By Matt Nestor
Machesney Park Harlem and Rockford East put on a great race at the NIC-10 wrestling championships held at Freeport High School Saturday, Jan. 30.
Unfortunately for both schools, that race was for second place, because the Rockton Hononegah Indians ran away with the conference crown.
Hononegah wrestlers finished first in five of 14 weight classes, took second in another three weight classes and placed a wrestler in the top six of all classes en route to racking up 222 points to top second-place Harlem at 161.5. East was third at 156.5.
For the Indians, Colin Dodd won at 119 pounds, Manny Silva at 125, Kevin Westrom at 140, Matt Dwyer at 215, and Max Geyer at 285. Second-place finishes from Aaron Smith at 160, Chad Wolfgram at 152 and Andrew Johnson at 135 helped the cause.
Thomas Hunt, Shawn Rudolph, Matt Hardyman, Kyle Smith, Zach Phillip and John Goff all placed for the Indians.
Harlem’s Derek Elmore, who most consider the top wrestler at 112 pounds in the state, won the weight class, topping Erik Nord of Belvidere North and helping the Huskies to their second-place finish.
Sterling Hecox, another top-ranked wrestler at 189 pounds, also won for Harlem, as did Josh Anthony at 160 pounds and Kane Cunningham at 130 pounds.
The E-Rabs got two victories en route to their third-place finish. Zach Mutton won at 145 pounds, while Louis Sansone won at 103 pounds.
Boylan took fourth place behind Blaise Butler at 135 pounds, where he is ranked among the top 10 wrestlers in the state. Jake Graham and Austin Smith also chipped in second-place finishes.
Eric Tamayo of Belvidere North won at 152 pounds, while Josh Isaac wrapped up the competition at 171 pounds for Belvidere.
IHSA regionals will begin Feb. 6 at Harlem. The first session starts at 9 a.m., while the second session starts at 2 p.m.
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From the Feb. 3-9, 2010 issue.