CARLYLE -- The last time the Vandalia wrestling team didn't win a regional team championship it was 1994 and Michael Jordan was retired from basketball for the first time and Jurassic Park dominated the box office.
"This was our 25th year in a row to win at regionals and that was cool for our program. It was a big milestone," Vandalia coach Jason Clay said. "That’s a lot of wins and lot of kids over the years. We’re really proud of that."
The Vandals advanced 11 wrestlers Saturday at the Class 1A Carlyle Regional onto sectionals which included four champions -- Jarek Wehrle (106 pounds), David Meyer (182 pounds), Gavin Mouser (195 pounds) and Anthony Enlow (285 pounds).
"We put nine in the finals and had four champs so we were proud of our day. We had some kids step up and beat kids that had beaten them earlier in the year. That always feels good," Clay said.
Monticello's O'Linc and Kerr win regional title
TOLONO -- At the Class 1A Tolono Regional, Monticello advanced 10 wrestlers to sectionals and the Sages outpaced Illini Prairie Conference rivals Tolono Unity to win the team championship 193.5 to 173.
“It was a complete team effort. Every individual won a match for us, and it helped put points up on the board. Our kids showed up with great energy about them and took it to their opponents," Monticello coach Andy Moore said.
Five Sages' wrestlers advanced to title matches and Ethan O'Lince (132 pounds) and Matt Kerr (195 pounds) took home regional titles.
"Going forward toward sectionals, we’re going to work on refinement of skills. We’re going to work on some positioning things and on our conditioning. We’re going to have to be able to wrestle a little bit longer and work on our gas tanks a little bit."
Mount Zion advances 8 wrestlers
CHATHAM -- Mount Zion wrestlers captured three regional titles at the Class 2A Chatham Regional.
Kooper Loehr, last year's 4th-place finisher at 120 pounds, won at 113 pounds with a pin of Glenwood's Jacob Antonacci.
Other Braves' regional champions included Lukas Eagle at 145 pounds and Ryder Marshall at 182 pounds.
"We had some really close matches that could have gone either way. We had eight guys make it on out of the ten that were going for it," Mount Zion coach Steve Owens said. "I’m really proud of all the wrestlers and everything that the guys accomplished today. We’ve got to build off of what we did this weekend, get back to the wrestling room, and get ready for what’s coming to the mat next."
Olney wins first regional championship
CARBONDALE -- Olney Richland County won its first wrestling regional championship at Class 2A Carbondale and it all came down to the heavyweight match between the Tigers' Skyler Sutton and Centralia's Dawson Melton.
"Skyler got the pin for us to win by half a point (163 to Mattoon's 162.5). It was pretty electric. People went crazy," Olney coach Tommy Leslie said. "It is our first regional championship and we’re going to enjoy that. This is the best group of kids I’ve ever coached. It was just a total team effort. I’m really proud of the kids. It was big for our community to bring home the championship.”
Joining Sutton as a regional champion for Olney was Kyle Dowty who placed first at 195 pounds.
Eisenhower wins bowling regional
DECATUR -- The Eisenhower girls bowling team captured the Taylorville Regional title Saturday at Spare Time Lanes. The Panthers beat out Pana by 13 pins 4,894 to 4,881.
Alexia Johnson led Eisenhower with a 183.3 average over six games, followed by Faith Bibby (176.7) and Ashley Russell (175.5).
Also advancing to sectional as a team were Hoopeston and Taylorville. The four teams advance to the Minooka Sectional which will be played at Echo Bowling Lanes in Morris Saturday, Feb. 9.
Advancing as an individual was Kaela Durbin from MacArthur who bowled an average 177.7 over the six games.