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Bremen's Tony Gallegos (left) wrestles Herscher's Beau Thomas during the 220-pound match Wednesday, December 19, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Fresh off his third place finish at the 16-team Harvard Invitational on Saturday, Bremen senior Ricky Olson cruised to a 2-0 run at Bremen’s triangular against Herscher and Illiana Christian.
Olson, a returning state qualifier, finally hit his proper weight class (152 pounds) on Wednesday after competing at 160 or above to start the season, and Olson hit the podium at Harvard despite wrestling up a division. He’s finally feeling at home now that’s he’s shed the last of his football weight after manning the defensive line for the Braves.
“I’m wrestling at full performance now,” Olson said. “I think I started the season not fully prepared, mentally or physically, and it kind of showed. Today I came out in the right weight and I wrestled way more aggressively.”
Manny Flores added two quick pins at 113 pounds and heavyweight T.J. Walton went 2-0 with a first round fall for Bremen.
“Manny’s really hitting his stride right now,” Bremen coach Mike Collins said.
Despite solid showings from Olson, Flores and Walton, Bremen fell to Herscher 45-27 and Illiana Chrisitan 44-32.
“We’re real green (as a team),” Collins added. “We have a lot of second and third year wrestlers up on varsity and that’s real tough in the south suburbs.”
For Illiana Christian, senior Zach Groen continued his run of dominance.
In a clash of returning Class A state qualifiers, Groen defeated Herscher’s Matt Marcotte by a 13-2 major decision. The contest was a rematch of the 170 pound finals from the Seneca Invitational on Dec. 1 where Groen was awarded the upper-weight bracket Most-Outstanding Wrestler.
“I want to win (state),” Groen said. “I’m ranked fifth (in Class A) right now and I’m hoping I can boost it up and make it all the way to the state finals.”
Herscher defeated Illiana Christian 60-19.