BARRINGTON – Huntley sophomore Jacob Jensen struggled for most of five weeks to get back on the mat after injuring his left ankle.
Now that Jensen is back, everything is good.
The Red Raiders’ 113-pounder rolled to the championship at the Class 3A Barrington Sectional on Saturday with a 10-4 decision in the semifinals and a pin in the title match.
Jensen joins Huntley teammates Sam Spencer (126), Andrew Lira (132), Jeremy Jakowitsch (138), David Ferrante (170) and Ryder Hunkins (195) as state qualifiers.
Jacobs will send four wrestlers to state, the most in school history: James Wright (106), Jake Harrier (138), Alex Epstein (145) and Ryan Golnick (220). The other local qualifiers were Dundee-Crown’s Gabriel Scales (145) and McHenry’s Brody Hallin (152).
Jensen sustained the injury on the Jan. 3-4 trip to the Clash, a tournament in Rochester, Minnesota that draws top-notch talent from across the country. He wrestled against Marian Central on Jan. 18, then sat out until last week’s regional.
“My ankle’s bothering me now (after the match), it’s hurting, but once the adrenaline kicks in, it goes away,” Jensen said. “I’ve been trying to keep my cardio up, but it’s hard with my ankle. I can’t run. Recently, I’ve been doing more. I’m feeling better.”
Raiders coach B.J. Bertelsman said Jensen (26-10) resumed workouts about two weeks ago.
“Jensen had a great tournament. That was amazing,” Bertelsman said. “Up until about two weeks ago he was hardly doing anything. We know what he was and what he is. It was nice to see him get back to it finally.”
Spencer (34-3) was the other local sectional champion, holding off Belvidere freshman Antonio Alvarado, 4-1. This will be Spencer’s fourth state tournament.
“It’s my last rodeo and I didn’t expect to be anywhere else besides state,” Spencer said. “(Alvarado) is very talented for a freshman. He’s a stud. I kind of took him lightly and he gave me a better match than I thought. I just tried to stick to my game plan and do what I had to do to win.”
Ferrante, 42-2 and the 170-pound defending state champion, and Harrier are the other two local four-time state qualifiers from the sectional. Both lost in their semifinal matches, then came back to win third.
Ferrante lost, 4-3, to Barrington’s Luke Rasmussen.
“It was a good match, a lot of back and forth,” Ferrante said. “I ultimately fell short, had a little slip in the end, got careless with 9 seconds left. I’ll learn from it, use it as motivation and execute when it matters at state.”
Warren’s Joel Vandervere defeated Harrier, 7-5, in their semi.
“It’s cool (to go a fourth time). I kind of expected it at this point,” Harrier said. “I’m not really happy because I didn’t win sectional, but I made it four times, which is cool. I still have work to do.”
Jacobs’ Ryan Golnick (37-4) nearly saw his season end in the wrestleback semifinals against Belvidere’s Trever Dawson, who scored a near fall in the first period. Once Golnick escaped that, he wound up winning 16-7 with three near falls to close the match.
“I was feeling like, ‘I’m not going to give up,’ ” Golnick said. “When I was on my back, I felt a lot of anger, but I transferred that anger into energy. He’s a great wrestler. Props to him.”
Golnick took third place with a 12-6 decision over Glenbrook South’s Tudor Ursu.
Scales suffered a left knee injury in the 145 championship match against Glenbrook South’s Will Collins and had to default.
“Thankfully, the trainer was able to get it back in place,” Scales said. “It’s a (crummy) way to go out, but with stuff like that you have to be happy it wasn’t worse than it was.”
Scales, who will wrestle at Northern Illinois next year, was on crutches after the match.
“I’m hoping my orthopedic guy says I’m good to go,” he said. “If he says it’s not, I’m perfectly OK with taking this last stretch off to prepare for my college season next year.”
Class 3A Barrington Sectional
Local state qualifiers
Dundee-Crown: Gabriel Scales (145, 15-1).
Huntley: Jacob Jensen (113, 26-10), Sam Spencer (126, 34-3), Andrew Lira (132, 29-10), Jeremy Jakowitsch (138, 39-7), David Ferrante (170, 42-2), Ryder Hunkins (195, 39-8).
Jacobs: James Wright (106, 33-10), Jake Harrier (138, 38-2), Alex Epstein (145, 26-6), Ryan Golnick (220, 37-4).
McHenry: Brody Hallin (152, 39-5).
Class 3A Barrington Sectional
106: Will Baysinger (Pros) p. James Wright (Jacobs), 1:45.
113: Jacob Jensen (Hunt) p. Brian Beers (Barr), 1:16.
120: Cole Rhemrev (Stev) md. Presley Beasley (Belv), 10-2.
126: Sam Spencer (Hunt) d. Antonio Alvarado (Belv), 4-1.
132: Jack Milos (Pros) tf. Andrew Lira (Hunt), 4:21.
138: Joel Vandervere (Warren) d. Jeremy Jakowitsch (Hunt), 3-1.
145: Will Collins (Glenbrook S.) d. Gabriel Scales (Dundee-Crown), injury default.
152: E’lan Heard (L’ville) p. Brody Hallin (McHenry), 2:16.
160: Kai Conway (Barr) p. Pano Drosos (HP), 1:16.
170: Luke Rasmussen (Barr) d. Ricardo Salinas (Evanston), 5-2.
182: Jack Hartman (Barr) d. Ethan Geist (Grant), 3-1.
195: IsiaH Pettigrew (Fremd) d. Caleb Smith (Pros), 7-3.
220: Gio Jackson (BG) d. Evan Roper (Barr), 7-6.
285: Jason Guadarrama (Mund) p. Joey Pineda (Rockford E.), 3:07.
106: Caelan Riley (L’ville) tf. Charlie Jones (Barr), 3:20.
113: Lorenzo Frezza (Stev) tf. EhTa Sor (Rockford E.), 4:28.
120: Michael Miralles (NT) p. Logan Neurauter (LZ), 3:29.
126: Charlie Fifield (Fremd) d. Damian Puma (Pros), 12-5.
132: Cameron Domke (Warren) d. Zach Joyce (Hersey), 8-5.
138: Jake Harrier (Jac) p. Joe Miller (Pros), 2:34.
145: Jaylen Beals (Zion-Benton) d. Alex Epstein (Jac), 5-2.
152: Isaiah Parker (Warren) md. Alejandro Mejia (BG), 18-6.
160: Michael Mondus (Fremd) d. Josh Knudten (L’ville), 5-4.
170: David Ferrante (Hunt) tf. Jordan Chisum (ZB), 1:58.
182: Joey Mrazek (LZ) d. Tony Figueroa (Honon), 6-4.
195: Ryder Hunkins (Hunt) p. Matt Millman (Stev), 0:49.
220: Ryan Golnick (Jac) d. Tudor Ursu (Glenbrook S.), 12-6.
285: Austin Korba (Hersey) p. Keegan Houlihan (Stev), 1:59.