WR: 2 champs among quartet headed to state!
February 16, 2014By Andrew Smith of New Palestine High School
Chad Red and Brian Wagner won semistate titles, and four New Palestine wrestlers are headed to the wrestling State Finals after semistate action.
Red (120) continued his undefeated march to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, while Wagner (195) avenged losses in the sectional and regional championship matches, beating Katrell Moss of Warren Central in their third championship-match tournament meeting. They'll be joined by 106-pounder Alec White, who finished second in Saturday's New Castle semistate, and 126-pounder Rylan McCarty, who finished fourth.
Two other Dragons -- Eugene Starks (113) and Nick Brickens (160) competed, but did not advance. As a team, the Dragons finished fourth at the semistate.
At 120, Red improved to 40-0 with three pins and a major decision. He beat Westfield's Zachary Steele in 27 seconds, Centerville's Alston Jenkinson in 1:44, then went the distance with Hamilton Southeastern's Edrece Stansberry in the semifinal before eventually winning 11-2. In the final, Red pinned Warren Central's Matthew McKinney in 4:36. Three of the four state qualifiers in the 120 weight class came from the Perry Meridian regional that New Palestine competed in last week.
At 195, Wagner improved to 38-4 with four wins. He opened the day with a 4:48 pin of Lawrence Central's Justin Stone, then punched his ticket to the State Finals with a 7-0 decision over Franklin County's Layne Harnishfeger in the "ticket round." A 4-2 decision over Zionsville's Jacob Aven set up the championship-round rematch with Moss, who bested Wagner in two close matches in the sectional and regional finals. This time, Wagner got the victory with a 5-4 decision.
Red and Wagner will go in to the State Finals as No. 1 seeds, which means they'll face fourth-place wrestlers from another semistate in their respective 16-wrestler brackets. The State Finals begin with the opening round Feb. 21 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and will follow with the final three rounds the next day.
At 106, White punched his ticket to the Fieldhouse with two early falls -- in 1:49 over Southmont's Alex Grino, and in 5:16 over Pendleton Heights' David Bryant. He got to the final with a 3-0 win over Karl Wilhelm of Carmel, but fell to undefeated Cathedral wrestler Breyden Bailey 7-2 in the final. White will head to Indianapolis 34-7, and will open competition in the State Finals against a third-place finisher from another semistate.
At 126, McCarty got to the Fieldhouse with a 4-2 decision over North Montgomery's Jamie May in the opening round, and then a 9-1 major decision over Franklin County's Johnny Loos in the "ticket round." Hamilton Southeastern's Jack Chastain bested McCarty 5-0 in the semis, and Westfield's A.J. Belden defeated McCarty 6-1 in the third-place match. McCarty is 37-6 headed to the State Finals, but will have a matchup against a semistate champ in the opening round.
Two other Dragons competed in the semistate. At 113, Eugene Starks won his first-round match over Lawrence Central's Datrion Vaughn with a pin in 5:42, but he fell in his ticket round match to Hamilton Southeastern's Austin Holmes 12-8. Starks finishes 34-5. At 160, Nick Brickens lost a heartbreaker in the ticket round to Luke Decker of New Castle, who defeated Brickens 5-4 with a move at the buzzer. Earlier in the day, Brickens defeated Elwood's Derek Bryant by fall in 3:15. Brickens finishes his year 21-5.