BLOOMINGTON -- When Austin Staley was a freshman, he reached the semistate in the IHSAA wrestling tournament. He's been trying to get back there ever since, and Saturday Northview High School senior made it.
Staley ran his record to 36-6 while winning the 130-pound championship in the IHSAA wrestling regional at Bloomington South High School.
Staley and teammate Cory Grigsby will be practicing this week to compete in the semistate at Evansville Reitz High School. Grigsby, who finished seconds short of the 119-pound title, is going to the semistate as regional runnerup.
"I'm excited for Cory and Austin because of their accomplishment of getting into the semistate," Northview Coach Dan Mikesell said.
Staley set the tone in the 130-pound championship match with Kurt Kinser. When the whistle blew, Staley charged Kinser like a Pitbull and quickly built a 5-0 lead on the scoreboard.
"Last week [in the sectional, Kinser] beat me 3-2. Last week I let him set the tone and I got beat," Staley said after the 11-6 decision.
After the quick start, Staley settled into the match. "I needed to calm down a little bit because I didn't want to get thrown on my back," Staley said.
Instead Staley threw Kinser and it appeared the Bloomington South sophomore was dazed when his head hit the mat. However, the two officials didn't stop the match and seconds later, Kinser made an escape, making the score 8-3 going into the third and final two-minute period, where the victory was never in doubt.
Grigsby, a junior, is going to the semistate for the second year in a row. Last year he lost in the second round, one victory away from the state finals.
Grigsby, 36-2 for the year, appeared to be headed for the 119-pound championship. He pinned Tyler Zimmer of Bedford-North Lawrence at 2:33 in the first round of regional action and scored a 5-3 win over Josh Keen of Bloomington North in the semifinals.
In the title match, Grigsby had a two-point lead on Kyle Cooper of Columbus East with 25 seconds left in the match. Cooper made a desperation lunge for a two-point takedown to tie the score. And at the very moment the final buzzer sounded, the official slapped the mat giving Cooper a pin victory at 5:59.
While happy to have two wrestlers in the semistate, Coach Mikesell went into the regional believing five of the seven Northview entries might advance, "... if we wrestled well," the coach said.
Tony Sanabria, with a final record of 32-9, nearly made it three, but lost the match for third place in the 275-pound class to Jennings County's Shane Jackson. Sanabria pinned Madison's Keith Neece at 5:11 in the first round of the tournament, but lost to WIC rival and eventual champion Tom Nero of Sullivan in the semifinals by pin at 2:55. Jackson pinned Sanabria at 1:51 in the consolation round.
Derek Mroczek, Brent Withers, Doug Porter and Jeremiah Allen lost their first-round matches in the regional.
"Tony Sanabria gave it his all and Jeremiah Allen, I thought had a good chance. Mroczek had a tough draw, but he's a good enough athlete he could have beat [Mike Miller of Madison]. And Brent Withers is just a junior and he gave [Chaz Richart of Jennings County] all he wanted for a couple of periods," Mikesell said.
"All and all, I'm pretty happy with those guys, even though they didn't get [to the semistate]," the coach added.
For seniors Mroczek and Porter the regional wrapped up their high school careers. Mroczek finished with a 35-5 record and Porter 28-11 this season.
"Derek had a good season for me. He did everything I wanted him to do, other than winning today. I'm a little disappointed for Doug Porter because he had a tremendous season," Mikesell said.
IHSAA Westling Regional
Saturday at Bloomington South High School
Particiting schools: Bedford North Lawrence (BNL), Bloomington North (BN), Bloomington South (BS), Brown County (BC), Columbus East (CE), Columbus North (CN), Edgewood (E), Jennings County (JC), Madison (M), Northview (Nv), Owen Valley (OV), Scottsburg (Scot), Seymour (Sey), Southwestern (Sw), Sullivan (Sul), Terre Haute North (THN), Terre Haute South
(THS), West Vigo (WV).
Northview Weight Classes
119 -- First round: Cory Grigsby (Nv) def. Tyler Zimmer (BNL) fall 2:33; Kyle Cooper (CE) def. Paul McKee (THN) 16-2 dec.; Semifinals: Grigsby (Nv) def. Josh Keen (BN) 11-6 dec.; Championship: Cooper (CE) def. Grigsby (Nv) fall 5:59.
130 -- Jimmy Russell (JC) def. Paul Creasey (WV) 12-8 dec.; Austin Staley (Nv) def. Daniel Grace (M) 9-1 dec.; Tom Glick (CE) def. Montie Tomey (Sul) 8-3 dec.; Semifinals: Staley (Nv) def. Glick (CE) 7-2 dec.; Championship: Staley (Nv) def. Kurt Kinser (BS) 11-6 dec.
145 -- First round: Michael Miller (M) def. Derek Mroczek (Nv) fall 3:12; Patrick Smith (Sey) def. Bryan Loudin (THN) 10-9 dec. Championship: Michael Miller (M) def. Kelley Deckard (BS) injury default.
152 -- First round: Chaz Richart (JC) def. Brent Withers (Nv) fall 2:52; Championship: Bryce Kent (BS) def. Chaz Richart (JC) 1-0 dec.
160 -- First round: Derek Mullins (Sey) def. Christopher Steward (THN) fall 3:49; Randy Buffington (Scot) def. Doug Porter (Nv) 11-5 dec.; Championship: Chris Branam (BS) def. Derek Mullins (Sey) 5-2 dec.
215 -- First round: LaShawn Tyler (THN) def. Frank Biesen (M) fall 1:57; James Edwards (JC) def. Cale Madsen (THS) fall 3:20; Travis Herron (CN) def. Jeremiah Allen (Nv) fall 1:30; Semifinals: Tyler (THN) def. Edwards (JC) 17-5 dec.; Travis Herron (CN) def. Kale Culp (OV) fall 5:55; Championship: Tyler (THN) def. Herron (CN) fall 1:23.
275 -- First round: Jeremy Helton (Sey) def. Eric Atterson (THN) 5-1 dec.; Tony Sanabria (Nv) def. Keith Neece (M) fall 5:11; Tommy Nero (Sul) def. Tim Lashua (CE) fall 1:56; Semfinals: Nero (Sul) def. Sanabria (Nv) fall 2:55; 3rd place: Jackson (JC) def. Sanabria (Nv) fall 1:51;
Championship: Nero (Sul) def. Helton (Sey) fall :50.