Wrestling: Maine West ends regional drought

Story Image 2/4/12 Skokie-Maine South's Tony Mastrolanardo competes against Niles Wests Tom Williams. Stacia Timonere/for Sun Times Media
Story Image

Maine West had five champions, 10 finalists and a total of 11 sectional qualifiers Saturday as it captured the program’s first regional wrestling crown since 1999.

The Warriors (218.5) were the favorites coming in, with nine No. 1 seeds, and didn’t disappoint, winning handily over second-place Maine South (161.00) at the Class 3A Niles West Regional in Skokie.

“It’s been a big goal of theirs all year long, to win regionals,” Warriors head coach Lance Weber said. “It was good to see us wrestling well in finals. We didn’t do so well in finals at the (CSL) tournament, so it was nice for us to come in and get a lot of guys winning.”

The top three wrestlers in each weight class advanced to next weekend’s Glenbard North Sectional, which begins on Friday. Maine West, as regional champs, booked a spot in the Class 3A dual team sectionals, which take place the week of Feb. 20.

On Saturday, Maine West wrestlers captured four straight weight classes as seniors Jake Korbecki (138), Rico Zayas (145), Jordan Pessah (152) and Ben Kindle (160) all won regional crowns. Senior Tom Sunny (106) was the team’s other champ.

Maine South’s lone champ was junior Terry Calkins, who won the 120-pound division. But the Hawks had seven sectional qualifiers and many of its wrestlers performed at or above expectations.

“What we did well: we wrestled to our seeds. Every man, and we had four guys wrestle above their seed,” Maine South coach Craig Fallico said. “So, it’s a good day. A great day would have been everybody wrestling above their seed.”

Third-place Elk Grove (119.5) had two champions in seniors Alex Mertes (132) and Greg Johnson (195). The Grenadiers had a total of six sectional qualifiers.

“The boys really wrestled well,” Elk Grove coach Craig Johnson said. “We have six moving on. It’s a big step for the program. We haven’t had that many boys go to sectional for a lot of years, and third place is a good finish. The boys came through.”

Rolling Meadows (109) came in fourth at the eight-team meet followed by Niles West (103), Evanston (81), Niles North (60) and Maine East (46).

Other champions were: Rolling Meadows senior Aaron Kohlberg (113), Niles West junior Tom Williams (126), Rolling Meadows senior Joe Caprio (170), Niles West junior Vaughn Monreal-Berner (182), Niles North junior Camerin Pascoe (220) and Rolling Meadows senior Jordan Diaz (285).

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