High School Sports

Althoff advances four into semifinal round at Class 1A State Wrestling Tournament

Here’s who is going to the state wrestling tournament

A look at Southern Illinois high school wrestlers with hopes at an IHSA State Championship.
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A look at Southern Illinois high school wrestlers with hopes at an IHSA State Championship.

Althoff senior Max Kristoff’s final state tournament couldn’t have gotten off to a better start on Thursday at State Farm Center in Champaign.

A three-time medal winner and currently ranked second in the Class 1A 145-pound weight class, Kristoff improved to 42-4 with a pair of wins and was one of four Crusader wrestlers who moved into the semifinal round during the first day of competition at the ‘19 state finals.

After winning his first match in a 36 second fall, Kristoff defeated Bryce Farwoski of Winnebago 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Kristoff is joined in the semifinals by teammates Matthew Minick (106 pounds), Anthony Federico (132) and Joey Braunagel (170).

A junior, Federico improved to 46-3 with a 16-0 win over Owen Gulley of Leroy in his second round win while Minick, also a junior, defeated Jaxson Roberts of Herscher 7-4 in his quarterfinal match.

Braunagel defeated third-seeded Cameron Klingler of Dwight 4-3 to move a win a way from a trip to the state title match. He is the younger brother of former Althoff standouts Danny and Zac Braunagel, who combined for four state championships the past two years. Both are currently members of the University of Illinois wrestling program.

Dropping preliminary round matches but still competing in the wrestlebacks are Althoff’s Shawn Minick (113 pounds), Isaiah Bernal (126) and Nolan Schmidt (220).

Carlyle senior Dale Allen fell to 35-1 with a loss in the 220-pound quarterfinal. Action resumes at 8:30 a.m. Friday and continues throughout the day. Semifinals in all three classes begins at 7:30 p.m.

Class 2A

Top-ranked Jacob Bullock of Cahokia ran his record to 32-0 with a pair of wins while teammate Arnold Edwards and Caleb Grau of Mascoutah clinched state medals by advancing into the semifinals of the Class 2A at State Farm Center.

The Class 2A runner-up at 220 pounds a year ago, Bullock clinched his second straight medal at the same weight class with a 16-0 win over Ezekial Childs of Tinley Park in his quarterfinal round bout while Edwards defeated Josh Crandall of Prairie Ridge 5-3 in his quarterfinal match.

Grau, a junior, pinned Jose Marbal of Tinley Park in 5:21 of his quarterfinal round match. Local quarterfinal round losers who are still alive in the wrestlebacks include Kylan Montgomery of Mascoutah (126 pounds) and Chase Hall (106), Will Hillard (138) and Garrett Bakarich (145), all of Triad.

Althoff’s Max Kristoff won his preliminary match with a pin 36 seconds into the first period at the Illinois High School Association opening day of state wrestling. (Photo: PhotoNews/Chris Johns) Chris Johns PhotoNews

Class 3A

Seeded third in the 113-pound weight class, Belleville West sophomore Josh Koderhandt had little trouble as he rolled past Jevin Doke of Machesney Park Harlem with a pin in 4 minutes 26 seconds to improve to 42-2 for the season.

The Joliet Central Sectional champion, Koderhandt will take on Julain Valtterez of Chicago Taft in a quarterfinal round match on Friday. Class 3A quarterfinals are set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

West teammate Logan Johnson lost his first round 160-pound match.

State champion in the 113-pound class a year ago and top-ranked in the 120-pound division this weekend, Edwardsville senior Noah Surtin improved to 48-1 with a win by technical fall over Alex Guliano of Conant in 4 minutes 32 seconds. A second top-ranked Tigers wrestler, junior Luke Odom, was stunned with a preliminary round 5-3 loss to Pat Nolan of Orland Park-Sandburg.

Also earning a quarterfinal round match was Edwardsville 285-pound wrestler Lloyd Reynolds who defeated Nate Goodman of Orland Park Sandburg 3-1.

Dean Criddle has worked at the Belleville News-Democrat for 32 years as a sports writer. Dean graduated from SIUE with a double major in journalism and English, is married and lives in Belleville.