Wrestling: Nadig, Harvey lead Rochelle at XLV Sycamore Invitational

The Rochelle wrestling team took ninth place in the XLV Sycamore Invitational on Saturday, with several Hubs bringing home medals from the tournament. Rochelle will continue its schedule with dual matches against Winnebago, Belvidere and Sycamore this week. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Hub grapplers earn second-place medals in tournament

SYCAMORE — An illness limited Rochelle standout Ben Harvey from wrestling in peak form over the last few weeks. The 182-pounder had fresh legs on Saturday, though, recording four consecutive victories by fall before bowing out with a second-place finish in the XLV Sycamore Invitational. The Hubs placed ninth in the 16-team tournament with 212 points.

Harvey (21-2) didn’t take any of the first four opponents he faced beyond the first period. The junior needed only 15 seconds to defeat York’s Luigi Allegrini before topping Bloomington’s Jake Rush in 29 seconds to enter the championship division. Wins by fall over Yorkville’s Dayne Woodin and Downers Grove South’s Cole Gantner moved Harvey into the winner-take-all match against Mundelein’s Rudy Osornio, who escaped with a 4-2 sudden victory in overtime.

“It could have been a better tournament,” Harvey said. “I started off a little sloppy but I made it through the first four matches. I didn’t have the best week of practice, but I need to keep working on the simple things like my conditioning since I’m coming off an illness… I thought my bar on top was good but I need to take more shots in neutral when I’m tired.”

Sophomore Caleb Nadig (21-3) also brought home a second-place medal for Rochelle in the 126-pound bracket. Nadig opened his tournament with decisive victories over Yorkville’s Brody Williams (19-4 tech) and Marengo’s Connor Ray (fall) to reach the championship division. Nadig suffered his only loss of the afternoon in the first championship pool match, conceding and 8-1 decision to Belvidere’s Antonio Alvarado. Nadig finished the tournament strong, beating Grayslake North’s Jake Jozwiak and Downers Grove South’s Joe Straus by decision.

“I need to keep working and today showed that there’s a lot I can improve on,” Nadig said. “My loss was frustrating. I felt that it was a winnable match, but there were a lot of little things that I need to get back in the wrestling room and work on. I was wrestling loose and getting to the ties and the shots I can get to… I found my offense and worked to that throughout the day.”

Senior Zack Capes (9-11) finished fourth in the 285-pound bracket, locking down a fall victory over Yorkville’s Gabe Taylor along the way. Seniors Keegan Davis-Carter (20-4) and Gavin Ansteth (13-4) placed fifth in their respective brackets, with Davis-Carter wrestling in the 138-pound bracket and Ansteth competing in the 195-pound bracket.

Senior Hezekiah Jefferson (4-4) and junior Grant Thompson (12-8) took seventh place in their respective brackets, with Jefferson battling in the 195-pound bracket and Thompson grappling in the 132-pound bracket. Junior Ivan Pineda (11-11 at 106), senior Zeke Horn (11-12 at 152) and senior Bryan Garza (18-5 at 170) all placed eighth in their tournament brackets. Top-8 wrestlers at the Sycamore tournament received medals for their performances.

Junior Noah Messer (12-7) finished 11th in the 182-pound bracket, while three wrestlers placed 12th including freshman Weldon Nay (7-13 at 113), sophomore Ethan Tooley (13-10 at 145) and senior Wade Samp (1-7 at 138).

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