ANTIOCH – Crystal Lake Central wrestler Brock Montford jumped from 113 pounds as a sophomore to 145 as a junior without a great deal of success.
So what did Montford do for this year? He moved up again, big.
“The mac-and-cheese diet,” said Montford, now a 182-pounder. “I ate a lot. I lifted some weights, and I went from being really weak to only kind of weak. I like having Chipotle the night of the meet.”
Actually, Montford's self-deprecation aside, Tigers coach Justen Lehr said Montford worked his tail off in the weight room and with offseason mat work.
Montford defeated previously unbeaten Grayslake Central’s Adrien Cramer, 6-3, in the semifinals, then held off Prairie Ridge’s Kyle Koelblinger, 5-2, for the 182-pound championship at the Class 2A Antioch Sectional on Saturday.
“He didn’t get out of the regional last year, and he just beat the No. 1 kid in the state (Cramer),” Lehr said. “I don’t know how many practices he got in [in the offseason], but it was a lot. His hard work’s paying off.”
Montford was one of eight sectional champions from the area, along with Central teammate Caden Ernd (152 pounds), Crystal Lake South’s Christian Olsen (113), Peyton Timmons (126) and Jason Burburija (220), Marian Central’s Daniel Valeria (132) and Dylan Connell (160) and Prairie Ridge’s Josh Crandall (195).
There were 13 other area wrestlers who qualified for state. Marian Central advanced eight of its nine sectional qualifiers, while Prairie Ridge is sending six to state. The top four finishers at each weight advance to state.
“I got rid of [Cramer’s] goose egg,” Montford said. “I don’t know [how]. A lot of people didn't think I could do it, but my coaches were hyping me up, telling me I could, and I did. It’s pretty sick.”
Montford and Koelblinger met last week in the regional final, but Koelblinger was forced to default for injury after they banged heads together.
Connell (42-2) never has lost a postseason match. The Hurricanes sophomore defeated Carmel’s Tommy Hoy (35-2), 4-0, for the title. Connell basically rode out Hoy through the second and third periods to hold him scoreless.
“It’s challenging, but you have to do what it takes,” said Connell, who won the 2A 152-pound state championship last season. “It’s somewhat tiring, but not as tiring as being rode out. I did what I do in practice and it worked.”
Marian coach David Silva liked that Connell wrestled a smart match and did what he needed for the win.
“He wanted to put more points on the board,” Silva said. “It’s so hard to do that, especially with such great wrestlers and they’re both so strong.”
Olsen, a sophomore, and Timmons, a junior, get another week to work together before returning to state.
“We’ve been training hard together, working out and pushing it real hard these last couple weeks,” said Olsen, who is 35-1 and finished fourth at state last year.
Olsen defeated Marian sophomore Elon Rodriguez, 6-3; Timmons beat Notre Dame’s Sean Crump, 5-0.
“I started out with a weaker match for me this weekend, then I got my head in the game, got myself composed and went after it today,” Timmons said.
Local 2A State Qualifiers
Crystal Lake Central: Dillon Carlson, fr. (113, third), Caden Ernd, so. (152, first), Brock Montford, sr. (182, first).
Crystal Lake South: Christian Olsen, so. (113, first), Peyton Timmons, jr. (126, first), Jason Burburija, jr. (220, first).
Harvard: Nik Jimenez, fr. (120, third).
Marian Central: Josh Glover. fr. (106, third), Elon Rodriguez, so. (113, second), Daniel Valeria, jr. (132, first), Bryce Shelton, so. (138, second), Kaden Randazzo, so. (152, second), Dylan Connell, so. (160, first), Mason Schwalbach, so. (220, second), Thor Paglialong, sr. (285, fourth).
Prairie Ridge: Jace Sparks, sr. (120, fourth), Trey Piotrowski, sr. (138, third), Tommy Evans, so. (170, third), Kyle Koelblinger, jr. (182, second), Josh Crandall, jr. (195, first), Calvin Pesina, jr. (220, fourth).
Antioch Class 2A Sectional Results
106: Conway (SP) d. Randell (ND), 6-2.
113: Olsen (CLS) d. Rodriguez (Marian), 6-3.
120: Ritter (SP d. Barbarise (Ant), 7-3.
126: Timmons (CLS) d. Crump (ND), 5-0.
132: Valeria (Marian) d. Reyes (Ant), 5-3.
138: Palm (Carmel) d. Shelton (Marian), 7-0.
145: Murphy (GC) d. Sistrunk (Ant), 6-1.
152: Ernd (CLC) d. Randazzo (MC), 5-1.
160: Connell (Marian) d. Hoy (Carmel), 4-0.
170: Alex Cramer (GC) p. Waggoner (LF), 2:53.
182: Montford (CLC) d. Koelblinger (PR), 5-2.
195: Crandall (PR) p. Wood (VH), 2:41.
220: Burburija (CLS) d. Schwalbach (Marian), 9-2.
285: Brunati (Lakes) d. Sanchez (Ant), 5-2.
106: Glover (Marian) md. Sullivan (Wau), 13-4.
113: Carlson (CLC) md. Lehn (Ant), 10-1.
120: Jimenez (Hvd) d. Sparks (PR), injury fft.
126: McPherson (Ant) d. Walker (SP), 3-2.
132: Valadez (Carmel) d. Duty (N. Chi.) 7-6.
138: Piotrowski (PR) d. Piskorz (Fenton), 4-0.
145: Zuber (Fenwick) d. Swindell (Carmel), 7-1.
152: Jens (GC) d. Bionski (GN), 5-3.
160: Navarro (Fenwick) p. Volkmar (Ant), 5:03.
170: Evans (PR) p. Garcia (Carmel), 4:35.
182: Ad. Cramer (GC) p. Swinkle (ND), 1:56.
195: Thuente (LF) md. LIesa (SP), 10-1.
220: Mannan (VH) d. Pesina (PR), 10-3.
285: Fitzpatrick (ND) p. Paglialong (Marian), 3:21.