STERLING — The Putnam County-Hall Wrestling Co-op team did it again. For the second year in a row, the Panthers won the 13-team Sterling Newman Tournament.
The Panthers took first with 152 points. Coming in second place was Dixon with 145.
Head coach Jerry Kreiwald was tickled with the results.
“What a great way to start off the season,” he said. “This has excited the guys to gear up for our first home dual meet on Thursday against Amboy and Sterling Newman.”
The rotation for the tournament started at the 132 weight class. PC-Hall’s Mario Flores took first and went 3-0 in matches during the day. Nathan Diaz (1-2) placed fifth in the same weight bracket.
“Flores is really starting to evolve as an experienced wrestler,” Kreiwald said.
The second overall champion for the day was Cole Elliott at 170. Kreiwald noted the focus Elliott displayed as he competed.
“He wrestled with determination all day and never let up. What a champ,” he said.
The final PC-Hall champ of the day was at the 220 weight class in the form of Marco Gutierrez. With a perfect 4-0 record, Kreiwald said at the heavier weights it is not all about strength.
“He was a great demonstration of how technique over takes power. He really out wrestled some beasts,” Kriewald said.
Also in the 220 weight class, first-year wrestlers Trevor Case took third and Isaac Marquez took fifth.
Newcomer R.J. Copeland made a splash by taking second place in the 145-pound weight bracket. Kreiwald said Copeland learned from any mistakes early and didn’t repeat them.
“R.J. really made a statement today in a 12-man bracket going 3-1 on the day. This being his first tournament, he really adapted well and jumped right in. His natural athleticism will do him very well the more technique he learns,” Kreiwald said.
Luke McCook took third place at 160. He lost his first match to the eventual champ and wrestled back to a third-place finish with a four match win streak.
“It takes a lot to wrestle two or three matches a day, never mind five. Shows a lot of guts and pride,” Kriewald said.
James Hall placed second at 195 with a 2-1 record on the day. Matt Briddick earned a third place finish in the same weight class with an overall 2-2 record and Evan Kiphart placed fifth with a 1-3 record.
The next wrestling meet for PC-Hall will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in a triangular with Sterling Newman and Amboy.
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