PENDLETON — With sweat pouring off his brow and his lungs heaving in and out, Tremor Bynum couldn’t stop smiling.
That’s what happens when dreams come true.
The 195-pound Pendleton Heights junior wrestler won a regional title Saturday, Feb. 3, for the Arabians with a tough 3-1 win over Deon Pettiford of Lawrence North in the championship round.
“It feels phenomenal,” he said.
Bynum was one of 12 Pendleton Heights wrestlers taking part in the IHSAA regional on their home mat; five Arabians qualified for the semistate, set to commence at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at New Castle High School.
Bynum thought for sure he’d face Frankton senior David Delph for the championship, but Pettiford beat Delph in the second round.
“It wasn’t what I expected, but I’ll take it,” Bynum said.
It’s Bynum’s first individual regional crown after placing third last year as a sophomore.
The junior credited his coaches, Dave Cloud and Katie (Downing) Kriebel, for their feedback and hard work in the off season with helping him reach his goal.
Cloud called Bynum’s win a big one and noted how he is peaking at the right time with the right frame of mind to keep advancing.
“He showed a lot of poise in his matches,” Cloud said. “Especially the final where he controlled his opponent.”
Pettiford won his sectional in convincing fashion. For Bynum to control him throughout the match as he did was very impressive, Cloud said.
The team totals were as follows: lndianapolis Calhedral, 242; Lawrence North, 80; Frankton, 70; Elwood, 60; North Central, 57; Mt. Vernon (Fortville), 51; Pendleton Heights, 51; Lawrence Central, 44; Noblesville, 29.5; Lapel, 28; Anderson, 16; Tipton, 16; Guerin Catholic, 14; lndianapolis Bishop Chatard, 9.
The top four wrestlers in each weight division advanced to semistate.
The other Pendleton Heights wrestlers moving on are:
• Jared Brown (120 pounds), who finished fourth. Brown wrestled North Central’s Bryant Sebastien in the third-place match and lost by a 10-1 score.
• Elijah Bauer (132), who finished third, defeating Justin Sparks of Noblesville 6-3. Bauer won his first match 7-1 versus Cameron Shaw of North Central, but lost his second match, dropping him into the third-place match.
• Caleb Gibson (145) finished fourth. He won his first match of the day 10-3 against Mt. Vernon’s Max Hayes. Gibson lost in the second round, sending him into the third-place match, where he lost to Terrell Leavell of Lawrence Central.
• Jarod Miller (152) finished fourth. He won his first match via a fall and lost his second-round match, dropping him to the third-place match. He lost to Marc Fensler of Lapel by a 3-1 decision.
Wrestlers must win two matches Saturday, Feb. 10, at New Castle to advance to the state finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Lapel High School wrestling
The Lapel Bulldogs sent three wrestlers to the Pendleton Heights Regional, where two moved onto semistate.
Lapel junior Harrison Hadley brought a 37-1 record into the championship round in the 106-pound division against Cathedral’s Logan Bailey. Bailey won by a fall in the final.
At 152 pounds, Lapel senior Marc Fensler won his first match but lost the second, dropping him to the third-place match, where he was able to win 3-1 against Jarod Miller of Pendleton Heights.
Sparky Manis (120 pounds) lost in the first round to eventual regional champ Lukasz Walendzak of Cathedral. Manis, a junior, entered the regional with a 27-9 record.