INDIANAPOLIS — The goal was a sectional title. As a team, the New Palestine wrestlers fell short Saturday at Warren Central.
As a collection of individuals, however, the Dragons couldn’t have been happier.
New Palestine advanced eight wrestlers into the championship round Saturday and claimed four individual titles. Along with the runner-ups and third- and- fourth-place finishers, the Dragons will send 12 wrestlers to this weekend’s regional at Perry Meridian, qualifying in all but two of 14 weight classes.
“I would have liked to have won,” NP coach Chad Red said of the team competition. “But the team portion’s over now. I’m more focused on getting as a lot of individuals downtown (for the state finals) now, that’s our focus.”
When the final team standings were announced over the WC public address system, in reverse order, the Dragons let out a den-wide groan as the, “And in second place, with 219 points, New Palestine,” portion was read.
Warren Central won the title with 241 points, with Franklin Central (175) in third, followed by Greenfield-Central (161), Roncalli (161), Triton Central (97), Beech Grove (70), Shelbyville (47), Mt. Vernon (39) and Marshall (0).
Considering the Dragons were missing Tommy Cash, their 120-pound, second-ranked wrestler, a second-place finish to the powerhouse Warriors was probably the best result New Palestine could expect. Cash’s weight class, which a Warren Central wrestler won, and 195 pounds were the only weight classes the Dragons didn’t claim a top-four, regional-qualifying result.