GRAYSLAKE – Crystal Lake Central’s Seamus O’Donnell was breathing heavily after his 220-pound sectional championship match Saturday at Grayslake Central.
It’s understandable, considering how much lighter he is than most of his opponents.
“I’m giving up 30 pounds, and I still won sectionals,” O’Donnell said. “That’s pretty surreal.”
Seamus O’Donnell and his brother Liam O’Donnell (195) – who lost his sectional title match but will head to state – both bumped up a weight class for the state tournament (Seamus up from 195, Liam from 182). Considering Liam is wrestling on a torn ACL and Seamus had surgery on a biceps only a few months ago, it was a remarkable performance from the senior twins.
They were two of 23 local wrestlers who qualified for the IHSA state meet in Champaign out of the Class 2A Grayslake Central Sectional.
Central coach Justen Lehr said they decided to bump up the twins in order to give more Tigers a chance to reach state and as a way to try to gain an edge over Marian Central in the regional, which didn’t work out.
“There’s a lot of naysayers who thought that they shouldn’t have bumped up,” Lehr said. “But they were both in the finals, doing what we thought they could do. We’ve always known they’re good, and Seamus showed why the bump up might have been a good move.”
Central also qualified Caden Ernd (132), Austin Ernd (138) and Frank Carone (160).
Marian was the only team with more state qualifiers: six. Anthony Randazzo (132) and Dylan Connell (152) won sectional titles. Jack Harman (106), Luke Silva (160), Bryce Shelton (120) and Dan Valeria (126) all qualified for state, which begins Thursday.
Luke Silva (40-2) suffered his second loss of the season in the sectional title match against Grayslake Central’s Alex Cramer, who is the top-ranked wrestler at 160 in Class 2A.
“Cramer is the No. 1 guy,” coach David Silva said. “Luke’s been ranked (No.) 2 or 3 all year. I’m glad we got to see [Cramer] today so we can make adjustments. That’s going to be the state finals match, in my opinion. That’s the match we want.”
Connell (42-2) was one of two local freshmen who won sectional titles.
A GATORS FIRST
Crystal Lake South freshman Christian Olsen (106) was impressive yet again, winning his first two matches of the sectional by pins and then winning by a technical fall, 17-1, over Marian’s Harman in the 106 title.
Olsen (42-1) will be joined at state by teammate Peyton Timmons (113), who took third.
“It’s awesome,” South coach Ross Ryan said. “It’s been three years since we’ve been downstate. For two to punch that ticket, it just brings excitement to the program.”
Olsen is the Gators’ first freshman to qualify for state.
“It’s pretty cool, especially in this atmosphere,” Olsen said. “It’s so much different than club. It’s cool to win here and go on to the next level in Champaign.”
Possibly the most impressive win of
the day came from Richmond-Burton’s Jaden Glauser (182), who pinned St. Viator’s Jacob Wolf in the sectional title match in 1:27.
“The kid was pretty strong, but basically two takedowns probably broke him a little bit,” said Glauser, who is 33-0. “When we rolled through, normally people keep rolling, but I guess I just stuck him there. It normally doesn’t go like that, but it was still cool.”
Glauser was a state medalist a year ago in Class 3A while wrestling at McHenry.
Prairie Ridge’s Nick Fetzner (170) also is a sectional champion. Fetzner was one of four Wolves to advance to state, along with Trey Piotrowski (138), Tommy Evans (160) and Drake Regenhardt (152).
“We brought five; we got four out,” Wolves coach Trey Breeden said. “Everybody wrestled great. Fetzner, it was nice to get him a sectional championship. (He) had to go through some tough kids to get there. Mentally, that really helped him get some confidence.”
OTHER STATE QUALIFIERS
Woodstock North’s Carter Miller (106) and Nicco Mazzanti (145) qualified for state. Woodstock’s Aidan Jacobs (195) and Javy Villalobos (285) will head to Champaign, and Johnsburg’s Austin Butler (170) also qualified.
STAR OF THE MATCH
Crystal Lake South, fr., 106
Olsen was one of two local freshmen to win sectional titles, the other being Marian Central’s Dylan Connell (152).
23: Local athletes who qualified for state from the Class 2A Grayslake Central Sectional
AND ANOTHER THING …
The McHenry County area claimed six of the 14 sectional champions.
Championship matches (both advance to state)
106: C. Olsen (CLS) tech. fall Harman (Marian), 17-1.
113: Barbarise (Antioch) dec. Crump (Notre Dame), 6-1.
120: Valadez (Carmel) dec. Teschky (Vernon Hills), 8-3.
126: Duty (North Chicago) inj. def. Giurini (Elmwood Park).
132: A. Randazzo (Marian) dec. Kanari (Wauconda), 6-1.
138: Palm (Carmel) dec. A. Ernd (CLC), 6-5.
145: Blonski (Grayslake North) p. Jens (Grayslake Central), 5:30.
152: Connell (Marian) dec. Regenhardt (PR), 6-0.
160: Al. Cramer (Grayslake Central) dec. Silva (Marian), 6-2.
170: Fetzner (PR) dec. Ad. Cramer (Grayslake Central), 8-3.
182: Glauser (R-B) p. Wolf (St. Viator), 1:27.
195: Kaminski (Fenwick) dec. L. O’Donnell (CLC), 8-2.
220: S. O’Donnell (CLC) dec. Skold (St. Francis), 12-6.
285: Fitzpatrick (Notre Dame) p. Villalobos (Wdk), 5:26.
Third place matches (both advance to state)
106: Miller (WN) dec. Becker (Lakes), 6-4, OT
113: Timmons (CLS) dec. Ritter (St. Patrick), 1-0.
120: Husko (Wauconda) dec. Shelton (Marian), 7-5.
126: Valeria (Marian) dec. McPherson (Antioch), 5-3.
132: C. Ernd (CLC) p. Zuber (Fenwick), 2:15.
138: Piotrowski (PR) dec. Orlandi (Notre Dame), 7-1.
145: Sistrunk (Antioch) dec. Mazzanti (WN), 5-2.
152: Hoy (Carmel) dec. Schoenfelder (Antioch), 6-5.
160: Evans (PR) dec. F. Carone (CLC), 5-3.
170: Black (St. Viator) dec. Butler (Jbg), 5-3.
182: Butts (Fenton) dec. Finn (Wauconda), 11-4.
195: Flores (Grayslake North) dec. Jacobs (Wdk), 3-1.
220: Rama (Elwood Park) p. Ivan (Carmel), 3:59.
285: Mahon (Fenwick) p. Caldero (Grayslake North), 1:58.