ANDERSON — The Pendleton Heights wrestling team may not have the numbers they’re used to, but that didn’t stop them from dominating at the Madison County Tournament to claim their ninth consecutive championship win at Anderson High School on Saturday.
The Arabians won titles in seven weight classes and scored points in six others to boost their final score to 250. Madison-Grant placed second with 186. Lapel finished sixth with 107 points.
“We felt like we brought the best team,” coach Dave Cloud said. “We just wanted to be dominant and do a good job, and I think we did a good job of it. I feel like we’re pretty on pace. This is a fun team to coach.”
Elijah Wolf, Max Bowers, Alex Heinemann, Jack Todd, Jaylen Covington, Chris Crank and Jameson Walford won their respective weight classes to lead the Arabians to the win.
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At 120, Wolf began the charge, winning all three of his rounds by falls.
Bowers, at 126, had a first-round forfeit, won by fall over Lapel’s Braken Little and took the title round by a 13-5 decision against Clayton Martin of Alexandria-Monroe.
“I was expecting I was gonna have Ezra Fye (Alexandria). He was ranked eighth in semistate last year,” Wolf said. “I thought Buzan of Lapel should have been the second-placer.”
Alan Buzan of Lapel said he felt good about his day and a third-place finish.
“I came back and wrestled for third. I’m not mad about. I’m hoping for a better outcome at the sectional,” Busan said.
Heineman had a similar path with a first-round forfeit, second-round fall and win in the third and final round 6-3 versus Will Rowland of Alexandria-Monroe.
Todd, who is undefeated for the season, went to his final round after two wins by fall in the earlier contests. Todd pinned Alexandria’s Jason Keeley at 1:15 in the first period. He was also named the Fred Lamb Outstanding Wrestler by a vote of the county coaches.
Todd and Wolf were named Wrestlers of the Meet.
“I have one job to do, whether it’s someone you know or a state champion. You come in and wrestle hard,” Todd said.
The win was a bit of redemption for Todd who missed last year’s event because he was in quarantine.
“It was a good day for him. (Todd). I’m proud of him for winning that award,” Cloud said.
At 152, Covington won his first round by major decision, second by fall and the finals by fall in 1:14 in the second period against opponent Riley Inglis of Frankton.
After a first-round bye, Crank at 160, won by fall in Round 2. In the final round with Jake Wilson of Anderson, Crank had a couple of close calls before turning the match around for the win.
The Arabians’ final title winner of the day was Walford at 170 who won by fall against Treymayne Brown of Anderson.
Illness forced a forfeit for the Arabians at the 113 class, while Tori Apo filled in for the No. 1 seed in the 106 class, Brooks Bond, who was also ill. Apo finished fourth.
Coach Jason Pedigo of Lapel said his Bulldogs had a rough first round but still had respectable finishes with Buzan, Paige Stires, Braken Little, Grissom Jernigan and Haiden Scherer all placing third in their weight classes.
“I think it went really well today,” Pedigo said. “On the back side, we started wrestling better, and I’m happy about that.”
Pedigo was also impressed with freshmen Stires in her first county meet.
“From when we started practice and the season, we had a lot of work to do, but now she’s getting more confident and believing in herself,” Pedigo said.
“That first match, I was kind of tired, but I came back and was ready,” Stires said.
The Arabians dedicated their tournament and win to Brad Williamson.
Williamson, 63, was a standout wrestler at Pendleton Heights as well as a teacher, coach and wrestling official who was inducted into the Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame. Williamson died Dec. 9.
Team scores: Pendleton Heights 250, Madison-Grant 186, Frankton 184, Anderson 159, Alexandria-Monroe 158, Lapel 107, Elwood 95.
Pendleton Heights finishes: 106, Tori Apo 4th; 120, Elijah Wolf 1st; 126, Max Bowers 1st; 132, Alex Heineman 1st; 138, Blaine Bowman, 5th; 145, Jack Todd, 1st; 152, Jaylen Covington 1st; 160, Chris Crank, 1st; 170, Jameson Walford, 1st; 182, Garret Pederson 2nd; 195, Isaac Godby, 4th; 220, Eli Libler, 2nd; 285, Nate Walls, 5th.
Lapel finishes: 113, Paige Stires, 3rd; 120, Alan Buzan, 3rd, 126, Braken Little, 3rd, 132, Soloman Gilbert 5th; 138, Braden Dawson, 4th; 170, Cole Miller, 5th; 195, Grissom Jernigan 3rd; 285, Haiden Scherer, 3rd.