Another chapter in the amazing story of Althoff High School freshman Chase Bittle was added Saturday at Vandalia High School.
Untested for much of the season, Bittle kept his perfeect season alive with a 2-minute, 48-second pin of Joel Cook of Pittsfield in the 113-pound final, as he led the way for local wrestlers at the Class A Vandalia Sectional.
The win over Cook was the second in two weeks for Bittle, who stuck the Pittsfield standout in 14 seconds to win the Roxana Regional a week ago.
Jarid Braunagel (132 pounds also won a title for Althoff, which advanced six wrestlers into the IHSA state wrestling tournament which begins Thursday at the State Farm Center in Champaign.
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A two-time state tournament medalist, Braunagel earned his third trip to the state finals in as many years when he defeated Jared Foiles 9-1 in the final at 132.
Also qualifying for the Crusaders were Jevon Hay (120), David Braunagel (138), Zach Braunagel (160) and Rodney Baker (285).
Freeburg junior Cooper Secker placed second at 120 to advance.
Class 2A Mattoon Sectional
Brothers Crishon and Christopher Tucker won titles as East St. Louis enjoyed one of its best sectional meets in school history as it advanced six wrestlers out of the Class 2A Mattoon Sectional.
Chrishon Tucker won the 106=pound title with a 4-2 win over Ashton Meyers of (Quincy) Notre Dame while twin brother Christopher pinned Antwone Johnson of Cahokia in 3 minutes 13 seconds to take the title at 113.
Johnson’s Comanches teamate Marlon Manuel won the 120-pound title to lead the way for Cahokia
Triad, the top Class 2A team in Southern Illinois, had three champions.
Knights junior Merik Fulton (126) led the way with a 6-1 win over Zach Telzac of Mount Zion. Also capturing sectional crowns for the Knights were Cole Wysocki (138) and Cole Witzig (170).
Highland was paced by senior Nick Czar, who won a title at 285 with a 4-0 win over Alex Seiber of Springfield. Czar enters the state finals undefeated.. Highland also got a championship from Trent Rakers (160).
Class 3A Normal Sectional
The dream of a state title moved a little closer from Belleville West senior heavyweight Ricky Nelson and brothers Nicholas and Phyllip Deloach of Alton, all of whom won sectional titles at the Class 3A Normal Sectional.
Nelson pinned Nick Wolf of Plainfield North in 2:31 of their title match to win his first sectional crown. Also advancing to state from West was Nick Foster, who lost to Phyllip Deloach 4-3 in the 145 final. Nicholas Deloach improved to 50-0 by winning the 152-pound crown.
He defeated Lockport’s Trevell Timmons 7-4 in his title bout.
Edwardsville advanced four wrestlers to Champaign — Tanner Ambry (120), James Zeigler (152), Chris Prosser (160) and James Watters (182).
Belleville East senior Matt Strigel took third at 170. O’Fallon senior Keajion Jennings was second at 170 and Granite City’s Devon Simpson was fourth at 138.
All three advance to state.