MOUNT PROSPECT – Crystal Lake Central, McHenry and Prairie Ridge each won an individual championship Saturday at the Mudge-McMorrow Wrestling Invitational at Prospect.
Cam Pait won at 160 pounds for McHenry, which finished third with 188.5 points and placed 13 wrestlers in the top eight. Andrew Marsden won at 170 for the Tigers, who placed eighth with 97.5. Travis Piotrowski won at 106 for the Wolves, who were 13th with 57.5 points. Barrington won the invitational with 208 points.
Pait defeated Loyola’s David Kennedy by a 19-6 major decision. Pait took an 8-0 lead after the first period on a takedown and two near falls.
“I knew if I went out and got a takedown I would break his spirit,” Pait said. “I feel like if I take him down I get in his head.”
Pait said he didn’t get caught up in looking a match ahead and scouting his next opponents. The only interest he had in his bracket was if it was presented to him as the champion.
“I didn’t look at my bracket board once,” Pait said. “If I didn’t win it, I didn’t want to look at it.”
Warriors coach Will Gaddy said a big part of Pait’s success can be attributed to teammate Wade Lardy.
“[Pait’s] been working with Wade in practice,” Gaddy said. “They push each other.
Central coach Justen Lehr said he has been working with Marsden on the mental aspects of wrestling. Marsden would need all those tips in his championship match against Addison Trails’ Niko Rocha.
After two periods, Marsden held a 1-0 lead but gave up a reverse to Rocha to start the third period. Marsden got a reverse right back but gave up the escaped to tie the score at three to send the match to overtime.
In the one minute overtime, Marsden appeared to have a takedown to win the match that put Rocha on his back. The officials ruled that Marsden was out of bounds even though Rocha was clearly on the mat. Marsden slapped the mat as he got up, clearly upset with the call.
“That was a hard one,” Marsden said. “Right when I threw him on his back I thought yeah, I’ve won.”
Marsden was able to regroup and came back with a takedown to win, 5-3. Thinking you’ve won and having it pulled out from under you is tough to take, he said.
“After you get everything off your mind, that just made me really upset,” Marsden said.
Lehr said he was happy Marsden did not let a call beat him.
“[Marsden] showed a little mental toughness,” Lehr said. “That’s something we’ve bee working on, overcoming a call.”
Piotrowski won by major decision over McHenry’s Britches Sikula, 10-2, in the championship final. Sikula and Piotrowski trained together with the Junior Wolves club team but had never faced each other in competition.
Piotrowski was especially pleased that he had beaten a ranked wrester in Sikula, who is an honorable mention at 106 by Illinoismatmen.com.
“Since he’s ranked, it shows that I can do much better,” Piotrowski said.
Also for McHenry, Mike Sikula lost in the championship finals, 9-2, to Stillman Valley’s Jose Abitua.