CARTERVILLE — Murphysboro qualified 10 wrestlers for next week’s Vandalia 1A sectionals and won its fourth regional title in the last six years at the Carterville regional on Saturday.
“We had a good day and wrestled like I thought we would wrestle,” said Murphysboro coach Shea Baker. “We want to peak at the right time and this is the right time.”
The Red Devils won three individual titles with senior Ryan Chambers (27-3) winning his third straight title by a 9-2 decision over Harrisburg senior Chandler Bowling (25-10) in the 145-weight class.
“I’ve had a little trouble getting into my offense this year, so I’ve been working on getting takedowns this tournament,” Chambers said. “My approach is to get the first takedown and work from there.”
Senior Sam Dietz (25-5) also won his third title by pinning West Frankfort sophomore Dylan Walton (14-11) with 14 seconds left in the first period at 132. Senior Ethan Cue (20-15) won his second consecutive title by a tech fall (20-3) with three seconds left in the third period over Anna-Jonesboro freshman David Kester (19-9) at 113.
Sophomore Tristian Mick (21-11) finished second at 138 as did freshman Rewn Stearns (23-18) at 182. Finishing third were senior Blake Niesporek (25-9) at 126, senior Jeremey Norris (20-16) at 152, senior Jordan Haskins (20-19) at 160, sophomore Zane Caraway (18-11) at 170 and senior Marcus Gilmore (26-14) at 195 to also advance.
Anna-Jonesboro senior Arieh Hart (33-2) won his fourth regional title by injury default over Harrisburg junior Jimmy Hicks (27-11) at 152. Also qualifying for the Wildcats with second place finishes were freshman Amiyah Hart (23-13) at 106, Kester at 113 and junior Garrett Fabec (22-15) at 285.
“I’ve put in the hard work for all four years and now I’ve got one down and two to go,” Hart said. “I haven’t won a sectional yet, so I’ve got unfinished business.”
Pinckneyville, West Frankfort and Sparta qualified five wrestlers each while Benton, Anna-Jonesboro, Harrisburg and Carterville advanced four each. Goreville, in its first year as a program qualified its first wrestler for the sectional when freshman Owen Pulliam (23-8) won by tech fall (15-0) over fellow freshman Trenton Schach from West Frankfort in the third place match for 106.
“My dad started the team and we’ve been working really hard to do our best the first year,” Pulliam said. “It feels really good to be the first one. I worked really hard last year and this year, had some really hard matches and am really proud to be going to sectionals my freshman year.”
For Pinckneyville, senior Jordan Koester (30-8) won his second regional title by an 8-5 decision over Sparta junior Kijah Banda (21-14) at 160 while junior Noah Conner (20-11) won his first title at 182 with a pin of Stearns at 1:16.
Also advancing for the Panthers, were seniors Jeremy Opp (34-2) at 195 and Luke Zelasko (25-9) at 170 with second place finishes and sophomore Ryder Parsons (23-9) with a third place finish at 120.
West Frankfort took home three titles with senior Lucas Willmore (31-10) at 120 by a pin over Harrisburg junior Landon Hicks (27-7) and sophomore Connor Eaton (34-5) by a major decision (11-3) over Zelasko at 170 to win their second titles and senior Brandyn Kahl (25-4) winning his first at 195 by a pin of Opp in 28 seconds.
Senior Jordan Brewster (23-14) at 126 and Dylan Walton (14-10) at 132 finished second to advance for the Redbirds.
Sparta senior Clayton Sheldon (36-2) won his third regional title at 220 with a pin of Carterville junior Julian Hashbarger (23-10) in 53 seconds. Also qualifying for the Bulldogs along with Banda were freshman Zach Burns (16-13) at 113, senior Ethan Evans (26-12) at 138 and sophomore Isaac Evans (20-14) at 182 with third place finishes.
Benton took home two first place medals with junior Seth Padavic (29-12) at 106 and freshman Peyton Swigonski (27-11) wining their first titles. Senior Blane Pankey (13-4) and junior Daniel Richardson (13-13) finished third at 220 and 285, respectively.
Padavic needed a reversal with 43 seconds remaining to beat Anna-Jonesboro freshman Amiyah Hart to pull out a 6-5 decision. With 13 seconds left Padavic kept Hart from escaping to keep her from tying the match.
“I practiced so hard and put all my time into this because winning the regional has been my goal forever and I finally got it,” Padavic said. “She beat me earlier in the year and I think I kind of wore her out. When we started over I wasn’t going to let her escape, no way.”
Harrisburg junior Jody Cavender (29-3) won his second regional title by a major decision (13-0) over Mick at 138. Advancing with second place finishes were Landon Hicks at 120, Bowling at 145 and Jimmy Hicks at 152.
Carterville senior Lucas Sarver (23-2) won his first title by a 3-0 decision over Fabec at 285. In an addition to Hashbarger junior Kaleb Ward (27-9) at 145 and senior Joe Ellis (19-9) at 132 also advanced with third place finishes.