The Chesterton wrestling team placed four wrestlers in the top eight of
their weight class at the prestigious Al Smith Invitational at Mishawaka.
Senior Chris Katsafaros finished second at 145 pounds after falling to
Mishawaka’s Tristan Macri 2-1 in overtime in the finals.
“Chris was the victim of his conditioning,” Chesterton coach Chris Joll
said. “He had three great matches and then came up against a kid who was
trying not to lose and who was in better shape than us.”
Katsafaros picked up victories over Peru’s Colin Quin (:31), Hobart’s Justin
Leon (5:33) and Penn’s Joey Mammolenti (2:38) on his way to the finals.
“Chris will get in better shape and start picking up the pace in matches,”
Joll said. “His goal should be to place at State and his commitment to
conditioning will determine his reaching that goal or not.”
Senior Ryley Harlow finished fifth overall with wins over Pendleton Heights’
Dakota Johnson (1:26), Warsaw’s Ben Plummer (1:29), Bellmont’s Cody Fields
(:18), South Bend Adams’ Kali Boyd (1-0) and Goshen’s Hayden Schmucker
“I think Ryley had the best tournament,” Joll said. “He was in a weight
class with 10 really good guys. He lost his semis match and his conso semis
match by being too aggressive.
“His ability to learn over the course of 32 hours and adjust his approach to
matches was very impressive to me.”
Sawyer Hallas finished seventh at 152 pounds with wins over Bellmont’s Logan
Neher (5-4), Rochester’s Tyler Downhour (7-6), Lawrence North’s Ivory
Duerson (5-3 in OT) and Prairie Height’s Matt Neeley (:49).
“Sawyer is improving every single match,” Joll said. “He has finally started
to combine his athleticism with his wrestling and it has made a difference.
He still has room to improve and this final month should see him beating
very good DAC opponents.”
The final place winner was Jack Davison with an eighth place finish. Davison
beat Northwood’s Josh Chupp (3:49), South Bend Riley’s Alec Decocted (18-2)
and Elkhart Memorial’s Phillip Mathiak (14-9).
“Jack did a great job getting to the second day,” Joll said. “He seems small
for a 132 pounder, but still manages to stay in matches and score points.
His two losses the second day were ones that both had questionable calls
that could have tipped the match our way.”
Joe Ponda also picked up three wins in the tournament at 195 pounds, while
Kaitlin Loehmer (113), Matt Estill (120), Mike Double (126) and Tyler
Gillespie (182) all got two wins.