Northivew's Luke Pingleton (top) works to tilt Terre Haute North's Nathaniel Page to his back on the way to a championship bout victory via fall.
Caleb Nicosin battles with Bloomington South's Jacob Boomsma in the 103-pound title match.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
BY CLAY CUNNINGHAM
Time Staff Reporter
One year after capturing a sectional title in their home gymnasium, the Northview Knights came up short in their repeat bid, finishing sixth in the IHSAA Wrestling Sectional No. 27 on Saturday.
Despite the underwhelming team finish, the Knights did have several individual accomplishments of merit. All told, six Northview wrestlers will move on to Saturday's Bloomington South.
The top Northview performer of the day was junior Luke Pingleton, who came out the champion of the 125-pound class. This is Pingleton's third consecutive trip to the regional, but the first time he will enter after winning his weight class. He finished second in the 103-pound class as a freshman, and third in the 112 class last year. Pingleton overcame a late surge by Terre Haute North's Nathaniel Page and won by fall at the 4:58 mark. He said he was excited about moving onto the next level and reaching his championship milestone.
"I've been working hard for this," Pingleton said. "I'm very happy."
Also giving the Knights reason to celebrate was the freshman duo of Caleb Nicosin and Austin Bell, who came in second in the 103 and 112 class respectively.
Bell had one of the more surprising moments of the day, upsetting the previously unbeaten Dalton Kemp of Owen Valley. Despite being a heavy underdog, Bell said he wasn't surprised by his success against his undefeated foe.
"I knew it would be a tough match," Bell said, "but I thought I could beat him and I did."
There were some disappointing moments for the Knights, however. One year after winning the 130-pound class, senior Kyle McCoy, was unable to duplicate his success of a year ago, finishing third in the 140 class. Also finishing a respectable, yet disappointing third was Brandon Mikesell, who was the No. 2 seed in the 135 bracket. Despite not reaching their individual goals, both McCoy and Mikesell also advanced to the regional. Rounding out the Knights' regional squad is Brady Silvers, who finished fourth in the 160 weight class.
Also hampering Mikesell on Saturday was a nagging ear injury. With 19 seconds remaining in his third-place victory over Terre Haute South's Tsali Lough, Mikesell hit the ground in agony, as the stitches from a recent cauliflower ear were ripped out. After a pause, he returned to action and was able to hold on for the victory. Head coach Dan Mikesell said he never doubted that Brandon would be able to finish the match, jokingly stating "it's only an ear. He's got another one."
Beau Judd, Northview's 275 weight class competitor was not as fortunate as Mikesell. He went down with what his coach called a "high ankle sprain" and was helped off before he was able finish his match. Fortunatly, Coach Mikesell said that X-rays performed on Judd showed no breaks.
Coach Mikesell said that he wasn't disappointed with his team's performance, but admitted there was a bit of an empty feeling following last season, when he and his squad brought Northview their first wrestling sectional title in 23 years. But as next season approaches, he will return 12-of-14 competitors. With additional experience, mixed with the promise shown by youngsters like Nicosin and Bell, he fully anticipates being in the upper half of sectional rankings next year.
"Today was a good springboard for us," Mikesell said. "We will definitely set our goal higher next season. "Next year, if we finish where we finished today, I will be disappointed for sure."