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Extreme balance leads No. 25 Chicago Mt. Carmel to Cheesehead Invitational title

Despite having just one finalist (and champion) in No. 15 Colton Drousias at 113 pounds, it was No. 25 Chicago (Ill.) Mt. Carmel that emerged on top of the team standings at the Cheesehead Invitational this weekend near Green Bay, Wis. The Caravan used the strength of nine top six placers, plus a tenth wrestler that would finish ninth (top place in the "middle" eight-man bracket) to score 601.5 points in the tournament.

Not only that, but they also went 8-1 in matches during the Saturday night program where first through sixth were determined. Taking home third were Reihan Uribe (120), Noah Mis (126), Asa Terrell (170), and Nikolas Mischka (220); fifth place went to Jordan Blew (106), Connor Gaynor (138), and Dan Benoit (182); while Robert Bowman (195) finished sixth. Ninth place went to Alex Lalezas (132); other placers were two in 10th, one in 12th, and one in 13th.

Runner-up in the standings went to No. 23 Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.) with 542.5 points, who were led by No. 5 Patrick Kennedy, the champion at 170 pounds. The Komets also had wrestlers place second, third, fourth (two), fifth, and eighth among their top nine place finishers.

Finishing third was No. 50 Stoughton (Wis.) with 468.5 points, and they were led by No. 6 Nicolar Rivera, the champion at 106 pounds. They also had runner-ups in Hunter Lewis (138) and Luke Mechler (145) with other top nine placers finishing third, fourth, fifth, and ninth.

Fourth in the standing was No. 14 Southeast Polk (Iowa) with 463.5 points, though their performance was adversely impacted by having backups at two weight classes where the starter is state ranked to place. The Rams were led by a pair of weight class champions in No. 16 Lance Runyon (152) and No. 14 Cade Devos (160), each having a quality win in their championship bout; Runyon beat Baylor Fernandes (Lockport, Ill.) 7-2, while Devos upended No. 13 Joshua Otto (Arrowhead, Wis.) 3-2 in his final. Additional placers inside the top nine were second, sixth, eighth, and three in ninth. The eight top nine placers was tied second most along with DeKalb (Ill.), behind the ten of Mt. Carmel.

The other nationally ranked team, No. 21 Simley (Minn.) finished sixth with 453 points, as they were navigating the absence of the nation's top overall senior Greg Kerkvliet. The Spartans still had a weight class champion in Ryan Sokol (132), while Chase DeBlaere (120) placed second. Addition top nine placers took third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh.

Of note was Edwardsville (Ill.) with three weight class champions in No. 12 Noah Surtin (120), No. 8 Luke Odom (138), and Josh Anderson (220). Surtin won what was the tournament's most anticipated weight prior to the tournament; however, during the tournament No. 6 Matthew Ramos (Lockport, Ill.) suffered an injury during the quarterfinal round while No. 17 Cullan Schriever (Mason City, Iowa) was injured in preliminary pool competition on Friday. They finished seventh.

Rounding out the weight class champions were No. 18 Anthony Molton (Lockport, Ill.) at 126 pounds, Joey Bianchi (Two Rivers, Wis.) at 145, No. 10 Zach Glazier (Albert Lea, Minn.) at 182, Blah Dahnweih (DeKalb, Ill.) at 195, and Brett Johnson (Desert Vista, Ariz.) at 285. Dahnweih beat No. 18 Gabe Christenson (Southeast Polk, Iowa) in his championship bout.

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