sectional

When: Friday and Saturday.

Worthy of note: Eight wrestlers from Princeton and four from St. Bede are seeking state berths at Byron this weekend. Regional champs for Princeton were sophomores Augustus Swanson (106) and Casey Etheridge (165), juniors Ian Morris (215) and Cade Odell (285) and senior Preston Arkels (157). They are joined by junior Ace Christiansen (138) as runner-up and Mikey Kurth (150) and Eli Berlin (190), who each placed third. “We’re looking forward to sectionals. We have a great opportunity in front of us,” PHS coach Steve Amy said. “I like where we are sitting in the brackets, but we have to come ready to compete. At this point in the season anything can happen so you have to have a short memory and keep moving forward to give yourself an opportunity to be wrestling at state next week.” .. Swanson (29-1) is ranked No. 1, Odell (27-4) is No. 4, Christiansen (32-5) is No. 6, Etheridge (28-7) is No. 8 with Arkels (28-11) sliding into Honorable Mention on the heels of his regional title. Swanson is a returning state qualifier while Christiansen qualified in 2022. Odell missed out last season – his first year of wrestling – by one match. Princeton (170), which is now ranked No. 21, was the regional runner-up behind host Sandwich (205.5). ... St. Bede will be represented at sectional by regional champs Hunter Savage (125) and Grady Gillan (190), runner-up Logan Pineda (150) and Garrett Connelley (175), who placed third.

Cade Odell

Geneseo Girls Sectional

When: Friday and Saturday.

Worthy of note: Four girls from Princeton and two from Putnam County-Hall will be chasing state-tournament berths at Geneseo starting Friday. Princeton will be represented by sophomore Izzy Gibson (140/17-4), who was a regional runner-up at Erie-Prophetstown, freshmen Abby Harris (115/7-7) and Jayden Klingenberg (125/3-8) and senior Heather Heider (170/8-6). Putnam County-Hall sends a pair of regional runners-up in Bailey Herr (190/12-9) and Ella Irwin (235/6-5). Herr is a returning state qualifier. She has a first-round bye and will face Clifton Central senior Karmen Cody (9-2) or Quincy sophomore Lilly Forea (4-7) in the quarterfinals.

Bailey Herr