NORTH VERNON — Columbus East didn’t send all 14 wrestlers through to the regional like it did last season, but the Olympian wrestlers still had a dominating day at the Jennings County Sectional.
Class 3A No. 8 East had nine champions and advanced 13 of its 14 wrestlers to the Jeffersonville Regional with top-four finishes in rolling to its third consecutive sectional title. The Olympians racked up 293.5 points for 184.5 for runner-up Jennings County.
Columbus North finished fifth with 117.5 points. Brown County was sixth with 80.
East 145-pounder and seventh-ranked Jake Schoenegge had the most dominant performances of the day. He picked up three first-period pins, the first of which came in just 15 seconds.
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“I guess it’s the start of the state series that gets me excited and ready to wrestle,” Schoenegge said. “I took a tough loss at (Hoosier Hills Conference), but I bounced back and had a good tournament here. Hopefully, I’ll carry it on to regional, semistate and then state. I’m ready to get up there one the podium.”
The four other ranked Olympians — No. 2 Cayden Rooks (126), No. 1 Graham Rooks (132), No. 4 Dawson Combest (138) and No. 5 Nick South (160) all breezed to victories. So did returning state qualifier Corban Pollitt (152).
East’s first title of the day came from Jeremy Clark (113). Clark had lost to 19th-ranked and undefeated Camden Spears of Madison in last week’s HHC Tournament, but this time, beat Spears 13-8 in the final for his first-ever tournament title.
“I went home and watched a video, and then I came back to practice Monday knowing what I needed to learn and how to beat him,” Clark said. “I’m hoping I can win regional now.”
In possibly the most competitive finals match, East’s Jacob Bolte edged North’s Bradley Gutierrez 3-2 at 220. Dalton Anderson then ended the day with a championship at 285 for the Olympians.
East’s Joey Gordon (120) and Noah White (182) each finished second. Nate John (106) and Andy Davidson (170) took third.
“Nine champs out of 14 weights is just amazing,” East coach Chris Cooper said. “Every kid battled and wrestled well. There’s 10 teams, and placing in the top four is not easy, so getting 13 through is real good.”
Jennings’ Victor Antunez won a 4-2 decision against Gordon in the 120-pound final, and Zane Beineke scored a second-period pin of North’s Brigham Kleinhenz in the 170-pound final to give the Panthers their only titles. Jennings’ Dalton Craig lost to Graham Rooks by second-period pin at 132, Brooks Wathen fell to Pollitt 5-0 at 152 and Nathaniel McDonald lost to Anderson by second-period pin at 285.
Also qualifying for the Panthers were third-place finishers Xavier Barberis (126) and Joey Moran (138) and fourth-place finishers Teagan Johnson (106) and Jaylan Kirchner (195).
“It was tough,” Jennings coach Howard Jones said. “It was a dogfight all the way down to the end between Seymour, Madison and us. We had a couple of key pins that really helped us at the end.”
The Bull Dogs began the day with a champion in the first weight class. Morgan Smith pulled out a 5-3 decision against Seymour’s Isaiah Pichardo, avenging a loss from earlier in the season.
Along with Kleinhenz and Gutierrez, North got a runner-up finish from Keandre Watson, who fell to Cayden Rooks by major decision in the 126-pound final.
“Morgan wrestled great, the best he’s been wrestling all year the past couple of weeks,” North coach Justin Cooper said. “Keandre wrestled great. Bradley is wrestling great, too.”
Brown County will send three wrestlers to regional. David Tucker (113) and Levi Mullins (195) finished third, and Bryce Denton (132) took fourth.