20 grapplers advance to regional

FORT WAYNE — Wrestlers from Churubusco, Columbia City and Whitko started the IHSAA Individual State Tournament trail at Saturday’s Carroll Sectional Tournament.Whitley County’s schools fared well, with 20 wrestlers advancing to next Saturday’s regional competition.Churubusco led the county schools with a second-place team finish, while advancing eight wrestlers, with three of those capturing three individual weight-class titles. Columbia City and Whitko both advanced six wrestlers to regionals.The host Carroll Chargers took the team title with 261.5 points, with Churubusco in second at 169.5 and Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger third at 138.5. Columbia City was fourth at 113 points, ahead of Northrop’s 110.5. Whitko placed sixth with 96 points and Garrett, Eastside, Fort Wayne North Side and Concordia Lutheran rounded out the field.Churubusco picked up its first champion at 145 pounds, where Brandon Wormcastle worked his way back from a 2-0 deficit to pick up a 6-3 win over the No. 1 seed Alex Arney of Carroll.A Churubusco wrestler also took the title at 195 pounds, as senior and No. 1 seed Brian Richardson downed Carroll’s Corey Rickman in a convincing 11-3 decision.Churubusco’s other individual champion came at 220 pounds, where undefeated senior Jason Nicodemus remained undefeated, taking the title with a pinfall win over Carroll’s Brad Sadilek in 1:44 of the title match.Columbia City placed two wrestlers in weight-class championship matches. Alan Trabert reached the finals at 160 pounds, but fell to No. 1 seed Spencer Malcom of Carroll to take second place.Russell Hazelet advanced to the finals at 182 pounds. Hazelet fell to No. 1 seed Ben Evans from Bishop Dwenger by a 7-1 decision.Whitko also advanced six wrestlers, led by senior Greg Newman, who took second at 113 pounds. Newman made his way to the championship match with a pinfall win over Cameron Pescatello of Churubusco and 7-1 decision over Carroll’s Kobe Raypole. In the finals, Newman fell by the slimmest of margins 3-2 to Northrop’s Logan Aldrich.All the qualifiers will compete in the Carroll Regional next Saturday.For a more in-depth look at this story, see the Jan. 28 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.