CHAMPAIGN - Five wrestlers from Mount Carmel had a shot at winning a state championship this weekend and after the first day of the IHSA state wrestling finals, only two remained.
In the end, only freshman Dayton Hall was left standing for all three days. Hall won third-place in Class A, 106-pound after defeating Matthew Minick of Althoff Catholic (Belleville), 8-1.
Hall had to battle back after falling in the quarterfinals after winning his first-round match over Connor Elmer of Dakoka (Coop) by a major decision, 13-3.
Then in the quarterfinals, Hall lost to Cale Horsch of Gibson City by pinfall, 2:27.
The loss would be Hall’s last of his freshman season. He moved on to the wrestleback where he fought his way to the third-place title.
Hall defeated Alex Armira of Chicago Hope Academy in 29 seconds. Then, against Bailey Powell of Litchfield, Hall picked up a 6-1 victory.
In the wrestleback semifinals, Hall defeated Jarek Wehrle of Vandalia, 7-1. Hall would earn his place on the third-place podium with his victory over Minick. Hall finishes the season at 48-5.
Cade Keepes was the only other wrestler for the Aces to win in the first round.
Keepes defeating Kasim Quinn by pinfall at 3:41 to advance in the first round of the 113-pound division. Keepes then lost to Tyler Eby of Aurora (Christian) by pinfall in 1:53. Keepes was eliminated after his first match during wrestleback when Connor Houston of Coal City won by pinfall in 3:36.
At 120 pounds, Chevvy Wood lost his first round match to Gabe Spencer of Heyworth. Wood lost by tech-fall, 20-5. Ryan Johnson came up short in his quest to win the 170-pound weight class after being pinned by Luke Shobe of Clinton in two minutes. The final Mount Carmel wrestler to compete at state was in 195 pounds as Dalton Farrar lost in 64 seconds in the first-round to Justin Coggins of Clifton (Central).
Although Wood, Johnson, and Farrar all had their state tournament experience end after just one match after the wrestler that defeated them lost in the next round. In order to move to wrestleback after losing in the first round, the opponent that beat you had to win in the next round.
Contact Register Sports Editor Paul Wilcoxen at (618) 263-1004, email@example.com, or on Twitter @paulwilcoxen