Wrestling: Depth leads to Chesterton winning a sectional title
LaPORTE — Depth turned out to be a vital factor in Chesterton’s LaPorte wrestling sectional championship on Saturday.
Both LaPorte and Glenn had four individual championships each, but the Trojans, with three champs, came away with the title. New Prairie, with two champs, finished second.
Chesterton swept to the team win with 260.5 points, New Prairie followed with 210, Glenn was third at 198.5 and LaPorte was fourth with 195.5.
“The key was getting everybody out of the first round, and we had nine guys in the finals,” said Chesterton coach Chris Jolle. “Our three No. 1 seeds (Mike Double, Chris Katsafaros and Riley Harlow) all got firsts.
“Riley didn’t spend much time out there,” Jolle said of his senior’s quick work the three times he was on the mat at 285. “He got more time in the gym (yesterday) at practice then he did today. And Double ... he started firing on all cylinders (Double defeated Glenn’s Alex Salyer, 8-3, at 126 pounds).”
As for Katsafaros, who is now 34-1, he did what he has done every other year by winning his fourth consecutive sectional title. But he was looking at his team’s effort.
“We won our first sectional since I’ve been here,” he said. “It was pretty cool getting a pin in the final.”
Jolle was pointing to his whole team’s overall performance. He noted that some of his wrestlers came in as fourth, fifth and sixth seeds, and instead wrestled up to second place. That was the difference in the team victory.
“These guys had troubles, had a difficult time, but they (responded) today,” Jolle said.
Trojans’ female wrestler Kaitlin Loehmer, who qualified for the regional with a runner-up finish at 106, said: “We had to keep our focus, keep our heads in the meet. Our goal coming in was to win the sectional, and we did that.”
The other girl in the field, Knox’s Aerielle McIntire, also was on the 106 podium, with a fifth-place finish.
Loehmer (19-17) pinned Glenn’s Devin Becker in the semifinals before losing to New Prairie’s Chris Trent in the final. She said her team was headed for her coach’s house on Sunday for waffles, now that they won.
Other are champions were LaPorte wrestlers Antwan Wordlow at 138 pounds, Mike Eldridge at 170, Caleb Stewart at 182 and Ben Standifer at 220. Knox’s Mike Susaita won at 195 pounds.