Photo: Kaneland’s Austin Brummel (170 lbs) gets the upper hand with his Pontiac opponent during his match at Sycamore’s 37th annual wrestling invitational on Saturday. Over 20 schools competed in the event. Brummel eventuallly got the pin and the win. Photo by John DiDonna
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s tough to stand out at a wrestling invite, 22 teams deep.
For a select few KHS wrestlers, they were able to barrel through their fields for some noteworthy finishes at the 37th annual Sycamore Invite on Saturday.
KHS finished in 14th place with 327.5 team points, ahead of Pontiac by 22.
Minooka won the meet with 585 points, 22.5 ahead of Grant High School of Fox Lake.
Host school Sycamore finished sixth with 464 points, as the only other Northern Illinois Big XII representative.
In the 126-pound group, Esai Ponce made it to the championship final and finished second. 138-pounder Dan Goress finished third, and Ben Kovalick took second in the 220-pound field.
Other finishes included Connor Williams in 10th for 113 pounds, Luke Kreiter in 18th in the 120 group, and Sonny Horn in ninth for 132.
Austin Brummel served in the 170 bracket and finished 14th, but made short work of Pontiac’s Jesse Carter with a pin in under two minutes.
“It was good to get out there and win,” Brummel said. “It was intense and a tough match, and I just tried to move around as much as I could.”
Teammate Steven Hlatko took eighth in the 195 pairings, and heavyweight Zach Theis took sixth.
Ponce began his day with a 1:04 pin over Moline’s Tanner Woods, then won by 5-2 tally over Rock Island’s Chase Wiggins. In the semifinal, Ponce took a 10-5 win over Harlem’s Tanner Anthony before losing to Crystal Lake South’s Nick Gil by a score of 2-0.
Goress’ day began with a 5-2 win over Grant’s Devin Monroy, followed by a 7-5 win over Minooka’s Jake DeKlerk, After dropping an 18-3 technical fall to Mundelein’s Matt Ornoff, Goress rallied to beat McHenry’s Wade Lardy in the third-place clash by a 5-2 final.
Kovalick continued to provide a season-long example of how to get it done against varied competition, beginning his day with a 1:37 pin over Mundelein’s Jose Jimenez. Kovalick took a quarterfinal matchup with Crystal Lake South’s Mike Romanelli by virtue of a 3-2 clip.
Kovalick earned his last win of the meet with a 12-3 major decision over Nathan Gunn of Minooka, before succumbing to Grant’s Quinton Quarles by a 2-1 margin.