DARLINGTON – With #3-ranked Iowa-Grant, #4-ranked Lancaster and #7-ranked Mineral Point duking it out tooth-and-nail for the team title, there were very few individual sectional berths up for grabs at Saturday’s Darlington Regional.
The Panthers (10 qualifiers), Pointers (eight) and Flying Arrows (seven) combined to snag 25 of the 28 individual sectional spots, leaving Black Hawk, Darlington, Fennimore and Pecatonica/Argyle to fight it out for the three openings.
Black Hawk sophomore Jared Pickett locked up one of those openings by pinning Iowa-Grant freshman Jordan Jenks in 1:15 in a wrestleback match at 113-pounds to finish runner-up in the class and earn the area’s lone sectional berth at the WIAA Division 3 Regional Wrestling Meet at DHS on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Pickett (30-16) advanced to the finals at 113 by posting a 13-0 major decision over Lancaster freshman Tyson Wolf. In the championship match, Mineral Point senior Deven Walrack locked up the regional title by pinning Pickett in 2:53.
Jenks earned a wrestleback chance with a 4-1 decision over Wolf, but Pickett earned his first career sectional berth with his first-period pin over the young Panther.
Pickett advances to the D-3 Individual Sectional Meet to be held at Mineral Point High School on Saturday, Feb. 18, starting at 10 a.m. The top three finishers in each weight class advance to the 2012 WIAA State Meet in Madison on Feb. 23-25.
The Warrior sophomore will face Deerfield junior Fritz Vogel (38-6) in a quarterfinal match.
Darlington’s Hayden Black (22-14) had a chance to wrestleback at 285, but Fennimore senior Ryan Ashmore posted a pin in 5:55 over the Redbird sophomore to earn the final sectional berth.
Black finished third in the class
All of Black’s matches were decided by pin on Saturday. He picked up a quarterfinal fall over Lancaster’s John VanDeHey in 4:44, but fell by fall to Iowa-Grant’s Ben McFaull in 55 seconds in the semifinal round.
Black also pinned Mineral Point’s Brian Steffes in 2:48 to earn his wrestleback chance at 285.
Black Hawk sophomore Dakota Meier (30-10) and Darlington senior Bo Brunkow (18-7) also took third on the day at 145 and 132, respectively, but neither got a wrestleback opportunity.
Iowa-Grant crowned seven champions on the way to the regional team title with 287.5 points. Mineral Point was a distant second with 226 points and three champions, while Lancaster pulled in third with 215 points and three champions.
The Redbirds finished fifth at the seven-team event with 95 points and the Warriors came in sixth with 74 points.
“Despite the highly ranked teams at our regional, I thought we had the chance to advance up to three wrestlers into this Saturday’s sectional. Unfortunately, we didn’t wrestle well enough to win the important close matches. It’s not that we wrestled poorly, we just made a few too many mistakes when matches were on the line,” noted Darlington head coach Tom Mathias.
WIAA DIVISION 3 REGIONAL MEET
Team Standings: Iowa-Grant 287.5, Mineral Point 226, Lancaster 215, Fennimore 137.5, Darlington 95, Black Hawk 74, Pecatonica/Argyle 24.
Darlington Individual Results: 106-pounds- 6- Brandon Aardahl, 0-2; 113- NW; 120- NW; 126- 5- Michael Sinclair, 2-1; 132- 3- Bo Brunkow, 1-1; 138- 5- Casey Lobdell, 2-1; 145- 4- Brady McDaniel, 1-2; 152- 5- Scott McDaniel, 2-1; 160- 5- Alex Schulte, 2-1; 170- NW; 182- 4- Tyler Black, 1-2; 195- 5- Eli Humphrey, 2-1; 220- 6- Richie Ubersox, 1-2; 285- 3- Hayden Black, 2-2.
Black Hawk Individual Results: 106-pounds- 5- Colin Novak, 2-1; 113- 2- Jared Pickett, 3-1; 120- NW; 126- 4- Beau Holland, 1-2; 132- NW; 138- 6- Zach Sigafus, 1-2; 145- 3- Dakota Meier, 2-1; 152- 6- Ryan Quinn, 0-2; 160- NW1; 170- NW; 182- NW; 195- NW; 220- 4- Patrick Mahoney, 1-2; 285- NW.