The Hamilton County wrestlers competed at the Pendleton Heights and North Montgomery regionals Saturday. A total of 37 county wrestlers advanced onto the New Castle semi-state, which will merge all the county teams together.
From the Pendleton Heights regional, Noblesville sends five, Hamilton Heights sends three and Guerin sends two. No. 8 state-ranked Indianapolis Cathedral won the regional, winning six regional titles. The Millers finished fourth, eight points behind second place Frankton. Heights was seventh and Guerin, 10th.
Westfield competed in the North Montgomery regional and had one champion, finishing in sixth. The regional was championed by No. 11 Carmel for the second year in a row, who had four champions and sends a county-high of 10 wrestlers. HSE followed in second place with eight and Fishers finished seventh, sending three.
Two of Noblesville's five semi-state qualifiers were the regional champions in their weight classes. Senior Nick Brady went from a No. 2 seed and a runner-up finish last year to the 2017 champion. Backed by a No. 13 state ranking, Brady dominated all three rounds, winning by tech fall in the first two and defeating Cathedral's Caleb Oliver in a 15-6 major decision. Another senior, David Kitko, forged his way from sixth seed to champion. After a quarterfinal loss in 145 last year, Kitko pinned his way to the 152 finals this year. His second pin was against the No. 18-state ranked Cody Klettheimer from Frankton. The championship was against No. 1 seed James Despain from Lawrence North. Kitko fought out the victory with a 7-2 decision. Ryan Leslie (220) was a three seed and was going strong before an injury in the finals against No. 10-state ranked Kyle Cornwell. Leslie, Noah Long (126) and Ashton Mills (182) will advance to New Castle as well.
Hamilton Heights' Clayton Cowan is ranked No. 4 in the state and proved that status Saturday, moving from No. 3 seed to 145 champion with a pin and two decisions. Cowan was the first Husky champion since 2015's David Bryant. Riley White (138) wrestled in one of the most anticipated matches of the sectional. White sat at a No. 6 state rank and he would be paired against No. 2 Cathedral's Zach Melloh in the finals. After two pins, one against the No. 1 seed, White battled Melloh and suffered his third loss of the season against Melloh in a major decision 15-7. Chris Loy (132) will join Cowan and White at semi-state. Loy wrestled in the third-place match after dropping the semi-final match against No. 2-state ranked Breyden Bailey who went on to win the championship. The three seniors had runner-up finishes last year.
Guerin's J.T. Lazzara (160) and Korbin Lane (145) moved on for the Golden Eagles. The only one to stop Lazarra from the championship was No. 9-state ranked Dru Berkebile. Lazzara defeated No. 1 seed Sam Hauke from North Central and lost a 10-3 decision to Berkebile. Lane placed in the top four to advance.
In the North Montgomery regional, Westfield's Austin Dollens was the 285 champion for the second year in a row. It looked like he may end up facing last years' finals foe in North Montgomery's Kevin Pierce, but a rematch with HSE's Crae Kunkleman was in order. No. 1 seed Dollens doled out a major decision and two decisions, finishing with a 6-2 win over Kunkleman. Westfield also advanced Carson Eldred (106), Reid Hutson (113), Justin Miller (160) and Liam Jagow (195). Miller and Jagow each fought to second place. Miller repeated his runner-up from last year (in 152) after a big win over the third-ranked in the state. He faced Fountain Central's Laine Frazee in the second round and the match was neck-and-neck to the very end. Miller won in an ultimate tiebreaker. He continued on to battle a close match against No. 1 seed Zionsville but lost a 6-3 dceision. Jagow had two other state ranks in his weight class, both just behind him. He rematched Zionsville's Drew Williamson in the finals and lost 3-1. Eldred and Hutson moved from sixth seed to third place after dropping to top-seeded Carmel opponents and bouncing back in their third-place match.
Carmel came away with their second regional championship in a row after Saturday's meet at North Montgomery. Four champions led the team. Brendan Mattingly (106), Kyle Holman (113), Adam Jerde (126) and Jack Eiteljorge (152) each claimed a regional championship. Mattingly's match against Seth Johnson was a top-ranked thriller, pitting No. 2 Johnson over No. 3 Mattingly. Mattingly came out victorious. Six other Greyhounds qualified for semi-state - Dom Pecoraro (120), Chad Sauder (145), Logan Hart (170), Bryce Sharp (182), Eric Boleman (220) and Jack Williams (285).
HSE place second and had three wrestlers finish in runner-up. No. 9-state ranked Alec Jessop rematched No. 6 Evan Stambaugh from Lebanon in 182 but Stambaugh got a slight edge in the first tiebreaker. Crae Kunkleman (285) and Joe Myren (220) also finished second. Joe Mazero (170), Kyle Wagner (152), Jacob Garcia (126), Blake Forbes (120) and Reece Luhmann (106) placed in the top four to advance.
Fishers placed seventh with Alex Strueder (126) and Beau Wilbrandt (145) finishing in runner-up. Jaren Tunstill (132) and Spencer Bischoff (152).