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CHAMPAIGN - New Trier had five wrestlers qualify for the Class 3A state meet, but only Chris Alcock was able to finish with a state medal.
The senior became New Trier’s first state medalist since Walker Kahn took fifth at 275 pounds in Class AA in 2002. Alcock (31-9) placed sixth at 126 Saturday at Assembly Hall after losing his final match to Plainfield Central junior Nick Nasenbeny 4-0. Alcock guaranteed himself a medal with a 2-0 win over Edwardsville’s Haydon Grammer in the wrestlebacks.
“I should have kept shooting (against Nasenbeny). I didn’t get a shot,” Alcock said. “It was a good ending (to my career). One of my goals was to go to state, although I thought I could do better.”
Alcock climbed back through the wrestlebacks after losing his quarterfinal match to eventual state champion Jered Cortez (48-0) of Glenbard North by a technical fall at 1:12. Alcock went 3-3 in the state tournament.
Alcock had to overcome minor injuries during the season that kept him out of action for two weeks. He recovered in time near the end of the season to make the first state tournament appearance of his career.
“(Alcock) progressed every year. He developed his own style,” New Trier coach Marc Tadelman said. “He did not become a state qualifier last year. He worked hard at it (this year). He wrestled all year round, lifted weights and developed into a pretty good wrestler.”
The only other New Trier wrestler to compete in more than one match was senior Paul Papoutsis at 160, who went 1-2 in the state meet. Papoutsis (25-11) lost to Downers Grove South’s Alex Anaya in the wrestlebacks, just one victory shy of earning a medal.
Colin Kenyon at 113 and John Benson at 220 lost their only state matches. One other qualifier, M.J. Pritchard at 120, was withdrawn by Tadelman from the state meet shortly before it began Thursday. Tadelman would not comment on Pritchard’s status.
Glenbrook South senior Jacob Suter (38-3) defeated Dundee-Crown senior Ray Griggel (18-8) by a pin in overtime to take third place at 220.
Suter became the Titans’ first state medalist since Craig Swenson placed second at 145 in Class AA in 1990. Suter became the first third-place finisher in school history after winning his two wrestleback matches.
He lost in the semifinals 5-2 to eventual state champion Tom Howell (38-5) of Marist.
Vaughn Monreal-Berner (36-10) not only has the longest name of any Niles West state wrestling medalist, but the senior also became the heaviest after finishing sixth at 182.
Monreal-Berner lost his final match to Mount Carmel’s Jimmy Mickens 7-0. He won three matches through the wrestlebacks after losing in the quarterfinals to eventual state runner-up Donnie Bell of Homewood-Flossmoor.
Prior to Monreal-Berner, the heaviest medalist in school history was 1962 state champion Bob Herkert at 165. Monreal-Berner became the school’s first state medalist since Stephen Robertson finished second at 112 in Class AA in 2008.
Gallardo wins one
Evanston Regional champion Notre Dame sent three wrestlers to state, but sophomore Jimmy Gallardo at 113 picked up the team’s only win.
The Dons went a combined 1-4 in the state meet. Gallardo (34-6) won 4-0 over New Trier’s Kenyon in his opening match.
The other qualifiers, Sean Heneghan (152) and Gino Orlandi (285), lost their only matches Thursday.