Photo: Kaneland’s Cody McGinnis (160 lbs) executes a take-down during the IHSA Class 2A Regional at Sycamore on Saturday. McGinnis won this match against Wheaton Academy. Photo by John DiDonna
SYCAMORE—When KHS wrestling coach Monty Jahns mentioned that his team had an eye on the postseason and may be better equipped for tournament settings, he wasn’t kidding.
Despite only nine wins in dual meet competition, the Knights wrestling roster stepped up its collective game just in time. A 205-point output at the IHSA Class 2A Sycamore Regional on Saturday was good for second place in the eight-team regional.
Kaneland advanced 11 out of 14 wrestlers to Saturday, Feb. 12, and the Rochelle Sectional.
Sycamore, with a total of 231.5, took the regional. After Kaneland, Rochelle finished third with 113 points, and Burlington Central finished fourth with 104 points. Dixon (76), Hampshire (67), Freeport (43.5) and Wheaton Academy (25) rounded out the bottom four.
Regional champs for Kaneland began with 103-pound Stephen Gust, who beat Hampshire’s Alex Feltz in a 3-1 encounter to take the title.
Sonny Horn, at 125-pounds, beat Hampshire’s Tyler Espino in the final by a 3-2 score. Teammate Dan Goress took the 130-pound final over Dixon’s Kylain Lally by pinfall in 1:52.
Nick Michels, at 171-pounds, won the grouping thanks to a 5-3 overtime win over Sycamore’s Michael Madden.
Jimmy Boyle rounded out the first-place finishes with a 4:48 pin of Rochelle’s Nate Rodefelt.
Other championship finalists included Esai Ponce at 119 pounds, who was defeated by Christopher Kerwin of Sycamore, 7-3. Chris Sabal made it to the 145-pound final, where he lost to Steven Lalowski of Sycamore in 1:03. Keagan Mattes rode to the finals but lost to Sycamore’s Jake Davis in 3:52.
Cody McGinnis, at 160-pounds, beat Rochelle’s Kane Rodrigue, 3-2, to finish in third. Teammate Ben Kovalick beat Rochelle’s Logan Sutton by 15-2 final.
Andrew Essex also finished fourth in 140-pound action.