After finishing the regular season with an overall record of 12-11, the Evanston Township High School wrestling team hoped to carry the momentum gained from late-season victories into the Class 3A St. Patrick Regional meet.

The Wildkits did just that, finishing fourth with 130.5 points in Regionals on Feb. 5. Central Suburban League South foe Niles West won the tournament with 195.5 points.

A total of nine Wildkit wrestlers made the cut for Sectionals, with six earning spots to wrestle in the Sectional round
and three advancing as alternates.

In Regionals, even though four wrestlers qualify for Sectionals, only the top three compete in the Sectional round. The others advance as alternates and only compete if those wrestlers are disqualified due to exceeded weight limits or illness. Those named alternates finished in fourth place
in Regionals.

The wrestlers who advanced for the Kits included junior Gabriel Brieva in
the 152-pound weight class, senior
Andre Laden in the 215-pound class
and senior Dillin Randolph in the 171-pound class. All three finished in
first place in Regionals.

Three other Kits who made the cut for the Sectionals, by placing third in Regionals, were freshman Harry Runzel (103 pounds), junior Edwar Rivera (119) and junior Nick Strebel (160). Representing the Kits as alternates were juniors George Magnuson (112), Marcus Wallace (145) and Jack Fuller (189).

“Some placers might have wanted to place a little higher, but no one really ended up with a bad day,” said Magnuson. “I would say that we were happy with our performance, but there is always room for improvement.”

Laden agreed, saying, “I believe some people were pleased with [who] placed, [but] personally I felt that we as a team should have won the regional, but everyone did not wrestle to their full potential and as a result of that we only have six people wrestling in Sectionals.”

Regarding Sectionals, Magnuson said, “Our team definitely has four or five guys capable of making it to the state tournament.” He added, “I would not at all be surprised to see multiple ETHS wrestlers competing in Assembly Hall [in the State meet].”

Unfortunately, of the nine who qualified for the Leyden Sectional on Feb. 12, none were able to advance to the state meet on Feb. 18-19.

Looking ahead to next season, Fuller feels the Kits should be ready for a repeat performance in the postseason.

“There are places for us to improve upon but I think that we learned from our mistakes. We will be ready and prepared next year to get first place [in Regionals].” He added, “Our team really has grown loads closer this year and I think that will help us next year.”