Two Litchfield Middle School wrestlers ended their seasons on the state medalist podium on Saturday, March 9, at the IESA State Wrestling Tournament at the Convocation Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University in Dekalb.
Eighth graders Alex Powell and Ashtin Carver both finished their middle school careers with sixth place medals from the state tournament, while their teammates, fifth grader Vincent Moore and seventh grader Brennen McLarty, got their first taste of state wrestling.
Powell would pick up a 4-2 win over Samuel Begler of Braidwood Reed-Custer in his first match, before losing to Edgar Albino of Gurnee Viking in a 4-0 dec. In the wrestlebacks, Powell would beat Connor Kelly of Darien Eisenhower by tech fall 15-0 and Logan Witt of Pingree Grove Cambridge Lakes by fall at the 3:03 mark to guarantee him a spot on the podium. In his final two matches, Powell would lose a close 6-2 match to Jude Finch of Taylor Ridge Rockridge, then fell to Nolan Mrozowski of Rochester in an 8-0 major decision.
Carver would narrowly lose his first match, a 2-0 dec. to Avery Speck of Glasford Illini Bluffs, but won his next three matches to earn a spot on the podium.
Carver beat out Donovin Fields of Darien Eisenhower by decision 6-4, Kaloyan Nikolov of Pingree Grove Cambridge Lakes by decision 4-2 and Tyler Thiem of Taylor Ridge Rockridge by decision 11-4. In the wrestleback semifinal, Carver lost a 5-0 decision to Mataeo Blessing of Coal City, then ended the day in a rematch against Speck by default at the 3:14 mark of the fifth place match.
The two medals mark the first time Litchfield has medalled at state since 2014, when Collin Davidson took second at 85 pounds and Cam Lee was sixth at 90 pounds. Powell and Carver have combined for 199 wins in their middle school careers (105 for Powell and 94 for Carver), with five trips to the IESA State Finals between them (three for Powell and two for Carver).
Moore and McLarty would both go 0-2 at the meet, but would gain some valuable experience at Dekalb that should help them in the future. The future for Powell and Carver is at the next level, where they will join Powell’s older brother, Carter, on the Litchfield High School wrestling team next year.
IESA Class A State Wrestling Meet
March 8-9 at Dekalb
65: Vincent Moore - lost to Jacob Mosier (Colfax Ridgeview) by fall at 3:32; lost to Patrick Young (Genoa Kingston) by dec. 9-5.
85: Alex Powell - def. Samuel Begler (Braidwood Reed-Custer) by dec. 4-2; lost to Edgar Albino (Gurnee Viking) by dec. 4-0; def. Connor Kelly (Darien Eisenhower) by tech fall 15-0; def. Logan Witt (Pingree Grove Cambridge Lakes) by fall at 3:03; lost to Jude Finch (Taylor Ridge Rockridge) by dec. 6-2; lost to Nolan Mrozowski (Rochester) by maj. dec. 8-0 to finish sixth
95: Ashtin Carver - lost to Avery Speck (Glasford Illini Bluffs) by dec. 2-0; def. Donovin Fields (Darien Eisenhower) by dec. 6-4; def. Kaloyan Nikolov (Pingree Grove Cambridge Lakes) by dec. 4-2; def. Tyler Thiem (Taylor Ridge Rockridge) by dec. 11-4; lost to Mataeo Blessing (Coal City) by dec. 5-0; lost to Avery Speck (Glasford Illini Bluffs) by default at 3:14 to finish sixth
275: Brennen McLarty - lost to Gunnar Berg (Braidwood Reed-Custer) by fall at 0:43; lost to Owen Bohne (Genoa Kingston) by fall at 0:20