ROCK FALLS — Eleven wrestlers from Bureau County teams advanced to sectionals out of the Rock Falls 1A Regional on Saturday, including five from Princeton, four from St. Bede and two from Putnam County/Hall.
All will advance to the Oregon Sectional, which starts Friday evening.
Princeton’s qualifiers include regional runner-up Luke Marselle (106) and third-place finishers Tyler Webster (113), Tim Hillard (126), Drew Pranka (152) and Dylan Williams (285).
“They focused on the things they could control and really did a great job of taking advantage of their opponent’s mistakes. These guys have really worked hard the past few weeks getting ready for this stretch of the season. Hopefully, they can carry some of this momentum into sectionals,” PHS coach Steve Amy said.
Marselle advanced to the finals at 106, where he lost to Sterling Newman’s Hunter Webb by fall at 2:38.
In pivotal third-place matches, Webster pinned St. Bede’s John Kerasotes at 3:51, Hillard edged Polo freshman Jesse Ditzler 6-5, Pranka sneaked past Amboy junior Jason Bontz 4-3 and Williams pinned Newman’s Noah Leffleman at 1:53.
St. Bede had two regional runners-up in Brendan Zimmerman and John Barnes. Zimmerman made his way to the title match at 220, where he lost by fall at 2:29 to Rock Falls’ Josiah Torres. Also reaching the finals was Barnes (285), who lost by fall at 1:38 to Rock Falls’ Jonas Robbins.
They’ll be joined by St. Bede teammates James Peacock (132) and Adam Hunter (145), who each placed third. Peacock punched his ticket by pinning Amboy freshman Ryon Richardson at 1:23 and Hunter pinned AFC’s Josh Kaecker at 4:43.
“I think some of our guys are turning the corner at the right time,” St. Bede coach Sean Hobson said. “James Peacock hasn’t quite peaked yet; I think his peak is coming at sectional. I think it’s going to happen at the right time. Adam hunter is peaking, I think he’s wrestling as well as anyone could have hoped.
Brendan’s our senior caption and it’s really nice to see him get a shot at state.”
For PC/Hall, Dylan Croisant (138) and Lucas Foockle (170) both moved on with third-place finishes Saturday. Croissant (19-14) clinched his berth with pin fall at :52 seconds over Amboy. Foockle (10-10) took a third-place finish by decision 9-4 over Mendota’s Jake Spanier.
The Panthers also had their share of disappointments with Tyrell Foockle (160), Austin Pletsch (182) and Nathan Tonozzi (220) falling in third-place matches,
“We had five guys in the third-place meet finals to qualify, two won their matches and get to go to the next level. It is a huge accomplishment for us to have two qualifiers for sectionals as we have only had one sectional qualifier in the first three years of the program,” PC/Hall coach Jerry Kriewald said. “When you see that many that close, you wish they all could go. It’s exciting and sad at the same time.”
Mendota’s Jaron Robinson was the regional champion at 120.
Rock Falls topped Sterling Newman 208.5 to 151 for the team title. Amboy/LaMoille (115.5) was third, Polo (105) and Princeton (73) fifth. The rest of the field included St. Bede (68), Putnam County/Hall (57), AFC (49) and Mendota (39).