By Marty Farmer
The Oak Park and River Forest High School wrestling team dominated the nine-team field at the Leyden Regional of the Class 3A IHSA individual state tournament on Saturday. The Huskies cruised to the team title with 281 points (runner-up Addison Trial had 162 points), 14 sectional qualifiers, and 15 pins in a total time of 31:19.
The qualifiers will compete in the Larkin Sectional on Feb. 9-10. Due to their dominant victory on Saturday, the Huskies also secured a home match on Tuesday, Feb. 20 in the IHSA dual team state series.
The top spot on the winner's podium at Leyden was a common sight for OPRF which won nine weight classes. The Huskies had a trio of runners-up and a pair of third-place finishers as well.
The Huskies' array of talented wrestlers in the lower weight classes performed very well. Sophomores Jake Rundell (35-2) won the 106-pound title with two pins, Josh Ogunsanya (36-4) via two tech falls at 113, and Nico Bolivar (24-6) with two pins at 120. Junior Eddie Bolivar earned a 19-3 tech fall victory against Leyden's Daniel Uribe at 132.
In the middle weights, senior Eddie Ordonez (31-12) set the tone with a12-0 major decision over Addison Trail's Brian Reyes in the 145 title bout. Sophomore Joe Chapman (152), senior Jack Fischer (160) and sophomore Daemyen Middlebrooks (170) also notched victories.
OPRF senior Elijah Osit won at 195 with a pin at 1:05 of Leyden's Anthony Feliciano.
Juniors Jake Cagnina (12-9/182), Talvin Gibson (11-15/220) and Ashford Hollis (29-14/285) punched their tickets to the sectional competition with second-place showings. Fellow juniors Max Walton (4-3) and Taigue Thurston (4-4) took advantage of a rare starting opportunity by qualifying for sectionals with third-place efforts at 126 and 138, respectively
The Huskies are in the midst of another strong season, highlighted by a mix of skilled wrestlers ranging from sophomores to seniors. OPRF finished the regular season with 23-2 record, including a 6-0 mark in the West Suburban Conference Silver Division. They also won their own Huskie Invitational and the Rex Whitlach Invitational, hosted by Hinsdale Central. OPRF also placed second at the Cheesehead Invite in Kaukauna, Wisconsin.
Host Fenwick fared well in the Class 2A regional in the IHSA individual state tournament on Saturday. Under the guidance of first-year head coach Pete Kowalczuk, the Friars advanced six wrestlers to sectional competition and finished second with 136 points in their regional. Fenwick recorded eight pins in a total time of 18:51.
Fenton won the regional team title with 189 points, followed by the Friars, Glenbard South (118), St. Patrick (115.5), St. Francis (105.5) and Elmwood Park (77).
Matt Zuber (132), Adam Aguilar (138) and Jacob Kaminski (195) won their weight divisions for Fenwick. In the finals, Zuber (20-14) defeated Fenton's Danny Ramirez 7-0, while Aguilar (24-10) also earned a shutout victory, 5-0 over Brandon Koskiewicz from Fenton. Kaminski (24-2), a top contender to win state at 195, pinned Glenbard South's Adam Haushahn at 1:36 in the championship bout.
Coupled with Kaminski's successful showing, Fenwick wrestled well in the heavier weight classes. Seniors Aidan Flaherty and Liam Mahon placed second at 182 and 285, respectively. Flaherty (23-10) lost by a major decision, 10-1 against Dylan Butts from Fenton in the final. Mahon (18-8) lost by pinfall at 2:55 to Isaiah Brock, another Fenton wrestler.
Fenwick freshman David Capron (5-2) earned third place at 152 with a hard-fought 12-8 decision over Fenton's Miguel Gonzalez.
Friars' Justin Rodriguez (120), Joe Daley (145), Charlie Sullivan (160) and Josh Simpson (170) just missed qualifying for sectionals by finishing fourth.
OPRF boys basketball
The Huskies (17-5, 8-0 West Suburban Silver) split a pair of games, losing at Evanston 81-66 but defeating Glenbard West 55-42 in conference action.
Although OPRF lost by 15 to the Wildkits, several players put up good numbers. Dashon Enoch scored 20 points, Isaiah Fuller had 17 points and 7 assists and Chase Robinson contributed 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Against Glenbard West, Fuller led the way with 19 points, 7 assists and 4 steals, while Robinson finished with 13 points, 6 boards and 4 steals. Malachi Ross pulled down 10 rebounds.
"As a team, we must improve on our starts to games," OPRF coach Matt Maloney said. "The coaching staff is working diligently to find solutions to our stagnant play to open contests along with playing with energy and effort for 32 minutes of the contest.
"While our record in conference is stellar, we have two tough opponents this weekend with York on Friday and Downers Grove North on Saturday," he added. "With two wins this weekend, we are confident we will earn a top three or four seed in the toughest sectional in the state."
Led by junior Hannah Thompson and freshman Evelyn Dellegrazie, the Huskies (141.30) finished second in their own regional. DeKalb (145.30) won the title.
Thompson earned second in all-around with a score of 36.725 and Dellegrazie was third at 35.625. Thompson took second in vault (9.15), bars (9.425) and beam (9.10). She also tied Dellegrazie for fourth in floor with a score of 9.05. Dellegrazie's other results were sixth in vault (8.875, at-large sectonal qualifier), fifth in bars (8.825) and fourth in beam (8.875).
The Huskies' other sectional qualifiers were freshman Iriel Conley and junior Zion Phillpotts. Both advanced on vault with respective scores of 9.05 and 9.0. Conley was an at-large sectional qualifier in all-around with a score of 34.325. Sophia Preys also was an at-large sectional qualifier in bars (8.725).
Senior Kiara Broderick, junior Claire Massmann and sophomore Jenna Schainis also competed for the the Huskies at their own regonal.
OPRF advances as a team to the Lake Park Sectional (Lake Park's East Campus) on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.
OPRF boys swimming
Sophomore Will Raidt turned in a terrific performance with a pair of individual event titles at the West Suburban Conference Silver Division Championships. Facing stiff competition from two-time reigning state champion Lyons Township and perennial state contender Hinsdale Central, Raidt won the 200-yard individual medley in a time of one minute, 57.61 seconds and the 100-yard butterfly in 51.66.
Promising freshman Benjamin Guerrero also swam well, taking third in the 200-yard freestyle (1:46.52) and fifth in the 100-yard freestyle (49.91).
The Huskies, who also finished third in all three relay races, scored 234 points for third place. Lyons Township (317) won the conference championship and Hinsdale Central (288) was second.
Fenwick boys swimming
The host Friars took third place in the Metro Catholic Aquatic Championships on Saturday. In the 200-yard medley relay, Connor McCarthy, Liam Hutchinson, Tommy Bartecki and Dan Lynch won the title with a season-best time of 1:39.46. Bartecki, Dan Badja, Hutchinson and Lynch earned second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with another season-best time of 1:29.49.
Hutchinson came in second in the 500-yard freestyle, touching the wall at 4:38.92. In the 100-yard backstroke, Bartecki recorded a time of 55.02 to notch second. Lynch also earned runner-up in the 100-yard breaststroke (season-best 1:01.49).
Fenwich swimming coach Luke McGuire described the meet as "incredibly fast." HIs assessment was spot on, considering three pools records and five MCAC Championships records were set. St. Ignatius' Jacob Furlong was particularly impressive, setting pool records in the 200 free (1:39.35) and 500 free (4:30.58).
Fenwick will host its sectional on Saturday, Feb. 17.
Answer Book 2018
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