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IHSA state individual tournament

Championship match photos by Akayna Calkins

 

Class 3A

 

106 pounds

 
 
Joey Melendez (right), of Montini, holds on tight in the final seconds of the title match against Marcus Povlick, of Plainfield North. Melendez took a 2-1 decision and his first state title with the upset the state's top seed.
 
 

113 pounds

 
Louie Hayes (right), of Sandburg, held on to a single-leg for more than a minute, and Montini's Reel Woods couldn't break free. Hayes finally completed the move in his upset of the nation's second-ranked 113-pounder. The 3-1 championship win avenged Hayes' only two losses of his 47-2 season.
 
 

120 pounds

 
 
Jason Renteria (left), of Oak Park and River Forest, controls Plainfield East's top-seeded Michael McGee (37-2). After two years of runner-up finishes, Renteria was never threatened in his first championship match. He finished the season 22-0 after the 8-3 win. 
 
 

126 pounds

 
 
Begining his title match comeback one takedown at a time, returning state champion Austin Gomez (right), of Glenbard North, scores on Oak Park and River Forest's Anthony Madrigal (40-2). Gomez (43-1) grabbed his second title with an 8-7 win after trailing 5-0.
 
 

132 pounds

 
 
Two-time state champion Dylan Duncan (44-3), of Montini, tries to turn fellow two-time champion Rudy Yates, of Sandburg. The unbeaten Yates (47-0) captured his third title with the 3-2 decision. All of Duncan's 2015-16 losses came against Yates.
 
 

138 pounds

 
 
A.J. Jaffe (left),  of Marmion, keeps Oak Park and River Forest's Jaime Hernandez all tangled up. Jaffe (46-6) completed his senior individual season as a champion after he held off Hernandez (32-7), who wrestled with a badly swollen left eye, by a 4-2 decision.
 
 

145 pounds

 
 
Seeking his third-consecutive state championship, Austin O'Connor (right), of St. Rita, literally kept a leg up on defending state champion Shayne Oster (37-4), of Lockport. The clash of champions was close, but O'Connor grabbed win 50 on the season without a defeat after the 3-2 decision.
 
 

152 pounds

 
 
In one quick motion, a match that looked to be headed for disaster for Fermie Silva (left), of Hononegah, quickly changed and ended when Marmion's top-seed Trace Carello (41-7) was flipped and pinned midway through the second period. Silva finished at 43-2 on the season.
 
 

160 pounds

 
 
Walter White (right), of Oak Park and River Forest sought his third-straight title when he took to the mat against Lyon's Johnny Mologousis (45-3). White (29-0), who had previously won championships at the 138- and 152-pound weight classes, made it look effortless in an 8-3 victory for title three.
 
 

170 pounds

 
 
Setting a new IHSA record with a fall in 23 seconds, Willowbrook's Matt Rowland (55-1) put the crowd on its feet quickly after dispatching Deerfield's Sage Heller (47-5). Rowland (top) was a runner-up in 2015.
 
 

182 pounds

 
 
Marmion's Nate Traxler (left) loses hold of Sandburg's Patrick Brucki (50-3) during the title bout. But Traxler (49-2) made it two-for-two at 182 by winning his second-straight title with a dominating 9-3 win.
 
 

195 pounds

 
 
Dundee-Crown's Christian Brunner (top) was simply too much for Dylan Ervin (44-4) of Metea Valley. Brunner (51-0) was in total control from the get-go and grabbed a fall in 3:39 to capture the championship.
 
 

220 pounds

 
 
Allen Stallings (left), of Oak Park and River Forest, controls the action and his opponent, Alex Jacob (41-2), of Fremd, in the championship clash. Stallings (35-3) took the title after stifling any offensive effort from Jacob in a 7-3 decision.
 
 

285 pounds

 

 
Behemoths Bryan Ditchman (left) of Lincoln-Way Central and Hinsdale Central's Matt Allen clash in the title bout. The top-seeded Allen used a solo take down in the final period of the 3-1 win to capture his first state championship and follow in the footsteps of his older brothers, Jack and Brian, who are past Illinois state champions.
 
 

Class 2A

 

106 pounds

 
 
Travis Ford-Melton, of Marian, was just too much for Kaneland's Austin Kedzie. Ford-Melton ended the bout at the 2:16 mark with a fall and finished the season unblemished at 46-0.
 
 

113 pounds

 
 
Dack Punke (right), of Washington, battled Ottawa's Ethan Harsted. Punke siezed the championship with a 5-2 decision. Dack was one of four Punke brothers to wrestle at the 2016 state individual championship.
 
 

120 pounds

 
 
Tyler Deleware (left, 40-8), of Washington, keeps the pressure on Marian's Donnell Washington (43-5). The tightly fought, evenly matched bout came down to the very end when Deleware scored for the 4-3 victory.
 
 

126 pounds

 
 
Seizing the only opportunity, Prarie Ridge's Travis Piotrowski (44-0) scored the only points of the match in overtime when he caught Marian's Carlos Champagne (44-3) on his back for the sudden victory and his first title.
 
 

132 pounds

 
 
Merik Fulton (right), of Triad, and We Rachal, of Washington (Chicago), eyed each other while looking for an opening. Rachal (29-1) ended up his season with a fall of Fulton (39-3) early in the third period to gain his and his school's first championship.
 
 

138 pounds

 
 
In the final match-up of their trilogy at 138, Crystal Lake Central's Lenny Petersen (top) faced Gavin Sutton (44-4), of Richmond-Burton. Previously, the two faced off in regional and sectional finals. Only this time Petersen (44-4) prevailed with a fall at 4:31 for the title. 
 
 

145 pounds

 
 
Geneseo native Hunter Grau made it back-to-back championships after dominating Egan Bertan (46-3), of Lemont, in his 23-8 technical fall win. Grau ended the season unbeaten at 47-0.
 
 

152 pounds

 
 
Jake Tucker (top) added another championship to Mt. Carmel's long list of accomplishments. Tucker (45-3) took on top-seed Pat Schoenfelder (50-3), of Antioch, and controlled much of the action in the 5-2 win.
 
 

160 pounds

 
 
Jose Champagne (left), of Marian, wouldn't let Washington's Ryder Punke (44-5) get away. Champagne finshed third last season and upped it this year to a state title with the 5-2 decision. He finished the season 34-0.
 
 

170 pounds

 
 
Needing a single point to break the 5-5 tie late, unbeaten Kordell Norfleet (standing), of Marian, escapes the grasp of Triad's Cole Witzig (48-2) as time runs out. That earned Norfleet (37-0) a championship in his second try in the finals.
 
 

182 pounds

 
 
Jacob Warner (right), of Washington, followed up his last year's championship with another after dominating the title match against Morris' Cody Baldridge (42-4). Warner (46-2) ended the match at the 4:29 mark with a 19-4 technical fall.
 
 

195 pounds

 
 
Tinley Park senior Eric Shultz (top) overpowered John McKinney (22-2), of Triad, and repeatedly scored en route to a 24-9 technical fall at 5:54. The top-seeded Shultz finished 47-0 on the season and cruised through the state finals. 
 

220 pounds

 
 
Ridgewood senior Vinny Scaletta grimaces as he works against opponent Austin Parks (42-4), of Crystal Lake Central. Scaletta (44-3) avenged a loss to Parks a week earlier with a 10-3 victory.
 
 

285 pounds

 

 
Joshua King (left), of Hinsdale South, powered past Mt. Carmel's Matthew Reyes with a 5-0 decision. King captured his second title; he won the Class 3A 220 pound title a year earlier.
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