Class 1A wrestlers advance to districts
Pekin’s Vogel, Conger qualify for districts
EDDYVILLE — Pekin’s Austyn Vogel took his first step toward a return trip to the state tournament with a sectional title win Saturday in Eddyville.
Vogel, a senior, qualified for the district tournament with a 2-0 day. Vogel won by major decision, 14-0, in his first match, and he capped the day with a quick pin of Sigourney-Keota’s Wes Yoder in the championship round.
“You could tell Austyn — being a senior and missing out last year — was focused, and he went right to work,” said Pekin head coach Al Chapman. “Looking at it on paper, I don’t see why Austyn can’t be a district champion next weekend.”
Vogel was Pekin’s lone sectional champion, but he will be joined by 195-pound junior teammate Trenton Conger at the district tournament scheduled next Saturday in Pleasantville.
The junior Conger lost his semifinal match, but he bounced back to pin Van Buren’s Mitch Garrels in 3:51 and win a 4-1 decision over Eddyville-Blakesburg’s Hunter Johnston in the second-place match.
“Trenton put in his best week of practice yet, and it was a big boost for Trenton now that we’re going to go on,” Chapman said.
Pekin finished fifth in the team standings with 91 points, 15.5 behind fourth-place Cardinal. Eddyville-Blakesburg won the title with 251, while Sigourney-Keota (165) and Southeast Warren (144.5) rounded out the top three.
The Panthers will be at Pleasantville for the district tournament Saturday. All top-two finishers from the Eddyville-Blakesburg sectional as well as the qualifiers from the B-G-M sectional will be looking to earn state bids starting at noon.
Cardinal finishes fourth in team race
EDDYVILLE — Cardinal pushed three of its seven wrestlers through to the district tournament and claimed a fourth-place team finish in the process Saturday.
Led by a first-place individual finish from junior Ryan Cale, the Comets scored 106.5 points in the team race to finish in the middle of the pack. Senior Dustin Miller and sophomore Tyler Albert turned in a pair of runner-up finishes to also qualify for districts.
Cale earned the 113-pound title with three straight victories by fall. He pinned both Van Buren’s Unity Daugherty and Southeast Warren’s Jonathon Hardy in the first period, then topped Megan Black in the championship match with a pin in 2:35.
At 160 pounds, Albert won by 14-2 major decision over Sigourney-Keota’s Gage Greiner in the semifinals before falling to E-B-F’s Bret Wursta in overtime of the title match. Miller pinned Moravia’s Luke Huff and won by 16-0 tech fall against Pekin’s Thomas Slaney, then lost to Dillon Pigsley of E-B-F in the 182-pound championship match.
Comets who saw their seasons come to an end Saturday included Drayton Hamm, Patrick Lind, Josh Ramos and Jayson Sallee. Ramos and Sallee both finished third at 170 and 220 pounds, respectively.
Cardinal’s three district qualifiers continue on to the district tournament in Pleasantville next Saturday.
Heisel first for Van Buren
EDDYVILLE — Van Buren’s Tyler Runyon and Jacob Heisel both punched their tickets to the district tournament with a pair of top-two finishes at sectionals Saturday.
Heisel finished first at 126 pounds while Runyon settled for second place at 106.
Heisel pinned Southeast Warren’s Tanner Flesher in the first period to kick off the tournament. In the title match, the Van Buren junior won a 9-4 decision over E-B-F’s Cody Brown to secure a spot at districts.
Runyon, meanwhile, earned a 5-0 decision vs. E-B-F’s Anthony Rea, then fell to Moravia’s Briar Cochran in the finals round.
As a team, the Warriors scored 89 points to finish sixth in the team standings. Moravia (76) and Wayne (43) both finished behind Van Buren.