CHS hosts wrestling Sectional, sends two to State

Courtesy of Clinton Maroons / Clinton High School — Cayden Poole (L) and Will Winter (R) at the State Farm Center for the wrestling finals

CLINTON — This season saw the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Class 1A Individual Wrestling Sectionals being held at Clinton High School (CHS) on February 10 and 11. 

There were 12 wrestlers in each of 14 weight classes along with all their coaches and fans packing into the main gymnasium, where four wrestling mats were set up for the action. 

After the first rounds and just prior to the championship rounds, the stands were cleared and the gym went to two mats and more seating was made available for the fans.  All this was accomplished over two days and approximately 12 hours. 

The Maroons had five wrestlers make it into the sectional rounds.  They included Cayden Poole at 132 lbs., Will Winter at 145 lbs., Kristan Hibbard at 170 lbs., Logan Thoms at 182 lbs., and Dawson Thayer at 285 lbs.  Poole, Winter and Hibbard made it through the first round, but due to double elimination, everyone was still in the game. 

Friday began the wrestle-backs for those who lost a match the day before, giving them a chance for third or fourth.  After losing on Friday, Thoms and Thayer lost their first matches on Saturday and were eliminated early.  Hibbard was the next to be eliminated after winning on Friday.  He lost his next to matches. 

Poole lost one match after two wins, but then came back with a win to make the final round, where he lost in a tough match and ended with fourth place at 132 lbs. and a trip to the state finals. 

After losing his second match, Winter wrestled his way back through the consolation bracket with three wins to make the final round, where he was beaten for his second loss but ended the sectional with a fourth place finish and a trip to the state finals with Poole.

The state finals were held on February 16-18 at the State Farm Center in Urbana. 

Unfortunately, Winter did not go far, nursing a sore knee from earlier in the season, but finished the season with a 28-8 record.  Cayden Poole wrestled his way through the wrestle-backs to end the season with an 8th place in the state finals and a 43-10 record.