ELKHART — Memorial fought through injury and a talented field to win its third sectional wrestling title in the past five seasons and the 21st in program history.
Led by individual champions Nick Vaughn (145 pounds) and Tieshawn Johnson (195), the Crimson Chargers overcame the loss of 120-pounder Codey Flickinger (knee) and 138-pounder Eric Blodgett (shoulder) and scored 217.5 points Saturday to take the Elkhart Sectional.
Memorial finished ahead of two-time defending champion Jimtown (207) and the rest of the eight-team field in the tournament held in the Memorial fieldhouse.
“We got seven guys in the finals and wrestled hard,” said Chargers coach Brian Pfeil. “But we are still making a lot of fundamental mistakes. Next week is the week we have to show up.”
The top four in each weight class advance to the Goshen Regional to compete for spots in the following week’s Fort Wayne Semistate.
“The draw at the semistate is a big deal,” said Pfeil. “Hopefully, we’ll bring our ‘A’ game (at regional).”
Vaughn, who began the season as a light 160-pounder, decided to go down in weight for the state tournament series while still sparring with bigger teammates in practice.
“That helps a ton,” said Vaughn. “When you wrestle a guy your own size it seems easier.”
Vaughn, one of 12 No. 1 seeds (Jimtown 138-pounder Marquis Schieber and Northridge 152-pounder Tim Deters being the exceptions) to win Saturday, said he came in with confidence.
“I’ve just been more determined,” said Vaughn, who said he has improved most on the mat during the season while wrestling on his feet.
The original seeding at 138 at Blodgett and Northridge’s Ryan Baxter 1-2. When Blodgett could not go, it became Baxter and Schieber — the Jimmies beating the Raider in a 7-4 decision in the finals.
“It doesn’t matter who you are wrestling or what school, you go out there at 100 mph and push the pace,” said Schieber, a junior. “(Our practices) are intense, but it prepares us for the good matches.”
Jimtown senior Nick Crume (126) won his fourth sectional title. Fairfield junior Forrest Glogouski (120) earned his third on the same day his little brother, Fairfield freshman Blake Glogouski (106), won his first.
“He’s just going to keep getting better,” said Forrest of Blake.
Forrest’s goal in 2012-13 has been to dominate.
“I’m trying to score lots of points and rack up the score so there is no doubt,” said the older Glogouski, who is already the school’s all-time victory leader.
Concord junior DeLawrence Gayfield (113) is now a two-time sectional winner.
Central senior Johnny Tredway (160), who is recovering from a knee injury suffered during the football season, outlasted Fairfield’s Morgan Cosby 17-11 in the finals.
A text from his mother — Abbie Kessel — helped inspire Tredway as did the daily help he has received from Blazers assistant Chuck Bower.
“He wrestles and pushes me everyday,” said Tredway. “My main focus (at sectional) was the be aggressive and move my hands and feet.”
Goshen heavyweight Hayden Schmucker credited his title to conditioning — courtesy of Redskins coach Jim Pickard — and his ability to ride opponents from the top position.
Team scores (regional qualifiers in parentheses): Memorial 217.5 (11), Jimtown 207 (10), Goshen 190.5 (10), Northridge 176.5 (9), Fairfield 168 (7), NorthWood 114 (4), Central 77.5 (3), Concord 51 (2).
Top 4 to Regional
106 — Blake Glogouski (F) pinned Scotty Huff (G) 2:20. 113 — DeLawrence Gayfield (Co) dec. Tony Vaughn (M) 7-2. 120 — Forrest Glogouski (F) dec. Konner Chafin (J) 10-3. 126 — Nick Crume (J) tech. fall Brett Martz (F) 4:26. 132 — Cody Koebel (J) dec. Phillip Mathiak (M) 2-0. 138 — Marquis Schieber (J) dec. Ryan Baxter 7-4. 145 — Nick Vaughn (M) pinned Caleb Reeve (NW) 1:26.
152 — Tim Deters (Nr) pinned Chris Morris (M) 4:49. 160 — Johnny Tredway (Ce) dec. Morgan Cosby (F) 17-11. 170 — Tanner Adams (J) by default over Tommy Kendall (M). 182 — Zach Telschow (NW) dec. Kain Jenkins (M) 9-3. 195 — Tieshawn Johnson (M) pinned McKenna Malcolm (Nr) 1:17. 220 — Eliseo Guerra (Ce) pinned Chris Connell (Nr) 4:24. Hwt — Hayden Schmucker (G) pinned Lucas Wickey (Nr) 3:11.
106 — Eugene Moody-Neukom (M) pinned Lucas Hostetler (NW) 2:51. 113 — Nick Cox (G) pinned Jake Egnor (Ce) 1:54. 120 — Tyler Weisweaver (M) pinned Todd Santiago (Nr) 4:13. 126 — Jermel Moody-Neukom (M) dec. Devin Puckett 6-4. 132 — Trever Yoder (F) maj. dec. Victor Flores (G) 9-1. 138 — Christian Horton (G) maj. dec. Jacob Curry 10-1. 145 — Leandro Rodriguez (C) maj. dec. Caleb Spires (J) 11-2.
152 — Travis Pickard (G) dec. Tony Zook (F) 4-0. 160 — John Hurtt (J) dec. Jon Osoria (M) 4-2. 170 — Scott Kasten (Nr) pinned Evan Smith (G) 2:50. 182 — Ramiro Hernandez (G) pinned Dylan Swank (Nr) 4:23. 195 — Cory Delater (J) pinned Derek Paez (G) 2:28. 220 — Cody Spurgeon (J) dec. Tyler Beasy (G) 7-2. Hwt — Dan Guevara (NW) pinned Ben Davis (J) 3:21.
Next: Qualifiers at Rochester Regional Saturday, Feb. 2.