By THE HERALD-WHIG
Ken Mansell was quite pleased to see three of his Quincy Notre Dame wrestlers win individual titles Saturday at the Argenta-Oreana Invitational. He was just as happy though that all of his wrestlers placed.
The Raiders used that depth to claim second in the 16-team event, finishing 13 points behind champion Argenta-Oreana.
"It wasn't just the (individual) champions that did it," said Mansell, QND's coach. "The team points added up."
QND's Darren Stephens (120 pounds), Gage Stephens (138) and Jeffrey Haley (195) won the individual titles.
Darren Stephens' title was especially noteworthy because he defeated Oakwood's Ashton Haton 7-4 in the championship. Haton had defeated Stephens, who's now 20-4 this season, earlier in the year.
"Anytime you compete against a good team or a good individual as an athlete and lose, it's tough. How he responded is a testament to his character," Mansell said. "It was a huge win for Darren mentally. He turned a stumbling block into a stepping stone."
Gage Stephens used three pins to win his title. He's now two pins away from tying QND alumnus Matt Hugenberg's mark for most career pins in school history at 77. Stephens won the title by pinning P.J. Riley of Eisenhower in 5 minutes, 55 seconds and improved his record to 23-0.
Haley improved to 24-1 for the season after defeating Gavin Kitson of Decatur MacArthur 11-7 to win the title.
"It was one of the more exciting matches of the day and literally come down to the final 10 seconds," Mansell said.
Riley Giesing (113) and Blake Schutte (160) placed second in their weight classes and improved their records to 19-7 and 24-4, respectively. Jonathan Horak (126) took third, Jake Vahlkamp (170) placed fourth, Chad Thompson (152) finished fifth, Jacob Abell (132) claimed seventh and Dolan Eickelschulte (145) and Blake Riney (182) both placed eighth.