Wrestling: Southland represented well in finals

Story Image Champaign, IL 2/17/12 The top high school wrestlers in the state meet up in Champaign in the semi- final round of the IHSA State Meet. Class 3A Bout 291 @138 pounds Mundelein's Matt Ornoff gets rolled on hiss head by St. Rita's Time Corse. Ornoff lost the match 9-4 in regulation time. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
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Updated: February 18, 2012 10:42PM

CHAMPAIGN — After reaching state title matches a year ago, six area wrestlers not only were determined to get back there, but achieved that goal on Friday.

Providence’s Eddie Klimara leads the way for the group, which will take part in Saturday’s Class 3A finals, after advancing his fourth straight title match.

Lockport’s Brad Johnson and Shaun’Qae McMurtry, Sandburg’s Sebastian Pique, Lincoln-Way East’s Kyle Langenderfer and Mount Carmel’s Bryce Brill all advanced to their second straight title matches.

Johnson won a title a year ago, Klimara took first in 2009 and Pique and Brill won championships last season while competing for other programs.

In addition, nine other individuals from the Southland will participate in the Class 2A or 3A title matches for the first time.

There are two head-to-head 3A match-ups for local wrestlers, with St. Rita’s Tim Corse meeting Langenderfer in the 138 finals and Stagg’s Kevin Moylan taking on Brill in the 145 title match.

Klimara defeated Glenbard North’s Jon Marmolejo 5-0 in the 126 semifinals to become the third Celtic to reach four straight finals.

“I’ve been working all year to get back here,” Klimara said. “I’m real excited to be back in the finals. It should be a great match and a lot of fun.”

Johnson moved on with an 8-0 victory over Glenbard North’s Dan Eldridge at 195 while McMurtry advanced with an 8-2 win over Downers Grove South’s Willie Anaya at 160.

Pique claimed an 11-5 semifinal win over Plainfield Central’s Nick Nasenbeny at 120 while teammate Ricky Robertson got a fall in 5:16 over Marist’s Alex Benoit at 170.

“Being undefeated is a great thing but I know that anyone can lose here,” Robertson. “Obviously, I want it and want to be a state champ.”

A year after winning state at Hinsdale South, Pique knows he’s the underdog against another state champion, Glenbard North’s Jered Cortez.

“It’s a great feeling to be in the finals two years in a row,” Pique said. “That’s all that I have been working for. I’m super-excited.”

Langenderfer advanced to the 138 finals by rallying for a 7-6 win over West Aurora’s Greg Jacquez. He’ll meet St. Rita’s Tim Corse, who won 9-4 over Mundelein’s unbeaten Max Ornoff.

“This means a lot, but I can’t fall short now,” Corse said. “I’ve just got to keep my mind where it’s been all week for six more minutes.”

A year ago, Langenderfer fell just shy of winning a title. He hopes that he isn’t denied again this season.

“I started off real slow, but I battled back,” Langenderfer said. “He made me work for it and I go into the finals with a different attitude.”

Brill, a 14-4 winner over Buffalo Grove’s Jordan Rathje in the 145 semifinals, faces Stagg’s Moylan, who won 10-8 over Sandburg’s Colin Holler.

“Everyone’s goal is to hopefully win a state title,” Brill said. “I have a chance for that on Saturday and it’s going to be exciting.”

Also advancing to a Class 3A finals were Marist’s Mark Duda, who won by injury default at 113, and Thornton’s Kris Williams, who pulled out a 1-0 semifinal win at 106 over Cary-Grove’s Mike Cullen.

Competing for Class 2A titles will be Lemont’s Jake Kaminsky and Eric Kirkman. Kaminsky won 8-5 over Rock Island’s Kyle Kerres at 152 while Kirkman was a 6-4 winner over Urbana’s unbeaten Cameron Mammen at 170.

“I’m just happy to be here,” Kirkman said. “I’ve worked my butt off all season. I never thought that this would happen and it’s just a great feeling.”

Also advancing to 2A finals are Rich Central’s Nkosi Moody, who won 12-4 over Triad’s Cole Wysocki at 106, and Marian Catholic’s Nathan Jackson, who beat Burlington Central’s Omar Awad by technical fall at 170.

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