Five Washington wrestlers will compete on the Illinois High School Association’s biggest stage.
After placing in the top four over the weekend at the Rochelle Sectional, seniors Colton Gladwell and Austin Wileman, junior Colin Carr, sophomore Jake Godinez and freshman Randy Meneweather all will represent the Panthers this week at the Class 2A state final.
Gladwell (35-5) advanced to Champaign for the fourth consecutive season.
Illinois Matmen’s No. 2-ranked wrestler in 138 pounds in the Feb. 6 poll won the sectional championship with a 14-3 major decision against No. 11 Daniel Close of Ottawa.
Gladwell also dispatched Sandwich’s Patrick Crothers in an 18-5 major decision and won a semifinal clash vs. Brennan Sharp of Yorkville by a 4-0 count.
Gladwell, the fourth-place medalist in 2011, opens up this time against Sir Lathan Wynn (35-9) of Chicago King.
Wileman (37-9) placed third in the sectional in the 106 class. He is one of four Washington contestants to make their first state appearance.
Sixth-rated Wileman improved his position with a 5-0 shutout of Canton’s No. 11-ranked Dillon Lee to decide third place.
A state berth was secured when Wileman, who was 4-1 on the day, defeated No. 8 Riley Sweetland of LaSalle-Peru.
Wileman battled back from a quarterfinal loss Friday afternoon.
He will challenge Lombard Montini’s fourth-ranked freshman, Jimmy Paweleski (29-18), in the preliminaries.
Carr (29-12) was assured another week of wrestling when he clobbered Isaac Tudor of Notre Dame, 10-2, to move to the third-place match.
On the way to a fourth-place showing, Carr derailed Armond Hollins of Freeport, 5-4, in the quarterfinals.
Carr faces Illinois Matmen’s No. 1-rated Chris Giatras (40-1) of Lemont on the first day.
Godinez (25-19) and Meneweather (37-9) also were fourth for the Panthers.
Godinez began with two victories to make it to the 220 semifinals. One was an upset of No. 6 Martin Malone of Sycamore.
He then sealed a state trip with a 3-1 decision against L-P’s Mike Denyes.
Godinez squares off against Deuce Rachal (16-0) of Chicago Lindblom in the preliminaries.
Meneweather, who is ranked ninth, used a 16-6 major decision against Morris’ Justin Barkley to catapult to state.
He also pinned Burlington Central quarterfinalist Brady Weinrich at the 2:31 mark.
Meneweather’s first state challenge is against Wauconda’s Devin Tortorice (37-4), who is rated No. 6.
Among the other Washington sectional qualifiers, senior Andy Rettke went 1-2 in 145.
Travis Rice and Steeler Trout also competed after both Panthers were among the top three at the Feb. 2 Morton Regional.
State: Classes 1A, 2A and 3A begin competition Thursday at the Assembly Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois.
Page 2 of 2 - The 2A preliminaries are scheduled to begin at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Session 2 (quarterfinals) starts at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
The semifinals are set for 7 p.m. Friday in Session 3.
The start of the grand march, followed by the championship matches, occurs at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Session 5.