CLINTON -- The Northview Knights won the individual battle during Saturday's Western Indiana Conference wrestling tournament, crowning five champions. However, it was Sullivan that won the team war by a scant four points to score the school's first title since 1981 at South Vermillion High School.
The Arrows had three individual champions and three runner-up finishes, but garnered enough points in the consolation rounds to edge past the Knights, who were the two-time defending champions, 219.5 to 215.5. Brown County was third with 191 points, edging the host Wildcats by a point. Edgewood, West Vigo and Owen Valley wrapped up the team race.
The Knights got titles from seniors Aaron See (220), Caleb Nicosin (106) and Brody Girton at 160 pounds. Juniors Jesse Miller (195) and Justin Sampson (285) were also victors. Baylor Girton was the runner-up to third-ranked Quincy Richey of Brown County.
"I was really happy with our seniors. I thought they came out and did what they had to do. We got a second and three firsts. You can't ask for much better than that," Northview coach Dan Mikesell said. "The second-place was to one of the toughest kids in the state. There were just some things like byes that we couldn't control that bit us in the end."
Northview had the most individual champions, led by Nicosin, who made short work of the Wildcats' Tanner Bishop in the championship bout at 106 pounds. Nicosin's victory was his fourth straight WIC title in two different weight classes. He joins Brown County's Mitchell Richey and Sullivan's Jade McCammon as the only wrestlers to win the title in each of their four years.
"This means a lot," Nicosin said in regards to his championship string. "After my sophomore year I really wanted it since I'd already won it twice. Not many people have done it (winning a title all four years). This is what I've been working towards all four years. I wanted to come out and wrestle like I do every match and I thought it would fall into place."
"That was pretty special, he was pretty pumped up and his family was pumped up," Mikesell said regarding Nicosin's fourth championship. "He had a lot of people here to watch him, so I was really happy for him. It's a good accomplishment. Hopefully Caleb can use this as momentum into the state tournament."
Miller, a No. 2 seed, faced West Vigo's Ben Bird in the championship match looking for a bit of revenge after falling 3-0 in the season's dual match between the schools. However, Miller forced the match into overtime and then put Bird on his back for a two-point take down and three back points to earn a 7-2 championship at 195 pounds.
"Jesse wrestled that kid last week at West Vigo and we've worked to figure out what he was going to do to us," Mikesell said. "We've been working hard on our offense off of (Bird's) tie-ups. It paid off today. I think what really helped is that these kids have had some really good practices leading up to today."
See was up next at 220 pounds and he quickly put Owen Valley's Logan Britton on his back for a fall in 48 seconds. The victory was See's third straight conference championship for the Knights. Sampson closed out the tourney with a workman-like effort to score a 6-1 victory against Sullivan's Caleb Hancock.
"Justin just doesn't make a lot of mistakes. He's going to beat some good people and surprise some people," Mikesell said of his junior heavyweight. "That's why we do all the stuff in the off season, to come out of nowhere from being a JV wrestler to a conference champion is a pretty good accomplishment."
"Brody and Baylor both wrestled as good as they could. Brody came through with pins when we needed them and that added to our team score," Mikesell said. "Baylor pinned a kid he barely beat the week before. I'm proud of them, they improved from the week before and Aaron (See) was just dominant today."
The Knights also got third-place finishes from Jackson Copper (132) and Trey Boor (138) with Trance Kelley (126) and Shane Ryan (120) finishing fourth.
Sullivan's champions included Nate Sullivan (120), Cory Orndorff (126) and Jed Cox (145). Brown County's winners were Austin Ely (113), Aaron Bullock (132), Richey at 152 and Brett Cline at 182. West Vigo's Jacob Creasey won at 138 and Edgewood's Damien Chambers won at 170.
"Hats off to Sullivan, we had five champions and we haven't had five champions in a few years," Mikesell said. "That's the most of any team. We talked about it before the consolation matches that those matches are critically important for points at the end. For the most part I thought our guys wrestled as good as they could have. So our young guys obviously have to get after it in the off season to come back and replace our guys that are seniors."