Photo by Cindy Klepper.
Led by champions Zach Abbott, Logan Randle and Brant Hiple, the Huntington North High School wrestling team captured its own Weston Close Memorial Wrestling Classic on Saturday, Jan. 3, at HNHS.
Abbott, winner of the tourney's most outstanding wrestler honor, was champion at 189 pounds, Randle took home top honors at 112 pounds and Hiple was top gun at 140 as the Vikings rolled up 234 team points to beat runner-up Southern Wells by 19.
Rob Newsome at 119, Colin Downey at 125 and Kenny Morton at 215 earned second place finishes for HNHS. Jamie Kuehl at 171 placed fourth.
In the 10-team competition, Noblesville was third with 212 points, Marion was fourth with 207 and Prairie Heights rounded out the top half of the group with 192.
Abbott earned his honor by recording three pins and a decision on his way to the 189 title. He started off the day with a bye, earned a forfeit against West Noble and then nailed his next three foes to the mat before beating Randy Kaufman in the finals, 8-4.
His pins in round three, four and five came in 48 seconds, 33 seconds and 20 seconds, respectively.
Randle's day also began with a bye and then a forfeit. He pinned his next two opponents and recorded a 4-2 decision before grinding out a 3-2 win over Tyler Gadient of Noblesville.
Hiple also started his day with a bye before recording three straight pins and a decision to get into the finals, where he earned an 8-4 win over Brady Hovermale of Eastbrook.
Newsome at 119 got to the finals with a first round bye, a second round forfeit against Eastbrook, a pin, and then two major decisions, the second being a 21-7 drubbing of Skyler Ringen of Rensselaer Central. Travis Barroquillo of Prairie Heights stopped him with a pin at 3:12 of their final round match.
Downey started off his tourney with a forfeit win against Woodlan before recording a pin, a bye and two decisions. Troy Fiechter of Southern Wells ended Downey's title hopes with a pin at 1:34 in the finals.
Morton's road to the finals was built on pins in the first two rounds, a bye in the third, a pin in the fourth and a major decision. Seth Biberstine of Southern Wells stopped the big Vike with a pin at 2:53 in the finals.
Also for HNHS, Alex Robinson placed eighth at 130, Tyler Stoffel placed fifth at 135, Thomas Abbott finished seventh at 145, Clinton Rosen finished sixth at 152, Lucas Wygant took eighth at 160 and Nick Cooper was fifth at heavyweight.
The Vikings host Churubusco on Thursday, Jan. 8, at HNHS, at 6:30 p.m.