NewsTribune sectional wrestling preview

L-P’s Domyancich, PC-Hall’s Herr, Princeton’s Swanson look to return to state

Streator's Lily Gwaltney wrestles L-P's Kiely Domyancich during a meet on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, in Sellett Gymnasium at L-P High School.

Wrestlers from La Salle-Peru, St. Bede, Putnam County-Hall, Mendota and Princeton will compete this weekend in hopes of earning a trip to the IHSA state tournament.

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.

Below is a look at the sectionals involving NewsTribune area teams.


Class 1A Byron Sectional

When: Friday and Saturday

Area teams: St. Bede, Putnam County-Hall, Mendota, Princeton

Worth noting: Princeton has a contingent of eight wrestlers heading to the sectional, led by regional champions Augustus Swanson (106 pounds), Preston Arkels (157), Casey Etheridge (165), Ian Morris (215) and Cade Odell (285). Ace Christiansen (138) was runner-up at the Sandwich Regional, while Mikey Kurth (150) and Eli Berlin (190) each placed third. Swanson is a returning state qualifier. He lost in the first round last year and won his first wrestleback before losing in the second round of wrestlebacks. Swanson (29-1) has a bye and will face Fulton freshman Zander Ketelson (20-14) or Marengo freshman Jonathon Sebring (20-22) in the quarterfinals. Arkels (28-11), Etheridge (28-7), Morris (21-14) and Odell (27-1) all have first-round byes. Christiansen (32-5) also is making his second trip to state. He also qualified as a freshman two years ago. Kurth is 12-10 and Berlin is 10-10. St. Bede is sending a pair of regional champions to the sectional in Hunter Savage (132) and Grady Gillan (190) along with regional runners-up Logan Pineda (150) and Garrett Connelly (175). Savage (32-14) has a first-round bye at the sectional and will face Newman senior Brady Grennan (38-3) or Johnsburg junior Landon Johnson (18-4) in the quarterfinals, while Gillan (16-8) also has a bye and will wrestle Kewanee senior Jackson Hawkins (21-16) or Oregon senior Quentin Berry (21-8) in the quarterfinals. Pineda is 34-10 and Connelly is 29-16. Mendota has three qualifiers in Angil Serrano (285), a regional runner-up, along with Trayvon Rucker (132) and Madrick Musgrove (215), who each took third in the regional. Serrano is 14-6, Rucker is 13-21 and Musgrove is 22-10. Putnam County-Hall’s Elijah Leota (285) is 11-4 and finished third at the regional.

Princeton's Augustus Swanson Wrestles Down's Brady Mouser during the 60th annual Lyle King invitational wrestling tournament on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2023 in Princeton.


Geneseo Sectional

When: Friday and Saturday

Area teams: La Salle-Peru, Putnam County-Hall, Princeton

Worth noting: A pair of area wrestlers are aiming for a return trip to the state tournament in L-P sophomore Kiely Domyancich (105 pounds) and PC-Hall senior Bailey Herr (190). Domyancich is 21-0 and won both of her matches at the Erie-Prophetstown Regional by pin to claim the title. Last year, she went 0-2 at state at 100 pounds. “My goal is to make it to state and do better than last year because last year I went 0-2 at state and I don’t want that to happen this year,” Domyancich said. “My ultimate goal is to place at state.” Domyancich has a first-round bye at the sectional and will face the winner of Joliet senior Emma Schlismann (20-7) and Geneseo freshman Claire Swanson (2-12) in a quarterfinal. Herr is 12-9 after placing second at the E-P Regional. She has a first-round bye at the sectional and will face Clifton Central senior Karmen Cody (9-2) or Quincy sophomore Lilly Forea (4-7) in a quarterfinal. Herr lost her first-round match but reached the quarterfinal wrestlebacks at state at 170 last year. L-P freshman Sarah Lowery (110) is 13-9 and placed fifth in the regional. PC-Hall sophomore Ella Irwin (235) placed second at the regional and is 6-5. Princeton is sending four wrestlers to the sectional in Abigail Harris (115), Jayden Klingenberg (125), Izzy Gibson (140) and Heather Heider (170). Gibson was a regional runner-up and is 17-4. Harris (7-7) and Heider (8-6) were fifth at the regional and Klingenberg (3-8) was sixth at the regional.