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IHSA individual state tournament hits the mats

By Ed Muniz
 
CHAMPAIGN -- The 79th consecutive year of the Illinois High School Association's state wrestling individual finals began Thursday when vans and buses of wrestlers from schools from all directions in the state arrived at the University of Illinois' newly renovated and renamed athletic facility -- the State Farm Center.
 
The mass of student-athletes and their families and supporters will join the University of Illinois community through Saturday.
 
The three-class event will feature 1,221 bouts. Over a trio of days, 672 wrestlers will vy for the top spot in 14 weight-class championships in each of the three divisions.
 
Class 1A frontrunner Coal City leads the small schools with 11 wrestlers. In Class 2A, powerhouse Mount Carmel (Chicago) qualified 13 wrestlers to compete.  Perennial contender Oak Park and River Forest is represented by 11 wresters in the large-school division -- Class 3A.
 
The State Farm Center, formally known as Assembly Hall, has improved seating and viewing areas after the main floor of the arena was lowered several feet. That will help further display the quality of prep wrestling in Illinois.
Today's Schedule: Season Schedule