The Washington wrestling team continued its hot streak Thursday night.
The Panthers defeated Morton 63-10 at the Potterdome, losing only two matches in the Mid-Illini Conference meet.
Washington earned pins from Jacob Warner (195 pounds), Jace Punke (220 pounds) and Caleb Miller (152 pounds) in the contest.
“We put guys away really well today,” said Washington coach Bryan Medlin. “We had quite a few pins and that’s something we haven’t been doing. Some of our guys haven’t had that killer instinct and go for blood, but instead they just wrestle hard and let the match end.”
The Panthers also earned major decision victories from 285-pounder Adam Robison (9-0 over Hunter Brown), 132-pounder Cole Watkins (16-2 over Tristan Gallagher) and 170-pounder Kyle Goin (9-1 over Grant Churchill).
“We had guys that squeezed out major victories and that’s good,” Medlin said. “If you go out there and you start thinking about the outcome of the team race instead of your match, it becomes hard to focus on yourself. So, I am happy we did well.”
For Morton, 2015-2016 state participant Mikie Hartnett continues to find his stride, defeating Dalton Jensen 13-5 in the 145-pound class.
For Hartnett, this season has been all about getting back into wrestling.
At the state finals last year, Hartnett tore his ACL and missed the beginning of the season due to rehab.
“It feels really good to be back out there, and I’m just trying to look forward now,” said Hartnett. “I just want to wrestle the best that I can and stay healthy and we will see where I go from there.”
Morton coach Josh Prichard is pleased with the progress that Hartnett (13-0) has made this season.
“He’s starting to really find his stride and the match for him tonight was a really good result,” Prichard said. “He needs to keep improving day-by-day, and I think he will as long as we can keep him healthy.”
Also in victory for the Potters was Drew Greenwood, who pinned Hunter Mamer in 1:16 in the 120-pound division.
“I thought we fought hard in some matches and we wrestled hard for a minute or two, but then we would start to fade away a little bit,” Prichard said. “We thought we could win four matches coming into the night if we performed well. If we want to start beating wrestlers (of Washington’s quality), we have to perform for the full six minutes.”
Morton was dealt a blow in the meet as senior Patrick Rettke injured his right arm.
In his match against Garrett Rich in the 160-pound division, Rettke attempted to break his fall to the ground with his arm, and suffered what appeared to be a break of both bones in his forearm, according to Prichard.
“Patrick has been in our program for four years and to see a senior like that get hurt is very disheartening,” said Prichard. “He is a good leader for the younger guys and he always has a positive attitude and that becomes contagious for the younger guys.”
As for the Panthers, Medlin was pleased with the results of the meet.
“Within a (team) win, you feel good because of the scoreboard, but there are positions within the matches that we need to improve on,” Medlin said. “The guys that lost for us actually benefited because it stings a little bit.”