INDIANAPOLIS — Wrestling is a study in managing energy.
Awake well before dawn Saturday, local wrestlers put in a 12-hour shift of mostly pacing, stretching and snacking with brief bursts of mat time at the Perry Meridian Regional.
For those at their physical peak when they were summoned to action, they were rewarded with a trip to semistate.
Chad Red and Tyler Beeson were among the Hancock County grapplers who used their time efficiently. Red, New Palestine’s 120-pound sophomore, and Beeson, a Greenfield-Central heavyweight, each pinned all three of their opponents to claim regional championships. Their total time on the mat for the six bouts: seven minutes, 27 seconds.
“I feel relief,” said Red, who remains undefeated as a high schooler. “Because when I step on the mat, I’ve got my nerves still in me, kind of scared. Even though I’ve wrestled him before, beat him, pinned him, whatever, I still get nervous every time I wrestle somebody.”
Red (36-0) was among four New Palestine regional champions and two other Dragons semistate qualifiers; the top four regional finishers advanced to Saturday’s New Castle Semistate.
New Palestine finished third in the regional team standings with 118 points, behind champ Perry Meridian (198) and runner-up Warren Central (162).
Of the 17 teams represented at Perry Meridian, only New Palestine and the host Falcons claimed four individual titles.
“For them to come out and wrestle like that, my hat’s off to them,” New Palestine coach Chad Red said. “Very, very proud.
“I knew this morning. We got in at 5:30 (Saturday morning), rolling around. We just looked good. Clapping, smacking each other’s hands. That just kind of rubbed off. Alec (White) got it going and it was a trickle down effect.”