Covington wins regional title, Arabians advance six to semistate

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By Brady Extin | The Times-Post

PENDLETON — Hosting an Indiana High School Athletic Association Regional, Pendleton Heights wrestling had a good showing last Saturday on its home mats.

The Arabians placed fifth as a team, had one regional champion, and advanced six of their eight participants onto this weekend’s semistate.

Indianapolis Cathedral took home the team title with 215.5 points. Following them were Bishop Chatard (101.5), Hamilton Heights (93.5), Noblesville (92.5), Pendleton Heights (81), Alexandria-Monroe (50), Tipton (44), Frankton (42), Anderson (30), Elwood (18), Guerin Catholic (17.5), Arsenal Tech (13), Providence Cristo Rey (11) and Brebeuf Jesuit (6).

Pendleton Heights lone champion came at 138 pounds.

After an opening-round win by fall, Jay Covington (35-3) had to battle for both his spot in the finals and his title win.

In the opening round, he pinned Indianapolis George Washington’s Axel Faviel (28-6) in 1:39 to set up a semifinal match with Providence Cristo Rey’s Delin Jones (32-5).

Tied 1-1 going to an overtime period, Covington secured the two points to win by sudden victory 3-1.

To win the title he had another close call, winning by decision 2-1 over Cathedral’s Sam Bustamante (33-3).

Runner-up placements for the Arabians came at both 144 and 190 pounds.

At 144 pounds, senior Jack Todd (28-1) suffered his first loss of the season in the title match, losing to Cathedral’s Dillon Graham (29-9) by fall (3:15). Todd is ranked ninth in the state in the 144-pound division while Graham is ranked seventh.

To get to the final, Todd made quick work of his first two opponents.

He pinned Indianapolis George Washington’s Huguens Cajuste (17-13) in 2:26 and then in the semifinals he pinned Bishop Chatard’s Gabriel McNamee (27-11) in 2:50.

In the 190-pound division, another Arabians senior, Chris Crank (26-8), had a similar path to the title match.

In the quarterfinals, he punched his ticket to semistate with a win by fall over Bishop Chatard’s Jack Finegan (11-16), and in the semifinal match he pinned Arsenal Tech’s Michael Price (14-9) in 47 seconds.

In the final, he fell to Frankton’s Jonah Ellis by decision 7-5.

At 126 pounds, Max Bowers (31-5) secured his semistate spot with a pin of Purdue Polytechnic’s Christian Montero (10-11) in 35 seconds before losing to Cathedral’s Gavin Bragg (32-7) in the semifinal match.

In the third-place match, Bowers defeated Noblesville’s Josh Kauzlick (30-12) by major decision 13-2.

The final two qualifiers for the Arabians were Turner Seale (17-17) at 157 pounds and Eli Libler (28-8) at 215.

Each won their opening round match to punch their ticket before falling in both the semifinals and third-place bout.

Seale defeated Bishop Chatard’s Payton Brown (23-13) by decision 6-5, while Libler won by major decision 10-0 over Crispus Attucks’ Darnell Taylor (15-5).

Alex Heineman (132-pound) and Garrett Pederon (165-pound) lost their opening round matches for the Arabians, and Lapel’s Cole Miller (175-pound) dropped his opening round bout.

The six qualifiers for Pendleton Heights will compete in Saturday’s semistate at New Castle beginning at 9 a.m.