INDIANAPOLIS — After winning the 170-pound weight class at the Warren Central Sectional, Cameron Nuckols’ first thoughts were about his teammates.
“The first feeling I have is upset, because my two best friends didn’t get to wrestle today due to medical problems,” the Greenfield-Central senior said of fellow seniors Zach Phillps and Jacob Morris. “During my match, I just thought about them. I was excited to wrestle for them.”
Phillips (220), Morris (160) and Greenfield-Central freshman Cameron Wetli (195) took a combined 55-31 record into the sectional, where the top four finishers in each weight class advance to the regional. All three drew first-round byes, but a temporary health issue kept them from wrestling.
As a result, Greenfield-Central finished fifth as a team, with 140 points. The host Warriors (279) won, followed by New Palestine (233), Franklin Central (184), Roncalli (143), Beech Grove (108), Triton Central (98), Mt. Vernon (33.5) and Shelbyville (14).
Nuckols (29-3) will have plenty of Hancock County company at the Perry Meridian Regional on Saturday. New Palestine earned five individual titles, only one less than the team champ Warriors.
Alec White (37-3), Eugene Starks (38-4) and Chad Red Jr. (39-0) dominated the 113, 120 and 126 divisions, respectively, while Jared Timberman (34-4) claimed the 138 title, and Landan Burton topped the 195 class.
Burton, a freshman who entered with a 20-15 record, was the surprise of the group.
“I didn’t really know what to expect (this year),” New Palestine coach Chad Red Sr. said of Burton. “He had just moved here from Shelbyville. It took a little time for him to adjust to what we do as a coaching staff. He’s done a remarkable job of buying in. I give a lot of the credit to coach (Chad) Lytle, who’s been doing a lot of the work with him.
“Just very pleased with Landon. He’s 14. He’s young, and he wrestled very, very well. I think he’s getting more confident.”
Cameron Diep (38-2 at 106) and Noah Grable (21-7 at 220) added second-place finishes for the Dragons. Jalyn Wallace (31-11) placed third at 145. Finishing in fourth were Hunter Jones (13-15 at 132) and Sam Weber (17-18 at 160).
“I thought our kids wrestled just about as good as they could,” coach Red said Saturday. “We expected to maybe get five in the finals. We got seven and five champs.
“I’m proud of the team. I’m also ready for Monday, because we’re going to fine tune some things and be even better for Perry Meridian.”
The younger Red appeared in peak condition. The two-time defending state champ stayed undefeated for his prep career. He pinned his first two foes Saturday in one minute, 49 seconds combined. In the championship, the New Palestine junior got a technical fall over Greenfield-Central’s Taylor Wright, 23-8.
Wright (30-6) and Travis Gibson (29-9 at 152) finished second for the Cougars. They’ll be joined at Perry Meridian by teammates Lee Dullaghan (18-13), third at 182, and fourth-place wrestlers Jacob Miller (32-11 at 106) and Michael Cecil (14-14 at 285).
Mt. Vernon sophomore Peyton Wuerch beat Cecil in the third-place heavyweight match to earn the Marauders’ lone regional spot. Wuerch is 25-10 on the year.
Nuckols, Greenfield-Central’s senior sectional champ, was inspired by Wright, who managed to avoid being stuck by Red for the second straight meet. Red, the nation’s No. 1-ranked 126-pounder, beat Wright 12-2 to win the Hoosier Heritage Conference title last month.
“I’m proud of what everybody doesn’t see,” Nuckols said of Wright. “Like Monday at practice, when everybody’s wore out, and he’s thinking about Chad Red, and he’s wrestling harder than everybody else in the room. He knows what he’s up against, and he just keeps working his (butt) off, and it’s awesome.”
Royals’ Waterman wins
At the Shenandoah Sectional, Eastern Hancock’s Jared Waterman topped the field for a 160-pound championship.
“Jared’s performance was great,” Eastern Hancock coach Keith Oliver said. “He wrestled well in the finals. He can wrestle with about anyone. It was great to see how much better he keeps getting. Still a long way to go. But couldn’t be happier for him.”
Waterman improved to 37-4, capping Saturday with a 5-3 win over New Castle’s Billy Decker.
Also moving on to the Richmond Regional for the Royals are Garrett Janes (152, second place), Zach Davis (145, third), Gabe Blake (132, fourth), Dakota Myers (fourth, 170) and Mitch Guinn (fourth, 220).
On the season, Janes is 29-9, Davis is 19-10, Blake is 27-13, Myers is 17-10, and Guinn is 17-18.
“I think we had a decent day,” Oliver said. “We had a chance at getting 10 guys through.”
New Castle won the sectional with 215.5 points, followinged by Centerville (195), the Royals (150.5), Knightstown (141), Richmond (132), Shenandoah (118) and Northeastern (80).
The top four place winners from each regional weight class will advance to the semistate. Perry Meridian and Richmond qualifiers will qualify for the New Castle Semistate.
Saturday’s local wrestling sectional results, including team standings and local regional qualifiers (with weight class, finish, wrestler, record, school). Top four sectional finishers in each weight class advance to regional. Warren Central Sectional top four advance to Perry Meridian Regional on Saturday. Shenandoah Sectional advances to Richmond Regional on Saturday.
Warren Central Sectional
Warren Central 279, New Palestine 233, Franklin Central 184, Roncalli 143, Greenfield-Central 140, Beech Grove 108, Triton Central 98, Mt. Vernon 33.5, Shelbyville 14, Marshall 0
106: 2. Diep (38-2) NP, 4. Miller (32-11) GC.
113: 1. White (37-3) NP.
120: 1. Starks (38-4) NP.
126: 1. Red (39-0) NP, 2. Wright (30-6) GC.
132: 4. Jones (13-15) NP.
138: 1. Timberman (34-4) NP.
145: 3. Wallace (31-11) NP.
152: 2. Gibson (29-9) GC.
160: 4. Weber (17-18) NP.
170: 1. Nuckols (29-3) GC.
182: 3. Dullaghan (18-13) GC.
195: 1. Burton (24-15) NP.
220: 2. Grable (21-7) NP.
285: 3. Wuerch (25-10) MV, 4. Cecil (18-18) GC.
New Castle 215.5, Centerville 195, Eastern Hancock 150.5, Knightstown 141, Richmond 132, Shenandoah 118, Northeastern 80, Hagerstown 78, Tri 49, Lincoln 48, Blue River Valley 18
132: 4. Blake (27-13) EH.
145: 3. Davis (19-10) EH.
152: 2. Janes (29-9) EH.
160: 1. Waterman (37-3) EH.
170: 4. Myers (17-10) EH.
220: 4. Guinn (17-18) EH.