Wrestling: Providence’s Eddie Klimara makes history; Mount Carmel claims titleSt. Rita's Tim Corse controls Providence's Tony Cammaratta in the 138-pound final at the Catholic League Wrestling Championships on Saturday. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 22, 2012 12:31AM
Eddie Klimara can’t be accused of taking the easy road.
The Providence senior wrestler is top-ranked in Class 3A at 126 pounds by Illinois Best Weekly. Instead of competing at that weight in Saturday’s Catholic League meet at Fenwick, Klimara bumped up to 132 and met Mount Carmel’s Mike Mizaur (ranked second in 3A at 132) in the league finals for the third time in four years.
The match lived up to the hype, as Klimara wriggled free for an escape at the buzzer to win 6-5 and become the 12th four-time champ in Catholic League history.
Mizaur took Klimara down for a 5-4 lead with 13 seconds left, but the Celtic wasn’t rattled. “My first goal was to relax, calm down and focus on what I had to do,” Klimara said. “All I had to do was stand up.”
Klimara (32-1) won two-point decisions over Mizaur (26-5) for conference titles in 2009 and last year. The only year they wrestled at different weights, 2010, both were Catholic League champs.
“It was a little hard going up to  ... because I’m a small ‘32-pounder,” said Klimara, who won the Tony Lawless award as the league’s outstanding senior. “Those kids are all two heads taller than me.”
But he stood tall on Saturday and now will focus on the IHSA state series, where he’s planning to compete at 126.
Three other wrestlers were chasing their third straight titles and two of them succeeded. Fenwick senior Matt Garelli (10-0), who returned this week after being sidelined by a torn meniscus, beat another returning champ, Providence’s Cole Ferguson (32-8) 7-2 in the 120 final.
“I was a little worried about if my conditioning would hold up, but it did well,” Garelli said. “My knee was about 90 percent.”
De La Salle senior James Buss (30-0) won his third straight title at 285 with three falls, including a 4:31 pin of Gordon Tech’s Justin Alonzo in the final. Buss was 39-1 last season, losing only to Sandburg’s Chris Lopez in the state semifinals. “Coach [Dale] Burke said I wasn’t going to lose another high school match and that holds up today,” Buss said.
Mount Carmel junior David Denne (15-6) was denied a third straight title, losing 6-5 in overtime to Bishop McNamara’s Channing Dolliger (12-2) in the 220 final.
Mount Carmel sophomore Bryce Brill (36-1) won the meet’s outstanding wrestler award after cruising to the 145 championship with two first-period falls and a 15-2 title-bout win over Brother Rice’s Nuntrae Jackson. Brendan Hall (24-8 at 152) and Notay Jackson (19-2 at 160) also took first for the Caravan, which edged St. Rita 182-177 for its second straight team championship.
“We definitely have come together as a team,” Brill said. “This was a big team goal.”
St. Rita had three champs: Tim Corse (23-6 at 138), Mike Murphy (24-6 at 170) and Ben Threloff (21-6 at 195). McNamara also had three winners in Dolliger, Kyle Simpkins (3-0 at 103) and Steve Licina (22-3 at 126).
Also taking firsts were Providence’s Ronald Triche (15-5 at 113) and Loyola’s Michael Paloian (23-5 at 182).