By Brady Extin | The Times-Post
NEW CASTLE — The past weekend was a big one for county wrestlers.
On Friday, Pendleton Heights’ Kalli Stock and Lapel’s Paige Stires competed in the Indiana High School Girls Wrestling State Finals conducted at Mooresville High School, On Saturday, the Pendleton Heights boys wrestling team competed in the Hoosier Heritage Conference tournament at New Castle High School.
In what has been named an emerging sport, but not yet sanctioned, by the Indiana High School Athletic Association, both Stock and Stires still had to earn their way into the state finals, advancing from the regional round where Stock placed third and Stires placed fourth.
Both placements earned the girls a spot in the state bracket.
Stires, a freshman, and Stock, a sophomore, both dropped their opening matches in their first appearance at the state finals.
At 113 pounds, Stires was defeated by the No. 2 seed, Lowell’s Devin Moore, by technical fall.
Moore went on to place third in the tournament.
In the 170-pound division, Stock was defeated by Northview’s Alexandria Brown by fall.
The following day, in the boys HHC tournament that was originally set to be a home meet for Pendleton Heights, the Arabians finished eighth.
The tournament was moved to New Castle because of water damage to the Pendleton Heights High School gym floor.
Greenfield-Central took home first place for the third consecutive season with 226 points. The remaining team scores were Delta 208, Yorktown 158, New Castle 157, Mt. Vernon 149, New Palestine 135, Shelbyville 105, and Pendleton Heights 79.
While the Arabians struggled as a team, they still had eight wrestlers place in the top six.
Leading the way for Pendleton Heights was Eli Libler at 220 pounds. He defeated New Palestine’s Brandon Brees by a 9-1 major decision in the third- place match.
Following him were two fourth-place finishes in the 132- and 152-pound divisions.
At 132, Alex Heineman was defeated 4-1 by Greenfield-Central’s J.J. Harlow. At 152, Jay Covington lost by fall to Yorktown’s Drew Barr in the third-place match.
The Arabians got fifth-place finishes from Elijah Wolf at 120 pounds and Chris Crank at 170 pounds.
Wolf defeated Yorktown’s Tanner Eppard by fall in the fifth-place match, and Crank won by fall against New Palestine’s Gavin Wilcher.
Rounding out the placements for the Arabians were three sixth-place finishes: Max Bowers at 126 pounds, Kaden Hasty at 160 pounds and Nate Walls at 190 pounds.
The boys were set to wrestle against Frankton on Wednesday, Jan. 18 (after press time), and their next scheduled action is at the Indiana High School Aathletic Association Sectional on Jan. 28 at Elwood.