CROWN POINT — In a bracketed tournament where wrestlers have to battle through three or four matches, their endurance level is put to the test.
Host Crown Point showed a lot of stamina in its Carnahan Memorial Invitational on Saturday. The Bulldogs won going away, racking up 262.5 points and coming away with eight individual champions. Wheeler was runner-up with 149 points, while Boone Grove and Lebanon tied for third with 147.
C.P.’s Jake Burford, who beat Hammond High’s Isaiah Watts 12-5 to take the 138-pound title, said his conditioning was a factor in pulling away in the third period from a 5-5 deadlock.
“I just try and stay in the best shape I can, hopefully I can get wins at the end of the match because that’s where conditioning comes into play,” he said.
C.P. coach Branden Lorek said his kids were focused on wrestling for six minutes and on their fundamentals.
“There’s no reason why we can’t wrestle as hard in the last 30 seconds as we do in the first 30 seconds,” he said.
Other individual champions for C.P. were Kaelin Kelly (126), Collin Taylor (132), Noah Hollendone (145), Noah Lamore (152), Oszkar Kasch (160), Ethan Potosky (182) and Michael Foster (285).
Burford said the entire team has been working hard in the room for invites just like the Carnahan.
“This was our first big tournament, and it feels good to wrestle at home,” he said.
Wheeler had three champs, Giovanni Diaz (106), Jose Diaz (113) and Trey Buehler (170). Buehler outlasted C.P.’s Mario Traficanti in overtime with a fall in one of day’s most competitive matches.
“I knew he was tired, so I felt alright, took a shot and I took him down,” said Buehler of the extra session. “It’s a big one for the rest of the season. … At the time he was ranked No. 2 in the semistate, and I was ranked No. 3. I’m excited, and I’ve got the No. 1 next week.”
Wheeler coach Jose Diaz said his team is improving, and heavyweight Jonathon Mollencup got a win by fall in the semifinals to give the Bearcats the needed points to get second place.
“We were in third place, losing to Boone Grove, so that pin and the last win was the reason we won,” he said. “Everybody, we got guys that won a match and contended throughout, and that’s what it takes.”
The tournament is named for C.P.’s first wrestling coach Carl Carnahan, who started the program and compiled a 155-18-7 mark in 18 years. He was killed on Christmas Eve in 1982 in an auto accident. The tourney is in his honor and memory.
“For us this is a big deal,” Lorek said. “Coach Scott Vlink did a great job of building this tournament, and we want to continue that tradition of creating a great wrestling environment and a great tournament.”
Hanover’s Alex Bautista was voted the meet’s most outstanding wrestler by the coaches for winning the 120-pound title. He took the title bout in a technical fall over Boone Grove’s Mac Magiera.
“Last weekend I had to clean up a lot of stuff so (Saturday) I kind of focused on that, tightening up my offense, my defense and everything,” he said.