Hersey wins title at first McLaughlin Classic

Hersey Wrestling

By Curt Herron 

For the IWCOA

JOLIET – When a team goes 6-1 on the title mat and finishes with a flurry by winning the last five of those, it often results in a championship at a tournament with a large field.

But just as effective an approach is getting sixth-place efforts or better at each weight and supporting that with bonus points and narrow victories while capturing just one title.

The latter scenario prevailed in Joliet Central’s inaugural Mac McLaughlin Classic on Saturday, where Hersey used balance throughout its lineup to overcome Homewood-Flossmoor’s firepower and claim a 270-260.5 edge in the points for top honors. IC Catholic Prep (166.5) finished third, Hampshire (148) was fourth, St. Rita of Cascia (129) took fifth, Loyola Academy (114.5) placed sixth, Morton (112) was seventh and Romeoville (108) placed eighth in the 25-team competition.

The new tournament honors one of the greatest coaching legends from the Joliet area, Eural ‘Mac’ McLaughlin. Coach Mac, who was on hand as the tournament kicked off, led the Steelmen’s program from 1970 to 2010 and won 507 dual meets and an IHSA dual team title along while having seven state champions and 34 placewinners to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Illinois Chapter in 2017, IWCOA hall of fame honors in 1991 and Grand Marshall at the 2004 IHSA finals.

Beside teaching physical education and coaching for 43 years in a variety of sports at Joliet Central and Joliet Township co-op, Mac was a longtime bench official at the IHSA finals and an analyst on local football broadcasts. Among his proudest accomplishments as an educator was being able to have a significant impact to so many during his long tenure as both a coach and as dean of students.

On a day where a program that won its first state individual titles 75 years ago, one of Illinois’ most historic gymnasiums featured another memorable event as the five mats that were spread across the floor featured good competition throughout and resulted in 13 teams sending individuals to title matches with nine of those squads having champions.

Coach Joe Rupslauk’s champion Huskies had one title winner, Billy Spassov (160), while Danny Lehman (106) and Aaron Hernandez (145) both took second place. But thanks in part to the efforts of assistant coach Hunter Rollins, the Arlington Heights school’s last placewinner who took second place at 160 in Class 3A in 2013, the 11 other members of the team were able to contribute points as they advanced through the third- and fifth-place brackets.

Hersey, which hopes to continue its initial tournament success when it competes in events at Prospect, Harlem’s Dvorak, Wisconsin-Whitewater and The Clash in Rochester, Minnesota in upcoming weeks, received third-place efforts from Maksim Mukhamedaliyev (113), Matt Ilinykh (152), Leo Delgado (195), Manny Mejia (220) and Oleg Simakov (285) while Esteban Delgado (120), James Shaffer (132), Parker Sena (138) and Elliot Carter (170) took fifth and Jake Hanson (126) and Connor Cambria (182) placed sixth. 

“I don’t even know exactly what happened, but we just came and tried to compete and our goal as a program is just getting better,” Rupslauk said. “We’re a relatively new program and have had some ups and downs. But we have some offseason kids going now and we’re growing. We’re a very young team and we only had two seniors out there, so it was cool.  We beat Conant and Barrington in a dual the other night so the kids are excited and they want to wrestle and things are going really well. 

“Our assistant coach, Hunter Rollins, is the guy who deserves the credit since he runs our practices and it’s been incredible. We’re happy, but we’re not content with this. We’ve had some nice dual wins early in the beginning of the year and we’re just trying to improve as a program. That’s what we told the kids. We didn’t talk about winning the tournament, we just talked about getting better and competing with more elite wrestlers and there were some good schools here today.”

Despite having an open weight class due to the unavailability of the injured Vincent Robinson, who’s top-ranked at 126 in Rob Sherrill’s IWCOA rankings and placed fifth in Junior Freestyle at Fargo, Homewood-Flossmoor fell just shy of a team title after claiming four-consecutive firsts from 170 to 220 and capturing six of its seven title matches.

The Vikings got championship wins from Deion Johnson (113), Jaydon Robinson (145), Romeo Williams (170), Haku Watson-Castro (182), Rahmal Graham (195) and Justin Thomas (220) while Jermaine Butler (138) took second place and Mateo Varela (106) was fourth. Chris Williams (152) and Kenny Wallace (285) also placed in the top eight. 

Although a bit disappointed that his team wasn’t able to walk away with the tournament championship, Vikings coach Jim Sokoloski was very pleased with his team’s strong showing and that bodes well for their upcoming appearances at The Ironman in Cuyahoga, Ohio this weekend and the Carnahan in Crown Point, Indiana and The Powerade in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania later this month. H-F also has a pair of big SWSC dual meets against No. 11 Sandburg and No. 3 Lockport during the next 10 days.

“We have big goals and we don’t shy away from that,” Sokoloski said. “In our wrestling room, the first thing on our white board says ‘2020 regional champs’, and everyone of them signed it so we’ve all bought in. We’ve put together one of the toughest schedules that any public school has, with the Ironman and the Powerade and the Carnahan in Crown Point. The state tournament can’t be the hardest tournament that we’ve wrestled in all year. 

“This is year 15 for me but year two as a head coach so as I’ve learned more and met more people involved in the sport, what’s always been kind of our downfall is that when we get the state tournament, they walk out of the tunnel and they’ve been like, ‘Oh my God, look at this.’ So when we get our guys down there, it should be just like another day at the office. I’ve great assistant coaches, great families and great kids and we’re trying to get the community involved. Homewood-Flossmoor is usually synonymous with other sports and we’re trying to make sure that wrestling gets there, too. Most importantly, this is a brutal sport but we have fun, we love grinding every day and going to work. We firmly believe that if we set high expectations that they’ll be met. Everything is for the end goal, which is February. No one really cares what you do on December 4th.”

The tournament’s two state champions both earned outstanding wrestler awards that were split between the lower and upper weights. Rich Township’s Nasir Bailey recorded four victories by technical fall to capture the title at 138 to claim the award for top lower weight competitor and Shepard’s Damari Reed recorded three falls and a major decision to win the title at 152 and claim honors as the top upper weight competitor in the field. Both are number one at their weights in the IWCOA rankings. The event’s Outstanding Wrestler Award is named for the late Pat O’Connell, a 2018 IWCOA Hall of Famer who coached in the district for 30 years, spending most of that time assisting McLaughlin.

Bailey, the Junior Freestyle champion at 132 in Fargo, won a Class 6A title at 132 last season at Arlington Martin, Texas. In 2020, he took first at 120 in Class 2A for TF North to join his brothers Bilal and Sincere for the first-ever case of three titles being won in one year by the same family. Reed made history earlier this year when he won the 152 title at the IWCOA Class 3A finals in Springfield, the first title won by someone from his school since 1984.

Other title winners were Romeoville’s Brian Farley (106), Morton’s Connor Kidd (120), Loyola Academy’s Massey Odiotti (126), West Chicago’s Pierre Baldwin (132) and IC Catholic’s Isaiah Gonzalez (285). Also claiming second-place finishes were IC Catholic’s Nicholas Renteria (126), Brandon Navarro (170) and Jadon Mims (220), Morton’s Zane Ely (113) and Steven Marvin (132), Loyola Academy’s Quinn Herbert (182) and Joey Herbert (195), St. Rita’s Donavon Allen (120), Neuqua Valley’s Ryan Mohler (152), Wheaton North’s Devin Medina (160) and Hampshire’s Joey Ochoa (285).

Three of the most-competitive title matches were at 113, where Johnson got a takedown 12 seconds into overtime to claim a 7-5 win by sudden victory over Ely; at 126, where Odiotti recorded a takedown with 29 seconds left to give him a 6-4 victory over Renteria; and at 160, where Spassov captured a 3-0 triumph over Medina.

106 – Brian Farley, Romeoville

Romeoville sophomore Brian Farley entered the McLaughlin Classic as a bit of an unknown, but after winning twice by major decision and another time by technical fall, he will no longer be under the radar. He capped his day by capturing a 10-1 victory in the 106 finals over Hersey freshman Danny Lehman, who advanced following two falls.

Farley’s championship highlighted a good performance for Romeoville. Of the 10 south suburban teams that were in the field, the Spartans were second-best with only runner-up Homewood-Flossmoor faring better. He was one of five placewinners from his school and that helped them to 108 points, which was good for an eighth-place finish.

“It feels really good,” Farley said. “This will probably put our team on the map and hopefully our team does better throughout the year. I came in talking about just me becoming a better wrestler, practicing throughout the tear and working with the older guys and working with people that I know can challenge me, and that’s basically what’s made me better. This is a very important year as a team and as individuals, hopefully we can go deeper in state.”

In the third-place match, Reavis sophomore Zack Koschintski got a fall in 1:28 against H-F senior Mateo Varela to bounce back from his semifinal loss by technical fall to Farley and that give him the Rams’ best finish of the tournament. Joliet Central freshman Isaiah Kan won by fall in 3:41 over Rich Township sophomore Diondre Henry to claim fifth.

113 – Deion Johnson, Homewood-Flossmoor

Homewood-Flossmoor junior Deion Johnson definitely started his team’s appearances on the title mat in a good fashion when he recorded a takedown 12 seconds into the overtime period to win 7-5 in sudden victory over Morton senior Zane Ely. Both appear in the rankings with Johnson third at 106 in Class 3A and Ely fifth at 113 in 2A.

Johnson earned his trip to the finals with a pin in his first match followed by a 10-4 semifinal win over Hersey freshman Maksim Mukhamedaliyev while Ely recorded a pair of falls, including one over Joliet Central senior Tony Toledo in 3:03 in the semifinals, to advance.

“We are very excited,” Johnson said. “Yesterday we took a loss (to Lincoln-Way East) that we expected to win, but we came back strong today and got seven people into the finals. We’ve been working for this all year and this is a very good start. We work to have a real good team this year and this is just the beginning. Last year because of COVID, I couldn’t go to state and that was my main goal so this year I’m trying to win state and go to team state.”

In the third-place match, Mukhamedaliyev won by fall in 5:40 against Toledo, who was the host school’s top finisher in the event. St. Rita junior Austin Dangles won the fifth-place match with a fall in 0:17 against Romeoville’s Alex Bahena.

120 – Connor Kidd, Morton

Morton senior Connor Kidd took control early in the 120 pound championship and went on to capture a 13-6 victory over St. Rita freshman Donavon Allen to become the lone Potter to get a first-place finish among their three competitors that advanced to the title mat. Kidd is ranked third at 120 in Class 2A while Allen is ranked tenth.

Kidd finished second at 120 in June at the IWCOA finals when he lost to Freeport’s Markel Baker. The Morton athlete hopes to compete for another title this season at the IHSA finals. He used two first-period falls to earn his title appearance while Allen advanced after claiming three victories by major decision.

“Last year I got really close to winning, but I just had a bad finals match,” Kidd said of his IWCOA finish. “This year I’m more focused and there’s way more competition this year so it should be way more fun. Some of these are 3A schools and we’re wrestling a lot more of them this year so it’s way better competition than last year. I’m just excited to come back and win again since I just like winning matches.”

Neuqua Valley senior Jack Reina captured third place after recording a fall in 3:09 over Reavis sophomore Vladimir Vasquez and Hersey sophomore Esteban Delgado helped his team’s cause by claiming a 3-1 victory over Phoenix Military Academy sophomore Jose Lua in the fifth-place match.

126 – Massey Odiotti, Loyola Academy

Loyola Academy junior Massey Odiotti followed up on a championship at Barrington’s Moore-Prettyman tournament with another title after moving in front for good with a takedown with 29 seconds left to capture a 6-4 victory in the 126 title match against IC Catholic Prep senior Nicholas Renteria.

After opening with a fall, Odiotti, who is ranked fourth at 120 in 3A, beat Neuqua Valley senior Josh Kilacky by technical fall in 4:00 in the semifinals while Renteria, a two-time state placewinner who is ranked fifth in 1A at 126, reached the finals with a pin and a semifinal win by technical fall in 5:43 over St. Rita senior Griffen Duffin.

“It felt good to win this one after winning Barrington last week,” Odiotti said. “I felt good today at 26 because I also wrestled at 20, so I’m up a weight. It’s been a shorter break between the seasons but I’ve definitely improved. We’re looking better than the past few years and we have a great coach. It’s looking great for the future.”

In the third-place match, Killacky pinned Duffin in 1:21 and Phoenix Military Academy junior Vin Moreno took fifth with an 8-1 victory over Hersey sophomore Jake Hanson.

132 – Pierre Baldwin, West Chicago

West Chicago senior Pierre Baldwin turned in a dominating performance to capture the 132 championship after following wins by technical fall and fall before winning again by technical fall in 4:00 over Loyola Academy senior Kevin Tedeschi in the semifinals and then recording a pin in 1:32 over Morton sophomore Steven Marvin in the title match.

Baldwin, who placed sixth at 132 in the IWCOA finals, is ranked third at 132 in 3A while Marvin was eighth-ranked in 2A. After opening the tournament with a pin and a decision in the quarterfinals, Marvin captured a 14-6 victory over IC Catholic sophomore Omar Samayoa in the semifinals.

“I was really ready, stayed ready and wrestle hard and dominate and make my opponent look like they’re easy, but they’re not,” Baldwin said. “You just have to go out and win and dominate,” Mainly I have the same mindset when I wrestled for the IWCOA, just keep working hard and I use every advantage that I can. I just stay prepared and just prepare for this moment, and many more to come. I’m coming for the number one spot. Right now, I like my patience. For example, when I was a freshman, I used to panic a lot but now as I’m more mature, even when I lose, I don’t panic as much, I just go in the room and work harder and focus on the future and I just like to improve a lot.”

Samayoa claimed third place in the tournament when he won by injury default over Tedeschi while Hersey junior James Shaffer was a winner by forfeit in the fifth-place match over St. Rita sophomore Sean Larkin.

138 – Nasir Bailey, Rich Township

Nasir Bailey followed up on a tournament title at Antioch in impressive fashion when he rolled through the 138-pound bracket by claiming four victories by technical fall, capped by a win over Homewood-Flossmoor junior Jermaine Butler in 3:42 in the title match that wrapped up the Pat O’Connell award for the outstanding wrestler for the lower weights.

The Rich Township junior, a Fargo Junior Freestyle champion at 132 this summer who won a Class 2A title at 120 in 2020 for TF North, along with his brothers, Bilal and Sincere. He competed at Arlington Martin, Texas last season and won a Class 6A title at 132. Top-ranked at 132 in 3A and among the best in the nation, he’s happy to be back in Illinois.

“It’s nice to be back in Illinois competing,” Bailey said. “Last year I moved to Texas and won a state title. It was tough in general and when they lace their shoes and come on the mat, you have to respect them but nothing really compares to Illinois wrestling, it’s a way different atmosphere. It’s great being in the room there (at Rich Township). Every day there’s different athletes and wrestlers asking me how to get better, and as a wrestler, that just makes you feel good. Every day going to practice, it’s just work and I’m preparing myself for the next level now. I’m focusing on winning a state title but I’m more focused on being ready for college.”

Butler reached the finals with two falls and a win by technical fall in the semifinals against Hampshire freshman Chris Napiorkowski. In the third-place match, Morton senior Jamison Almasy won by fall in 4:18 against Napiorkowski and Hersey junior Parker Sena took fifth following a pin in 0:49 against IC Catholic sophomore Bryson Spaulding.

145 – Jaydon Robinson, Homewood-Flossmoor 

Jaydon Robinson made the most of his first varsity tournament when he became one of the two sophomores to win titles and became the second of six Vikings who took first after stringing together a win by technical fall, a pin and a major decision in the semifinals before closing with a fall in 5:08 over Hersey junior Aaron Hernandez.

Robinson, whose brother Vincent wasn’t able to compete due to an injury, took fourth this summer at Fargo and is fifth at 145 in the IWCOA rankings. He advanced to the finals with a 10-2 win over Hampshire junior Anthony Marlett while Hernandez earned his spot in the finals after claiming a 5-2 semifinal victory over Stagg sophomore Luke Barham.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and it’s been an opportunity for me to be here because this is actually my first high school tournament,” Robinson said. “Last year because of COVID I didn’t get a chance and I could have gone to state. But I had to get ready for Fargo and I got fourth in Fargo then after that I got ranked 18th in the country. I really appreciate being out here. My brother got hurt but he’s been telling me all day to keep pushing it. I want to be just like him, I want to have that opportunity, just like he had.”

In the third-place match, Marlett captured a 9-0 victory over Barham and in the fifth-place match, Romeoville’s Sergio Dondiego was a 10-0 winner over West Chicago senior Mason Dupasquier.

152 – Damari Reed, Shepard

After making history as his program’s first state champion since 1984 at the IWCOA finals in Springfield, Shepard senior Damari Reed has been focused on following up on his Class 3A  title at 152 by putting together another special season, and he definitely got off to a great start toward that with an impressive performance at the McLaughlin Classic.

The IWCOA’s top-ranked individual in Class 3A at his weight followed a fall and major decision with a pin in 1:23 over Stagg freshman Durango Valles in the semifinals and then won by fall in 0:58 in the 152 finals over Neuqua Valley sophomore Ryan Mohler to earn the Pat O’Connell award as the event’s outstanding wrestler in the upper weights.

“After winning my state title last season, I’m just glad to be on the mat and getting ready for bigger things, like college,” Reed said. “Honestly, college is my next step and I want to pursue that and see where it takes me and wrestling is a tool and I also want to stay on top of my academics to go along with it. How I prepare is kind of the same schedule. I like to have early practices or give me a practice after school or give me a run since I like to stay on top of my cardio so I can take people into deep waters and win good matches. Just having mental stamina and physical stamina, that’s very important in a match, and staying in a match for the whole three periods.”

Mohler prevailed 13-8 in sudden victory in the semifinals against Hersey senior Matt Ilinykh, who bounced back from that tough defeat to capture third place with a fall in 3:09 over Valles. Hampshire junior Niko Skoulikaris claimed fifth place while West Chicago senior James Lasacco finished sixth.

160 – Billy Spassov, Hersey

While Billy Spassov was the lone competitor from Hersey to get a victory on the title mat, the Huskies senior was thrilled that nine of his teammates also got wins in the medal round and the 10-4 effort and having all 14 individuals place sixth or better capped a day where the best highlight was posing with the McLaughlin Classic team trophy.

Spassov was one of the three Huskies who advanced to the title mat and he did so by opening the competition with a pair of falls before winning 14-0 in the semifinals over Kennedy’s Dorian Vaughns and then completed his big day by winning 3-0 in the 160 finals over Wheaton North junior Devin Medina, who was ranked seventh.

“Ever since the season started, we’ve really been working on coming together as a team,” Spassov said. “And I feel like with me winning a title and everybody else winning just happened because we’ve focused on being a team and we haven’t really been focused on ourselves. We go at whatever weight that our coach tells us to and do whatever is best for the team. When we came out here, we just tried to score as many as a team and to do good in the consolation. I’m just really happy that we were able to come out here since our schedule is pretty tough so it’s just nice to get the boys some matches before we head off. I’m excited since it was a fun day and everybody clicked well.” 

Eisenhower senior Nate Pacetti, who fell 3-1 in sudden victory to Medina in the semifinals, bounced back from that close call to prevail 3-1 in the third-place match over Vaughns to give him the Cardinals’ best finish. St. Rita senior Sean Stack finished fifth while Crete-Monee junior Elijah Grayer settled for sixth place.

170 – Romeo Williams, Homewood-Flossmoor

Romeo Williams may not have come into the McLaughlin Classic as an individual who was ranked in the state like some of his Homewood-Flossmoor teammates, but at the end of the day, the contributions that the Vikings senior made to his team’s title quest on a day where they finished second proved to be just as valuable.

Williams followed an opening win by technical fall with two falls, including one in 0:45 over Shepard senior Dominic Chillmon in the semifinals and then he capped his day by winning the title at 170 and becoming one of his squad’s six champions after claiming a win by injury default against IC Catholic Prep senior Brandon Navarro.

“We’ve been working real hard,” Williams said. “Everybody in the room has been putting in all of the work but we still have a long way to go and we have more work to put in. This is just a small piece of a bigger thing. The start that I’ve had is alright but I still have a lot of work to put in and have a lot to improve.”

After falling in the semifinals 9-4 against Navarro, Hampshire junior Dimitrios Skoulikaris bounced back with a fall in 5:04 over Chillon to claim third-place honors. Hersey senior Elliot Carter claimed fifth place while Neuqua Valley sophomore Silvano Spatafora settled for sixth.

182 – Haku Watson-Castro, Homewood-Flossmoor 

Homewood-Flossmoor senior Haku Watson-Castro opened with two falls and closed with a pair of decisions to become one of his team’s six champions in the McLaughlin Classic. In the championship match at 182, he captured a 13-6 win over Loyola Academy sophomore Quinn Herbert, who was followed on the title mat by his cousin, Joey.

Watson-Castro, who entered the tournament ranked eighth at his weight class and is getting back into form following an injury, captured a 10-6 semifinal victory over Stagg senior Mark Jones while Herbert advanced to the finals after winning by fall in 1:43 over Reavis senior Korey Maloney in the semifinals.

“It was a really good day, and especially for me personally coming back off of my torn ACL,” Watson-Castro said. “With this being my first tournament, all that I had to do was get my mindset right and it just pushed me to the right spot. It was good seeing a lot of my teammates being in the finals and all of us winning or doing good in the finals. I feel like we have some small stuff to make up. And we can still improve since we have a long time until February.

The third-place match at 182 was a tight one with Jones prevailing by a 4-3 score over Maloney. And in the fifth-place match, Wheaton North junior Eli Cook claimed a 14-4 victory over Hersey’s Connor Cambria.

195 – Rahmal Graham, Homewood-Flossmoor

In the quest to give their team a chance at a team title in the McLaughlin Classic, Homewood-Flossmoor senior Rahmal Graham needed to join in on the success that his fellow upperweights were enjoying and he more than did his part to help his squad to a second-place finish in the tournament.

Graham won his first three matches with falls in the initial period, which included a pin in 0:58 against Hersey sophomore Leo Delgado in the semifinals, to earn a spot in the 195 title match. Once there, Graham closed out his day with a 15-3 triumph over Loyola Academy freshman Joey Herbert, who advanced with a pin and a 6-0 semifinal decision.

“As a team, we’re just real resilient,” Graham said. “We still have a long way to go. Our coach always tells us that if we fight and put in the work, then it shows. We fight hard and we don’t give up and that’s why we had six champions.”

Delgado got a fall in in 2:55 over the other semifinalist, Northridge Prep sophomore Steven Kopecky, in the third-place match and Reavis senior Dan Obyrtal recorded a pin in 0:46 against Wheaton North junior Toby Martin in the fifth-place match.

220 – Justin Thomas, Homewood-Flossmoor

Justin Thomas faced a tough task as he looked to become one of his program’s six champions at the McLaughlin Classic. But facing a two-time state qualifier who placed at the IWCOA finals in June, the Homewood-Flossmoor senior who’s ranked eighth in Class 3A proved to be up to the challenge.

Thomas beat IC Catholic senior Jadon Mims 8-1 in the 220 finals after recording three first-period pins, including a fall in 1:19 in the semifinals against Romeoville’s Johnathan Espinoza-Luna. Mims, who was third at 220 in Class 1A and is ranked second this season, recorded a fall in 0:37 over Hersey senior Manny Mejia in the semifinals.

“We had one guy roll at 170 and then everybody just kind of went through,” Thomas said. “But it really started with Deion, he worked hard in that match and got an overtime takedown. We’re a long way from where we want to be. In January and February when it gets down to the stretch I think our guys will peak really well and we’ll be ramped up.” 

Mejia claimed third-place when he recorded a fall in 0:59 over Espinoza-Luna and in the fifth-place match at 220, the host Steelmen received one of their best finishes as junior Gustavo Vicencio-Ramos got a fall in 0:52 against Rich Township senior LeVaughn Rudolph.

285 – Isaiah Gonzalez, IC Catholic Prep

After falling in the IWCOA Class 1A  title match at 285 in June to Benton’s Gabe Craig, IC Catholic Prep junior Isaiah Gonzalez has his eyes set upon not only getting back to state for a third time but also finishing with a better result than he had earlier this year.

The IWCOA’s top-ranked individual at his weight in Class 1A showed how he’s capable of performing at the McLaughlin Classic following a major decision in his opener, he pinned his next four opponents, which included Wheaton North senior Joey Kruse in 1:38 in the semifinals and Hampshire sophomore Joey Ochoa in 3:31 in the title match.

“It was a great finals match and my opponent was really good, it was a good match and I finished strong” Gonzalez said. “I’m ranked number one right now in 1A so I have to solidify that statement so when I get to the postseason, I know that I can be there. I love the pressure. Our team did pretty good, but we could have finished better in the final round, but we’ll get back in the room and work. We just got back from football, so some of us are a little out of shape. But we’ll get back into the groove, for sure.”

Hersey junior Oleg Simakov bounced back from a semifinal loss by fall in 0:55 to Ochoa to record a fall of his own in 2:48 against Kruse to claim third place. Shepard junior Allen Taylor captured fifth place while Crete-Monee senior Vincent Arebalo settled for sixth.

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