By PAUL HINES
Five Mt. Vernon wrestlers qualified for sectional after competing at the regional Saturday.
As a team, Mt. Vernon placed fifth out of nine schools with 116 points. Cahokia edged Marion for the team title with 152. The Wildcats finished with 139. Herrin was third, and Carbondale placed fourth.
“That was a good showing,” Mt. Vernon coach Sean Docherty said. “This is probably one of the toughest regionals we’ve had in a while. I think you’re going to see a lot of these kids win sectionals or make it to state.”
Chase Vosburgh won the 145-pound weight class, and Justin Armstrong (285) was also crowned champion. Alex Vosburgh (160) and Tristan Penrod (195) both finished second. Quentin Favors (106) moved on with a third-place result.
The final two Rams to wrestle on the day turned in some of the most dramatic action. Penrod and Armstrong both wrestled through four overtimes before their championship matches finished.
Penrod lost on a tiebreaker after his match finished at two points each against Herrin’s Nathan Vaughn. Armstrong scored a point in the fourth overtime of his match with East St. Louis’ Antonio James to win 3-2.
“(Armstrong) is a senior. It’s his second year wrestling,” Docherty said. “He didn’t make it to sectional last year. You could just tell he wanted it.”
Chase Vosburgh dominated his championship match against Romeo Howard of East St. Louis. Vosburgh entered the regional with just a single loss this season, and finished his title run with an 8-1 win.
“He’s just a tough, hard-nosed kid,” Docherty said. “I wouldn’t want to wrestle him on the mat. I know that. He’s just a hard worker, and he’s getting his rewards for the amount of work he puts in.
“This kid goes out for a 10-mile run just for fun.”
Alex Vosburgh’s title match at 160 pounds was a conference rematch against Cahokia’s David Frazier. Both wrestlers entered with just one loss this season. Frazier pinned Vosburgh just before the horn ending the second period.
“I think this gives Alex a chance to kind of refocus a little bit,” Docherty said.
Mt. Vernon travels to the Mattoon sectional on Saturday.