Joliet Township and Yorkville capture Southwest Prairie Conference titles

By Curt Herron – for the IWCOA

When a program can boast that it’s one of only two in Illinois that had the top score at a sectional in both 2022 and 2023, and that it also is one of four that has qualified five or more individuals to each of the first two IHSA Finals and it’s also one of just 10 that have had three or more different state medalists thus far, the bar for success is naturally going to be very high.

So it’s understandable why there may have been some concern about Joliet Township after it took fourth place and was more than doubled up by Schaumburg in its opening tournament at Normal Community and then finished third to Oak Forest and Batavia at Larkin one week later.

But despite having a significant number of freshmen and sophomores on this season’s team, coach Liz Short’s Steelwomen benefited from appearances at the Walsh Women’s Ironman in Ohio and The Clash National Duals in Wisconsin and based on their showing at the Southwest Prairie Conference Tournament, they seem to be performing at their best at the right time.

Joliet Township had three champions, five runners-up and five others who finished fourth or better to help it capture top honors in the SPC Tournament, which it hosted at Joliet Central’s historic Steelmen gymnasium. The Steelwomen scored 197.5 points while defending champion Minooka took second with 163 points and West Aurora placed third with 117 points. Plainfield Central (102), Oswego (91) and Plainfield South (85) were next-best in the 11-team competition.

Joliet Township, a co-op of Joliet Central and Joliet West athletes, was led by champions Emma Schlismann (105), Eliana Paramo (110) and Izabel Barrera (135) while Chloe Wong (100), April Ortiz (120), Alexandra Rosas (130), Veronica Klobnak (140) and Fernanda Miranda (235) all  claimed second-place finishes.

Briahna Klobnak (125) and Trista Pisano (190) took third place, Isabella Sandoval (130), Vanessa O’Connor (145) and Valeria Hernandez (235) finished fourth and Noelie Perez-Bedolla (155) and Evelyn Perez-Bedolla (190) placed sixth. 

The Steelwomen hope to use the momentum of the SPC championship for this weekend’s Minooka Regional. Individuals that advance from that regional will join qualifiers from the Erie/Prophetstown Regional at the Geneseo Sectional on February 9-10 and then two weeks later the season concludes at the IHSA Finals at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington.

Other SPC teams that will join Joliet Township and the hosts at the Minooka Regional are Plainfield Central, Plainfield South and Yorkville.  Southwest Prairie Conference schools West Aurora, Oswego, Oswego East, Plainfield East, Plainfield North and Romeoville will be at the Shepard Regional in Palos Heights, which feeds into the Schaumburg Sectional.

Short, who was honored as the IWCOA’s Girls Coach of the Year in 2023, likes the progress that she’s seen from her team. And she’s also understandably happy that she has some coaches helping her this season after she had to do a lot of coaching on her own in the past.

“I was really happy with the way that we performed,” Short said. “We’ve been working very hard in the practice room, so it’s all starting to come together and it’s at a good time. We did a lot of work this offseason and we had a lot of girls participate in Team Illinois and Fargo and do some spring wrestling. And spring wrestling really pays off and that’s what we’re wrestling in college for women. It just gets them really comfortable so they feel like they can move to the next level.”

Runner-up Minooka and fourth-place Plainfield Central also had three Southwest Prairie Conference champions while third-place West Aurora had two title winners and Plainfield North, Plainfield South and Romeoville each had one first-place finisher.

Top performers for coach Paige Schoolman’s Minooka Indians were title winners Addison Cailteux (130), Bella Cyrkiel (145) and Peyton Kueltzo (235) while Holli Coughlen (105), Daisy Musser (115) and Eva Beck (135) finished second. Palmer Calvey (140) took third, Abbey Boersma (155) placed fourth, Marian Nordsell (100), Brooklyn Doti (110), Ava Staley (115) and Keziah Gaston (190) took fifth place while Ezra Rodriguez (140) claimed sixth.

Leading the way for coach Charlie Graves’ West Aurora Blackhawks were title winners Aiyanah Sylvester (120) and Brittney Moran (190) while Ionicca Rivera (155) took second and Lailonie Molina (115) and Michelle Obasa (145) placed third. Mia Orozco (125) finished fourth, Allina Williams (130), Giselle Marin-Carrasco (140) and Vicky Stackowicz (235) were fifth and Joseline Saucedo (100), Diana Llanos (115), Charlotte Weiler (120), Denise Ruiz (135) and Reyna Esquivel (170) all claimed sixth-place finishes.

Plainfield Central’s Wildcats, coached by Terry Kubski, got first-place finishes from Courtni Chuway (115), Shania Davison (125) and Alicia Tucker (170) while Zyon Jordan (190) took second and Candice Cameron (110) finished fourth.

Other SPC champions were Romeoville’s Daniela Santander (100), Plainfield North’s Viktoriia Rodnikova (140) and Plainfield South’s Teagan Aurich (155).

Individuals who repeated as SPC champions were Bella Cyrkiel, Peyton Kueltzo, Brittney Moran, Eliana Paramo, Emma Schlismann and Alicia Tucker.

Also finishing in second place were Plainfield South’s Aliyaah Campos (110) and Kayla Ochotorena (125), Oswego’s Makayla Hill (145) and Oswego East’s Jessica Stover (170).

Additional third-place finishers were Oswego’s Mikaela Busse (110), Aaliyah Roldan (120), Harmony Evans (130) and Kiyah Chavez 155), Yorkville’s Analiese Garretson (100), Brooke Coy (135) and Janiah Murray (170) and Romeoville’s Josefina Orozco (105) and Henessis Villagrana (235)

Top records of individuals who were in the finals included Alicia Tucker at 170 (28-0, 1.000), Brittney Moran at 190 (25-1, .962), Viktoriia Rodnikova at 140 (15-1, .938), Bella Cyrkiel at 145 (31-4, .886), Eliana Paramo at 110 (23-3, .885) and Daniela Santander at 100 (21-3, .875).

There was a four-way tie for the most team points with 26 between Courtni Chuway, Eliana Paramo, Viktoriia Rodnikova and Alicia Tucker and a tie between Teagan Aurich, Brittney Moran, Daniela Santander and Aiyanah Sylvester for fifth place with 24 team points. Addison Cailteux, Shania Davison and Peyton Kueltzo tied for ninth with 22 team points.

Emma Schlismann had the most total match points with 32 while Oswego East’s Qianxi Brooks had 28 and Shania Davison had 26. Ava Staley led all competitors with four falls and Giselle Marin-Carrasco was seeded 11th and placed fifth for the biggest seed to place difference. 

Champion Joliet Township collected the most match points with 152 while runner-up Minooka was second with 125 match points. And the Steelwomen had the most falls with 19 while Minooka and West Aurora each recorded 18 pins.

“A lot of these girls, we see them during the spring, too, so I’m glad that it’s popular and that they really enjoy the sport,” Short said.  “It’s about getting them to buy into the sport and like it so that you get them to work hard. I love wrestling, I am for sure obsessed with wrestling. We’ve got some assistants and we’re still hoping  to have equal assistants as the boys. At first we were growing the sport, and now we see the quality, and that starts on the youth level. And we’re seeing a lot of women who graduated from college and they’re starting to give back and starting to coach. Before we were kind of stuck with people that got the girls, but now, people are clamoring to coach the women and that’s really exciting to see.”

Here’s a look at the champions for the Southwest Prairie Conference Tournament and their weight classes.

100 – Daniela Santander, Romeoville

Daniela Santander was just about as surprised as anyone in the gymnasium when she had her hand raised following the 100 title match. After all, the Romeoville sophomore was trailing Joliet Township junior Chloe Wong 7-1 with just over a minute remaining. But that’s when she turned the tide and was able to record a fall in 4:53, to stun Wong, a two-time state qualifier who went 32-8 last season and placed sixth at 100 at the IHSA Finals. Santander (21-3), who went 9-12 a year ago and failed to qualify from the rugged Schaumburg Sectional, used two falls to reach the title match, getting a pin in 2:15 over Yorkville’s Analiese Garretson in the semifinals. She was one of three Spartans to finish third or better and the only one that got to the title mat.

“I’m so excited about this, I think I might have a chance to make it to state,” Santander said. “She was so close to pinning me multiple times, but I was able to fight her off. I’m so happy. It’s been a lot of hard work but it’s finally paying off. My coaches are amazing and they’re really helping me.”

Wong was one of eight finalists for champion Joliet Township, which is a co-op team that features athletes from Joliet Central and Joliet West. Wong, who won an SPC title in 2023, advanced to the title match with two first-period falls, with the last of those coming in 1:20 over Yorkville’s Kayleigh Shannon in the semifinals. In a matchup of two Yorkville competitors for third place, Garretson (12-4) won by fall in 3:45 over Shannon (15-7). And for fifth place, Minooka’s Marian Nordsell recorded a pin in 0:23 over West Aurora’s Joseline Saucedo.

105 – Emma Schlismann, Joliet Township

On a day when all but four of the championship matches were decided by fall, the 105 finals were the closest of them all as Joliet Township senior Emma Schlismann (23-8) had to fight off a tough challenge from Minooka’s Holli Coughlen before prevailing in an 8-6 decision to become the first of three champions for coach Liz Short’s champion Steelwomen. Schlismann, an SPC champion in 2023 who finished with 15-9 record last season and came up one victory shy of qualifying from the Geneseo Sectional, opened with a win by technical fall before capturing an 8-0 major decision over Yorkville’s Danielle Turner in the semifinals.

“There’s been a couple of times where I’ve let stuff go that was in my head and I just didn’t do what I know that I have to do, and that lost me a couple of matches,” Schlismann said. “I’m trying to come out here and shoot as much as I can. And I have the best practice partner ever in Eli (Eliana Paramo). I just like how supportive the girls are and they’re really tough. There’s a couple of good girls this year that can make it really far and I’m really proud of them.” 

Coughlen (14-14), who lost to Schlismann in the 110 finals at the SPC Meet in 2023, went 12-7 last season and also competed in the Geneseo Sectional. She followed a pin in her opener with a 5-4 decision over Romeoville’s Josefina Orozco in the semifinals to become one of the six finalists for Minooka. Orozco (15-4), a senior, claimed third place by getting a fall in 3:46 over sophomore Turner (22-6). And for fifth place, Plainfield East junior Mahi Kansagara captured a 5-2 decision over her Bengals freshman teammate, Angelina Nettey.

110 – Eliana Paramo, Joliet Township

After going 37-5 last season and finishing in second place at 115 to Glenbard North’s Gabby Gomez at the IHSA Finals, Eliana Paramo is hoping to not only get back to the state title mat in Bloomington but to also become her school’s first state champion. The Joliet Township senior is heading in a good direction going into the postseason after improving to 23-3 by recording a fall in 1:45 in the 110 SPC title match over Plainfield South’s Aliyaah Campos to repeat as an SPC champion. Paramo, who also finished in fifth place at 115 in 2022 at the first IHSA Finals while competing for Joliet West, advanced to the 110 title match with a pair of first-period falls, with her pin in the semifinals coming in 1:08 over Plainfield Central’s Candice Cameron.

“It’s really exciting seeing the way that our team has developed, and how strong we are and how much of a force we’ve become, it’s really awesome,” Paramo said. “We started off the year with so many new girls and here we are at the end of the season and they’re well-seasoned now. It’s a really familial environment and everyone is there and supporting each other. We all just love supporting each other and hanging around each other. Now we start the state series at regionals and I’m really excited for that.”

Campos (6-5), a sophomore, became one of the Cougars’ three finalists after she won her first two matches by fall, which included a pin in 2:20 over Oswego’s Mikaela Busse in the semifinals. Busse (15-11), a junior, bounced back from that setback to claim third place with a win by fall in 0:31 over Cameron (12-13), who’s a sophomore. And in the fifth-place match, Minooka senior Brooklyn Doti (18-10), who was a state qualifier in the inaugural IHSA Finals in 2022, won with a fall in 3:18 over Oswego East’s Qianxi Brooks (11-12).

115 – Courtni Chuway, Plainfield Central

Courtni Chuway began a successful final round for Plainfield Central when she won the 115 title with a fall in 1:36 over Minooka’s Daisy Musser. She was the first of three champions for the Wildcats, with Shania Davison (125) and Alicia Tucker (170) later taking firsts. Chuway (26-5), a senior who went 15-9 a year ago and qualified for the IHSA Finals, used two falls to reach the 115 finals and recorded a pin in 2:56 over Oswego East’s Payton Lustrup in the semifinals. Last year, Chuway took third place in the SPC Tournament.

“The Wildcats had a great day and I’m very proud of myself and the rest of the team,” Chuway said. “I think that we’ve all come so far and we’ve worked very hard. It was very impressive (freshman Shania Davison’s title) and I’m very proud of her, too,she’s come a very long way. I think that I’ve come a long way. I’ve impressed myself a lot this season. There has been a lot of ups and downs but I just think that comes with the nature of the sport. I’m very excited for the future. I like how we’re all like a family. We have a very uplifting team.”

Musser (12-13) became the first of six freshmen to compete on a title mat when she faced Chuway. After opening with a quick fall, Musser earned her spot as one of six Minooka competitors to reach the title mat when she captured a 10-6 decision over West Aurora’s Lailonie Molina in the semifinals. Molina (18-8), who’s also a freshman, won third place after recording a fall in 1:21 over Lustrup, who’s a junior. Minooka and West Aurora each picked up additional medals in the fifth-place match as Indians’ junior Ava Staley (15-8) won with a pin in 1:48 over Blackhawks’ junior Diana Llanos (15-10).

120 – Aiyanah Sylvester, West Aurora

Aiyanah Sylvester gave West Aurora the first of its two titles and also became the first of three freshmen champions in the competition when she won by fall in 3:38 in the 120 title match over Joliet Township’s April Ortiz. Sylvester (24-7) earned her spot in the finals after recording two falls that each concluded within one minute. Her pin of Oswego’s Aaliyah Roldan in 0:52 in the semifinals made her one of three individuals from her team who reached the title mat.

“It feels really good,” Sylvester said. “As a freshman, I’ve been struggling a bit. But I keep practicing every day and keep working on what I need to work on, and eventually I’m getting there. My cousin, Kameyah Young, and I are both pushing each other at practice every day. I like how all of my teammates support each other. And if we support each other, we’re always winning. It’s great to have a big team and we’re all supporting each other.”

Ortiz (9-4), a junior, became one one of eight Steelwomen to reach the title match when she recorded her second fall of the tournament, in 4:54, over Romeoville’s Jesslynne Ochoa in the semifinals. In the third-place matchup of juniors who fell in the semifinals, Roldan (18-10) won by fall in 2:49 over Ochoa (10-9). And for fifth place, Plainfield North sophomore Meryn Finnegan (9-6) captured a 10-8 decision over West Aurora freshman Charlotte Weiler (5-4).

125 – Shania Davison, Plainfield Central

With two first-year high school competitors facing off in the 125 title match, a second freshman champion was assured and one of the few matches that were decided by fall that reached the third period, Plainfield Central’s Shania Davison won with a pin in 5:20 over Plainfield South’s Kayla Ochotorena. Davison (7-8) joined Courtni Chuway (115) and defending state champion Alicia Tucker (170) as champions for coach Terry Kubski’s Wildcats and reached the finals with a fall in her opener and then she prevailed 9-7 by sudden victory over Joliet Township’s Briahna Klobnak in a semifinals thriller.

“We’ve just been working hard together,” Davison said. “Even though we don’t have a lot of members of our team, we still work hard and we still do good. We have great coaches and they help us a lot with everything that we need. I first wanted to get into wrestling because of football, but now that I’m in wrestling, I just want to keep going since it’s so much fun. I like how we’re a family, we’re not just teammates, we’re basically best friends.”

Ochotorena (8-7), one of six freshmen who were able to advance to the title mat and one of three Cougars who were able to get there, only had to wrestle one match prior to the 125 finals, and she won that match in the semifinals with a fall in 1:33 over West Aurora’s Mia Orozco. For third place, sophomore Klobnak (23-16) recorded a pin in 2:26 over junior Orozco (6-7). And another freshman placed fifth, Romeoville’s Allison Cisneros (7-8), who received a forfeit win.

130 – Addison Cailteux, Minooka

After Minooka lost its first two title matches at the SPC Meet, its fortunes began to improve when Addison Cailteux stepped on the mat to face Joliet Township’s Alexandra Rosas in the 130 finals. Cailteux (18-4), a sophomore, recorded a fall in 2:52 over senior Rosas and that helped coach Paige Schoolman’s Indians to win titles in three of their last four finals matches to tie them with Joliet Township and Plainfield Central for the most individual champions with three apiece. Cailteux, who was later joined by Bella Cyrkiel (145) and Peyton Kueltzo (235) as SPC title winners, pinned another Joliet Township opponent in her only other match, recording a fall in 0:59 over Isabella Sandoval in the semifinals.

“I love our coaches,” Cailteux said. “They always help us on things that we need to work on. And they always talk to us straight after our matches about what we did good but they also talk about what we did wrong, even if we win, just to make sure that we can keep winning. Joliet and West Aurora are all great competitors and I like seeing them throughout the season because I know that I’ll end up getting a good match out of it. Ultimately, the better teams make me a better wrestler because I get better experience, it just helps so much. I like how we all hold each other to a certain standard. We encourage each other but we also aren’t afraid to call each other out to make sure that they’re working hard to keep the team standard high.”

Rosas, one of eight individuals from coach Liz Short’s champion Steelwomen who were able to reach the title mat, recorded falls in her other two matches, with the shorter of those two pins coming in the semifinals in just 0:24 over Oswego’s Harmony Evans. In the third-place match, junior Evans (10-11) followed her loss to one JT competitor with a victory over another individual from the host school, sophomore Sandoval, when she captured an 11-2 major decision. And for fifth place, West Aurora senior Allina Williams (19-9) won by fall in 1:12 over Yorkville junior Brianna Benninger (5-7).

135 – Izabel Barrera, Joliet Township

On a day where two of the seniors who’ve helped Joliet Township become one of the state’s top programs captured SPC titles, one of the younger members of the team who hope to carry on that legacy also claimed top honors as JT easily won the team championship at historic Steemen Gym. Izabel Barrera, a sophomore, joined seniors Emma Schlismann and Eliana Paramo as title winners for coach Liz Short’s Steelwomen when she won a 7-2 decision over Minooka’s Eva Beck in the 135 finals. Barrera (20-5), who was one of her team’s eight finalists, got to the title mat after winning her only other match by fall in 0:31 over Oswego’s Ameera Murphy in the semifinals.

“I’m very excited, this team has grown so much,” Barrera said. “Our coach, especially, has helped us so much. And all of the coaches who’ve come and volunteer, are very helpful and they have helped the girls grow and continue to get better. Wrestling is a really hard sport mentally and physically, so it’s nice to have other girls around that are helping you. I’ve been wrestling for two years now. I didn’t think about doing wrestling until my freshman year and when I got into it, I didn’t think it would be easy, but not as hard as it is, but it’s been a nice experience. The thing I like about Joliet’s program is that we all come together, no matter what, and we help each other become one as a team.”

Beck (20-9), a senior who was one of the six finalists for coach Paige Schoolman’s runner-up Indians, opened with a fall and then captured a 7-2 decision over Yorkville’s Brooke Coy in the semifinals. Beck went 21-12 last season and advanced to the Geneseo Sectional but fell one win shy of a trip downstate. In the third place match that featured two juniors, Coy (25-8) won by fall in 2:55 over Murphy. And for fifth place, Plainfield South senior Tannon Whitaker (10-8) recorded a pin in 3:19 over West Aurora freshman Denise Ruiz.

140 – Viktoriia Rodnikova, Plainfield North

As a newcomer to the United States from Russia, Viktoriia Rodnikova hoped to utilize some of the training that she had received in judo as she looked to be involved in a sport while attending Plainfield North. After getting off to a 15-1 start and winning a title in the Southwest Prairie Conference Tournament, it seems that wrestling might be the answer for the Tigers freshman. She captured the title at 140 with a fall in 3:26 over Joliet Township’s Veronica Klobnak. Rodnikova, one of two entrants for Plainfield North, also had falls in her first two matches, which both ended in the opening period. She earned her spot on the title mat with a pin in 1:50 over Plainfield South’s Lexi Kachiroubas in the semifinals.

“I worked really hard for this,” Rodnikova said. “I’m a freshman and this is my second year of wrestling. I came here from Russia three years ago and I did judo there. So I just wanted to try to do something similar, so I decided to do folkstyle and freestyle and this is my freshman year at Plainfield North High School. I’m doing this for college because I want to go to the University of Chicago. I’m going to get in there. I know that it’s hard and very expensive. My future plan is to win Fargo. I’m just enjoying it. I love wrestling.”

Klobnak (20-16), a sophomore who one of eight finalists for champion Joliet Township, recorded a quick fall in her opener and then captured a 4-1 decision over Minooka’s Palmer Calvey in the semifinals. A year ago, Klobnak won two matches in the Geneseo Sectional but fell a bit short of a state trip. For third, junior Calvey (17-12) won by fall in 0:44 over freshman Kachiroubas (13-8). And in the fifth-place match, West Aurora junior Giselle Marin-Carrasco (21-11) recorded a pin in 1:38 over Minooka’s Ezra Rodriguez.

145 – Bella Cyrkiel, Minooka

A year ago, Bella Cyrkiel was preparing for what turned out to be her initial appearance at the IHSA Finals, which put a nice close on a successful 28-9 season. After having gotten the taste of competing at state along with three of her teammates, the Minooka senior obviously wants not only to get back to Bloomington but to also win a few matches there. Cyrkiel improved to 31-4 and repeated as an SPC champion after claiming a 5-0 decision over Oswego’s Makayla Hill in the 145 title match to become one of her team’s three champions. She only had to wrestle in one other match, and that was in the semifinals, where she recorded a fall in 1:20 over West Aurora’s Michelle Obasa to become one of the runner-up Indians’ six finalists.

“I’m definitely excited because it’s like every weekend we have a new success and that just keeps pushing us,” Cyrkiel said. “I’m excited because we are a new sport, so it always pushes us to do more. We have a good rivalry (with Joliet Township) and we saw them at The Clash and it was a tie, 33-33. We’re definitely a hard-working team and we’re always getting pushed. The coaches are always pushing us, but then you also have teammates who are pushing you even more. And I’ve been putting in a lot of extra work whenever I can.” 

Hill, who’s a freshman, is off to a 25-5 start. Beside being one of the six freshmen who reached the title mat, she was the lone Oswego Panther to advance to the finals. She opened with a pair of falls, with her pin in the semifinals being the quickest of the two, in just 0:59 against Joliet Township’s Vanessa O’Connor. In the third-place match, Obasa was a winner by fall in 4:26 over O’Connor, who’s a sophomore. And for fifth place, Plainfield South freshman Mora Munoz recorded a pin in 3:41 over Yorkville senior Joanna Okunnu.

155 – Teagan Aurich, Plainfield South

Teagan Aurich got a good laugh when she found out that she was being referred to as Aurich Teagan at the SPC Tournament. But if anyone was unclear as to who the Plainfield South junior was before, it’s unlikely that they’ll forget her name now that she captured a 4-1 decision in the 155 title match over West Aurora’s Ionicca Rivera, who finished sixth at 170 in last year’s IHSA Finals and fell one win shy of winning a medal in 2022. Aurich, who improved to 18-3, became one of three finalists for the Cougars when she got her second fall, in 4:31, over Minooka’s 

Abbey Boersma in the semifinals. Aurich, who  qualified for state in 2023 and advanced to the quarterfinals, has been influenced by the Cougars’ 2022 IHSA champion, Alexis Janiak.

“I’ve been working on really shooting and I’m kind of upset with how that match went because when it comes to pushing matches, I get really nervous,” Aurich said. “But this is definitely a confidence booster and it’s going to help me going into regionals and sectionals. Alexis was one of the big reasons that I actually joined. They’ve made the program so much bigger now and they’re giving us so many opportunities to achieve great things. I really give most of that to Lexi because she really pushed to have a girls team. It’s great to be making history and for the new girls coming in and giving them more opportunities to compete and to do things they couldn’t do before.”

Rivera (26-5), who became the third individual from West Aurora to win a state medal after advancing to the quarterfinals last year, was one of three SPC  finalists for coach Charlie Graves’ Blackhawks. She earned her spot on the 155 title mat after getting two wins by fall, with her semifinal pin over Oswego’s Kiyah Chavez coming at 3:12. In the third-place match, junior Chavez (12-2) won by medical forfeit over senior Boersma (28-9). For fifth, Plainfield East sophomore Kaitlyn Bucholz (12-9) won 4-2 over Joliet Township senior Noelie Perez-Bedolla.

170 – Alicia Tucker, Plainfield Central

As the IHSA postseason begins this weekend with eight regionals being contested, all eyes will be focused on the four two-time state champions who seek a third title to be the first to achieve that feat. But there’s also nine others who wish to become two-time title winners, something that just six have accomplished thus far. Alicia Tucker is one of those nine and the Plainfield Central junior seems ready to add to her state title at 155 a year ago after improving to 28-0 and winning her second-straight SPC title with a fall in 3:04 over Oswego East’s Jessica Stover in the 170 finals. Tucker, who went 34-2 a year ago and will be at the Minooka Regional, used two pins to reach the 170 title mat, winning in 2:16 over Yorkville’s Janiah Murray in the semifinals.

“I think that our girls have been training very hard to get here and I think that all deserve being in the finals,” Tucker said of the tournament’s finalists. “And we have a few first-years that have training almost just as hard as anyone else. As captain, it’s my job to set the tone for everybody else. I have a few more to go. And I’m just going to keep getting better.”

Stover (21-6), a junior, was the lone Oswego East competitor to advance to the finals. She won her first two matches with falls and advanced to the 170 title match with a pin in 3:06 over Plainfield South’s Annika Lundgren. In the third-place match between two sophomores, Murray (15-14) recorded a fall in 3:49 over Lundgren. For fifth place, Oswego junior Rikka Ludvigson (16-10) won with a pin in 1:26 over West Aurora sophomore Reyna Esquivel.

190 – Brittney Moran, West Aurora

As one of the few athletes statewide who can say that they were placewinners at each of the first two IHSA Finals, Brittney Moran obviously has a lot to be proud of. But after finishing sixth at 190 in both 2022 and 2023, the West Aurora junior is looking to finish higher on the awards stand on February 24 in Bloomington. She improved to 25-1 and repeated as an SPC champion after recording a fall in 1:53 over Plainfield Central’s Zyon Jordan in the 190 title match. Moran, who went 28-5 a year ago and lost in the semifinals to the eventual state champ, Homewood-Flossmoor’s Ini Odumosu, became the first Blackhawk to be a two-time medalist. She got a quick fall in her first match and won by medical forfeit in the semifinals to reach the title mat.

“This is a lot different than last year or my freshman year,” Moran said. “I feel like people are getting more exposed to new wrestlers and that’s great. This is giving me more of a challenge than my freshman and sophomore years and I’m actually pushing myself to be better and tougher. And we have a couple of new coaches who are teaching us a lot more and motivating us so much more.  I like how we support each other. We have new girls and we push them as well as we push each other.”

Jordan (9-7), a junior who went 20-12 last year but fell short of qualifying from the Geneseo Sectional, was one of four finalists for coach Terry Kubski’s Wildcats. She won her first two matches by fall, needing just 0:24 in the semifinals to get past Joliet Township’s Trista Pisano. In the third-place match, sophomore Pisano won by medical forfeit over Plainfield East sophomore Jennifer Serna (7-6), who got injured in her semifinals match.  For fifth, Minooka sophomore Keziah Gaston won with a fall in 3:32 over Joliet Township freshman Evelyn Perez-Bedolla.

235 – Peyton Kueltzo, Minooka

After being a part of a group of four state qualifiers at both of the first two IHSA Finals, Peyton Kueltzo has the distinction of joining 2023 Minooka graduate Jaiden Moody as the first two-time state qualifiers in the program’s history. While the Indians senior wouldn’t mind being joined by a few more qualifiers next month, one thing that she really would like to do is what Moody did last year, becoming Minooka’s first state medalist when she took third at 190. Kueltzo improved to 26-8 and repeated as an SPC champion following a fall in 1:01 over Joliet Township’s Fernanda Miranda in the 235 finals. One of three champions and six finalists for Minooka, she won her only other match with a fall in 0:51 over Joliet Township’s Valeria Hernandez in the semifinals.

“We’ve gone against these teams multiple times and it’s always back and forth, especially between Minooka and Joliet,” Kueltzo said. “They’re winning now, but in our dual it was 33-33 and we won by criteria. I’m so grateful for the coaches that we were given. Coach Schoolman sacrificed coaching the boys to be our head coach and he’s obviously been really successful. He’s the perfect coach for this. I’m excited for the postseason and I hope to end up on the podium at state this year. I went last year and the year before and didn’t end up on the podium.”

Miranda (12-5), a senior who was one of eight finalists for the champion Steelwomen, won her first two matches with pins, earning her spot on the title mat with a fall in 3:00 in the semifinals over Romeoville’s Henessis Villagrana. For third place, freshman Villagrana (10-6) won with a pin in 3:21 over junior Hernandez. And in the fifth-place match, West Aurora sophomore Vicky Stackowicz recorded a fall in 2:48 over Plainfield South freshman Timi Mudasiru.

Championship matches for the Southwest Prairie Conference Tournament

100 – Daniela Santander (Romeoville) F 4:53 Chloe Wong (Joliet Township)

105 – Emma Schlismann (Joliet Township) D 8-6 Holli Coughlen (Minooka)

110 – Eliana Paramo (Joliet Township) F 1:45 Aliyaah Campos (Plainfield South)

115 – Courtni Chuway (Plainfield Central) F 1:36 Daisy Musser (Minooka)

120 – Aiyanah Sylvester (West Aurora) F 3:38 April Ortiz (Joliet Township)

125 – Shania Davison (Plainfield Central) F 5:20 Kayla Ochotorena (Plainfield South)

130 – Addison Cailteux (Minooka) F 2:52 Alexandra Rosas (Joliet Township)

135 – Izabel Barrera (Joliet Township) D 7-2 Eva Beck (Minooka)

140 – Viktoriia Rodnikova (Plainfield North) F 3:26 Veronica Klobnak (Joliet Township)

145 – Bella Cyrkiel (Minooka) D 5-0 Makayla Hill (Oswego)

155 – Teagan Aurich (Plainfield South) D 4-1 Ionicca Rivera (West Aurora)

170 – Alicia Tucker (Plainfield Central) F 3:04 Jessica Stover (Oswego East)

190 – Brittney Moran (West Aurora) F 1:53 Zyon Jordan (Plainfield Central)

235 – Peyton Kueltzo (Minooka) F 1:01 Fernanda Miranda (Joliet Township)

Third-place matches for the Southwest Prairie Conference Tournament

100 – Analiese Garretson (Yorkville) F 3:45 Kayleigh Shannon (Yorkville)

105 – Josefina Orozco (Romeoville) F 3:46 Danielle Turner (Yorkville)

110 – Mikaela Busse (Oswego) F 0:31 Candice Cameron (Plainfield Central)

115 – Lailonie Molina (West Aurora) F 1:21 Payton Lustrup (Oswego East)

120 – Aaliyah Roldan (Oswego) F 2:49 Jesslynne Ochoa (Romeoville)

125 – Briahna Klobnak (Joliet Township) F 2:26 Mia Orozco (West Aurora)

130 – Harmony Evans (Oswego) MD 11-2 Isabella Sandoval (Joliet Township)

135 – Brooke Coy (Yorkville) F 2:55 Ameera Murphy (Oswego)

140 – Palmer Calvey (Minooka) F 0:44 Lexi Kachiroubas (Plainfield South)

145 – Michelle Obasa (West Aurora) F 4:26 Vanessa O’Connor (Joliet Township)

155 – Kiyah Chavez (Oswego) M For Abbey Boersma (Minooka)

170 – Janiah Murray (Yorkville) F 3:49 Annika Lundgren (Plainfield South)

190 – Trista Pisano (Joliet Township) M For Jennifer Serna (Plainfield East)

235 – Henessis Villagrana (Romeoville) F 3:21 Valeria Hernandez (Joliet Township)

Team scores for the Southwest Prairie Conference Tournament

1. Joliet Township 197.5, 2. Minooka 163, 3. West Aurora 117, 4. Plainfield Central 102, 5. Oswego 91, 6. Plainfield South 85, 7. Romeoville 62, 8. Yorkville 56, 9. Oswego East 44, 10. Plainfield North 29, 11. Plainfield East 14.

Yorkville wins third-straight Southwest Prairie Conference title

Three-peating was a common theme at the Southwest Prairie Conference Tournament, which took place at Joliet Central, as Yorkville claimed top honors for the third year in a row and three members of the champion Foxes won titles for the third-consecutive time, Jack Ferguson, Luke Zook and Ben Alvarez,  while Joliet West’s Carson Weber pulled off the same feat. And several others reached the title match for the third time in three years.

Coach Jake Oster’s Yorkville Foxes easily grabbed the team title with 519 points while Minooka claimed second place with 427 points. It was a big step up for coach Michael Kimberlin’s Indians, who took seventh place in last year’s competition.

Plainfield North took third with 369 while Oswego (365) finished just behind. Joliet West (343.5), West Aurora (341.5) and host Joliet Central (314) were next-best in the 12-team competition.
Winning championships for the first-place Foxes were Donovan Rosauer (138), Jack Ferguson (150), Ryder Janeczko (157), Luke Zook (175) and Ben Alvarez (215) while Liam Fenoglio (113), Dominic Recchia (132), Dominick Coronado (144) and Ryan Stockl (190) took second place. Caleb Viscogliosi (165) placed third while Nathan Craft (126), Cam Peach (157) and  Sebastian Westphal (165) finished fourth.

“This was the third year that we had a boys and girls conference tournament together and it was run pretty well so we got to see girls and boys competing and it’s good to have both teams cheering for each other,” Oster said. “A lot of times we don’t get to watch them compete because we’re competing or practicing when they’re going, so it’s good.

“We have a lot of depth this year. We have guys that were sectional qualifiers or two-time sectional qualifiers that are backups this year. It’s hard for those individuals that they don’t get to start, but it’s good for us as a team because we can move guys around if someone gets hurt, we have a guy that is very capable that can step up. We had a couple of guys wrestling each other in the semis or in third-place matches, that’s a good problem to have. Some of those guys are seniors and they could have just walked away but they stuck around because they wanted to be part of the team.”

Top performers for the runner-up Minooka Indians were title winners Mason Vogt (106) and Cale Stonitsch (132) while Noah Avina (120) and Hunter Coons (175) took third. Kaden Meyer (150) and Lucas Shipla (190) were fourth and Chase Musser (126), Ben Cyrkiel (144), Mason Boles (165) and Santino Capodice (215) claimed fifth place.

Leading the way for coach Adrian Cervantes’ third-place Plainfield North Tigers were champions Maddox Garbis (113) and Leonardo Tovar (190) and third-place finishers Cayden Amico (126) and Luke Grindstaff (138) while Tristen Garbis (106), Aidan Durell (120) and Liam Corona (285) all finished in fourth place.Coach Chuck Rumpf’s Joliet West Tigers had three champions, Coehn Weber (126), Carson Weber (144) and Wyatt Schmitt (285). 

Other SPC title winners were Romeoville’s Brian Farley (120) and Oswego’s Joseph Griffin (165).

Plainfield East’s Bengals had three second-place finishers, Aidan Villar (120), Niko Duggan (157) and Jerry Nino (165), while Romeoville had two runners-up, Mason Gougis (175) and Jamir Thomas (285). 

Others who took second place were Joliet Central’s Yadiel Colon (106), West Aurora’s Aiden Massaro (126), Oswego’s Brayden Swanson (138), Oswego East’s Noah Demarco (150) and Plainfield South’s Matt Janiak (215).

In some of the closest title matches, Ben Alvarez won 2-1 on a tiebreaker over Matt Janiak at 215, Coehn Weber edged Aiden Massaro 1-0 at 126, Donovan Rosauer got past Brayden Swanson 2-0 at 138, Luke Zook prevailed over Mason Gougis 5-2 at 175, Maddox Garbis defeated Liam Fenoglio 8-4 at 113, Cale Stonitsch beat Dominic Recchia 7-3 at 132 and Joseph Griffin won a 6-1 decision over Jerry Nino at 165.

Wyatt Schmitt led all competitors with 49 team points while his teammate Carson Weber was second with 48.5. There was a four-way tie for third place with 48 team points between Ben Alvarez, Joseph Griffin, Ryder Janeczko and Leonardo Tovar and then there was a three-way tie between Jack Ferguson, Maddox Garbis and Cale Stonitsch, who all had 47.5 points.

Brian Farley, Maddox Garbis and Cale Stonitsch all won their second SPC championships.

Coach Andrew Plata’s West Aurora Blackhawks had four third-place finishers, Evan Matkovich (132), Noah Quintana (150), Dayne Serio (157) and Noah Chacon (285). 

Others who won medals for taking third place were Joliet West’s Jakob Crandall (106), Oswego’s Jonathan Theodor (113), Plainfield Central’s Matthias Hautzinger (144), Romeoville’s Isaiah Escobar (190) and Joliet Central’s Charles Walker (215).

Maddox Garbis had the most total match points with 64 while Wyatt Schmitt was second with 57 and Carson Weber ranked third with 52. Eight individuals recorded three falls and of those, Joseph Griffin did it in the least time, 3:53. Two teammates from Minooka, Mason Boles and Chase Musser, were seeded 10th but finished fifth, for the largest seed to place difference.

Some of the top records of top-four finishers in the SPC Tournament include Wyatt Schmitt at 285 (22-0, 1.000), Carson Weber at 144 (29-1, .967), Brian Farley at 120 (24-1, .960), Niko Duggan at 157 (30-2, .938), Leonardo Tovar at 190 (35-3, .921), Ben Alvarez at 215 (34-3, .919), Maddox Garbis at 113 (33-3, .917), Luke Zook at 175 (38-4, .905), Charles Walker at 215 (30-4, .882), Joseph Griffin at 165 (29-4, .879), Dayne Serio at 157 (29-4, .879) and Matt Janiak at 215 (31-5, .861).

Champion Yorkville edged runner-up Minooka 309-304 for the most total match points. The first-place Foxes also recorded the most falls with 21 while Oswego was next-best with 19 pins.

Championship matches for the Southwest Prairie Conference Tournament

106 – Mason Vogt (Minooka) TF 3:23 Yadiel Colon (Joliet Central)

113 – Maddox Garbis (Plainfield North) D 8-4 Liam Fenoglio (Yorkville)

120 – Brian Farley (Romeoville) MD 13-5 Aidan Villar (Plainfield East)

126 – Coehn Weber (Joliet West) D 1-0 Aiden Massaro (West Aurora)

132 – Cale Stonitsch (Minooka) D 7-3 Dominic Recchia (Yorkville)

138 – Donovan Rosauer (Yorkville) D 2-0 Brayden Swanson (Oswego)

144 – Carson Weber (Joliet West) Inj 0:00 Dominick Coronado (Yorkville)

150 – Jack Ferguson (Yorkville) F 3:49 Noah Demarco (Oswego East)

157 – Ryder Janeczko (Yorkville) MD 13-5 Niko Duggan (Plainfield East)

165 – Joseph Griffin (Oswego) D 6-1 Jerry Nino (Plainfield East)

175 – Luke Zook (Yorkville) D 5-2 Mason Gougis (Romeoville)

190 – Leonardo Tovar (Plainfield North) D 10-3 Ryan Stockl (Yorkville)

215 – Ben Alvarez (Yorkville) TB 2-1 Matt Janiak (Plainfield South)

285 – Wyatt Schmitt (Joliet West) TF 3:54 Jamir Thomas (Romeoville)

Third-place matches for the Southwest Prairie Conference Tournament

106 – Jakob Crandall (Joliet West) SV 9-7 Tristen Garbis (Plainfield North)

113 – Jonathan Theodor (Oswego) D 3-0 Liam Walsh (Joliet Central)

120 – Noah Avina (Minooka) D 9-2 Aidan Durell (Plainfield North)

126 – Cayden Amico (Plainfield North) D 9-3 Nathan Craft (Yorkville)

132 – Evan Matkovich (West Aurora) D 10-8 Alex Fernandez (Joliet Central)

138 – Luke Grindstaff (Plainfield North) MD 9-1 Adrian Ortiz (West Aurora)

144 – Matthias Hautzinger (Plainfield Central) D 8-6 Dillon Griffin (Oswego)

150 – Noah Quintana (West Aurora) F 5:44 Kaden Meyer (Minooka)

157 – Dayne Serio (West Aurora) TF 5:28 Cam Peach (Yorkville)

165 – Caleb Viscogliosi (Yorkville) F 1:01 Sebastian Westphal (Yorkville)

175 – Hunter Coons (Minooka) F 1:54 Garrett Patnoudes (Oswego East)

190 – Isaiah Escobar (Romeoville) Inj 0:26 Lucas Shipla (Minooka)

215 – Charles Walker (Joliet Central) D 13-6 Josh Edwards (Oswego East)

285 – Noah Chacon (West Aurora) D 4-1 Liam Corona (Plainfield North)

Team scores for the Southwest Prairie Conference Tournaments

1. Yorkville 519, 2. Minooka 427, 3. Plainfield North 369, 4. Oswego 365, 5. Joliet West 343.5, 6. West Aurora 341.5, 7. Joliet Central 314, 8. Plainfield East 263.5, 9. Romeoville 255.5, 10. Plainfield Central 230.5, 11. Plainfield South 218.5, 12. Oswego East 200.

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