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Unranked Tigers compete

Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011 by Steve Amy

Unranked Tigers compete

Monday, January 10, 2011

By Jared Bell

Unranked Tigers compete
Princeton senior Dylan Olson (left) smiles as he holds onto PORTAs Jake Brue to close out a victory in their 160-pound wrestleback Saturday at the Lyle King Invitational in Princeton. Olson placed fourth.
NewsTribune photo/Amanda Whitlock
PRINCETON — Steve Amy listened intently, hoping to hear good news.

As the team results of the 48th Annual Lyle King Princeton Invitational Tournament were being read over the speaker system inside Prouty Gymnasium on Saturday night, the Princeton wrestling coach was hoping to find his team near the top and inside the top four squads, which would earn the Tigers a plaque.

After his team advanced six wrestlers to the quarterfinals and took the Day 1 lead, it was a possibility.

However, when Princeton’s name was announced it wasn’t the news Amy was hoping for, but it was still positive news nonetheless.

The Tigers had one wrestler finish at every place from fourth to eighth and finished with 114 team points as Princeton placed eighth as a team, its best showing in years.

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“It’s the best performance since I’ve been here,” said Amy, who’s in his third year as coach. “I’m real proud of them. They came to wrestle this weekend, and it showed. It really did.”

Princeton might have finished 54.5 points behind team champion Sterling Newman (168.5) and 37.5 points behind fourth-place Wilmington (151.5), but it was still a weekend on which to build.

In a field that featured 12 state-ranked teams, the unranked Tigers competed with the best.

At the forefront was 160-pound senior Dylan Olson, who finished fifth at last year’s PIT and was the only Tiger grappler to earn a medal.

This year, Olson fell to Riverdale’s Branson Cain in the championship quarterfinals but worked his way back to the third-place match, where he lost by pin fall at 3:48 to Dakota’s Jake Apple, the No. 1-ranked kid in the state who was previously unbeaten.

Despite losing his final match to the top seed, Olson (15-5 record) was pleased with the tournament.

“I came in here knowing there were a lot of good wrestlers in my bracket, and I didn’t really know what I was going to get. I was just hoping for the best,” Olson said. “I came out with fourth, and I am pretty happy with fourth. It’s a step up from last year.”

His ability to compete against Apple showed his progress, Amy said.

In the match, Olson scored an escape midway through the first period, and a takedown with seven seconds remaining gave the senior a 3-2 lead after the opening period.

He pushed it to 4-2 early in the second period but was taken down midway through the second to tie the match at 4-4.

Ultimately, he could not escape Apple’s control and was locked up and rolled to his back for the pin.

“The one thing we found out from that third-place match is that he can wrestle with Apple and that he can beat him,” Amy said. “So down the road at sectional time, we now have a scouting report and we will be ready to go.”

Princeton’s Cody Cumpton (16-7) also had a good PIT showing as the senior placed fifth at 140 pounds.

After he lost his championship quarterfinal Saturday morning, Cumpton scored two straight pin falls before falling by decision in the consolation semifinals.

He rebounded and closed the tournament with an 18-10 major decision over Byron’s Aaron Bonnell in the fifth-place match.

“All around, I feel like I wrestled pretty well,” Cumpton said. “My one goal was just to place, and the coach’s advice when I was wrestling and before matches really helped me.”

In addition to Olson and Cumpton, Princeton’s 135-pound senior Reiter Bird finished sixth, 140-pound junior James Dove placed seventh and 171-pound senior Colton Pate took eighth.

Ottawa also has a good showing as it finished 19th and had three wrestlers place.

At 145 pounds, junior Jared Jones placed sixth, while 285-pound senior heavyweight Robby Marotta also finished sixth.

Both lost their championship quarterfinal matches, but each won their next two matches before dropping the final two.

Jones fell to Manteno’s Anthony Franc by a 4-2 decision in the fifth-place match, while Marotta — who hyperextended his right elbow in his first match Saturday — fell to Pittsfield’s Colton Pease by fall in his fifth-place match.

“Robby had a good weekend considering he hyperextended his elbow,” Ottawa coach Peter Marx said. “He basically wrestled all day with one arm, so he wrestled well all things considered.

“Jared has a great tournament, as well,” Marx added. “He wrestled well at a really tough tournament and a real tough weight. He’s really coming on this year. He’s tough because he just keeps moving and moving.”

Ottawa’s Nick Green gave the Pirates their third placing wrestler as he finished seventh at 140 pounds.

Notes: Dakota 103-pound freshman Josh Alber was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler at the lower weights, while Winnebago 152-pound junior Trace Engelkes was the Most Outstanding Wrestler for the upper weights. Rivedale’s Mitchell Keppy recorded the tournament’s fastest pin in six seconds.

Jared Bell can be reached at 223-3200, ext. 138, or at sports@newstrib.com.

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