BLOOMINGTON -- The Washington wrestling team secured a fourth consecutive dual-team state trophy with a 42-25 victory Saturday against No. 2 ranked Woodstock Marian in the IHSA state quarterfinals at Grossinger Motors Arena.
The top-ranked and two-time defending state champion Panthers dominated, winning nine of 12 matches before forfeiting the final two weight classes.
“We had studied them really well,” Washington coach Nick Miller said. “We watched the performances from the individual state tournament, we looked at where they weighed guys in, and where they looked to wrestle guys at the team sectional. We were ready for them and made sure the kids were able to handle whatever situation came our way Then the guys had to go out and deliver and they did.”
Tyler Delaware, a state champ in 2016 and runner-up the past two seasons, started the dual with a 21-second pin at 132 pounds against Nick Rabine.
“Right off the bat, just getting the pin … I wanted to start the momentum and set the pace for the rest of the dual meet,” Delaware said.
Other highlights of the dual included a 47-second pin from Jared Head at 170, a 28-second stick at 285 by state champ Jace Punke and a 17-1 technical fall win by Blaize Punke at 145.
One of the biggest wins, though came at 152 where third-place state finisher Dalton Jensen won 2-1 in a tiebreaker against state champion Dylan Connell. Jensen was awarded a stalling point in the final seconds of the second 30-second tiebreaker period.
“He was the better wrestler last weekend and I was the better wrestle today,” Jensen said. “I wrestle for my guys, my brothers. I just go out and leave it all out there and that’s what I did.”
Both wrestlers scored escapes, Jensen’s in the third period, to send it into extra time.
“I looked over and I got strength from my guys,” Jensen said. “I’m looking over and they’re looking at me and I’m getting really excited. I could see he was getting tired and I just pulled it out.”
The win advanced Washington to a 2 p.m. semifinal match with Chicago St. Rita, a 37-33 winner over Antioch. Washington beat No. 8 St. Rita 49-21 in December.
Stan Morris can be reached at 686-3214 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @stanmorrispjs