Lincoln-Way West’s Ruettiger doesn’t waste time
CHAMPAIGN — It might have been Valentine’s Day, but Lincoln-Way West’s Josh Ruettiger was out to break a heart.
The 152-pounder downed Fenwick’s Tony Triggiano a mere 10 seconds into their first-round match Thursday at Assembly Hall. It will go down as the second-fastest pin in state tournament history behind Dan Ruettiger — Josh’s cousin — had scored a pin in just nine seconds in 2004 for Providence.
“I’m not concerned with records. I’m just happy I won,” Josh Ruettiger said. “Last year was tough going back to the hotel with a loss, hoping your kid would win the next day (to get a spot in the consolation bracket). It’s great to know it’s in my hands now.”
Ruettiger (32-12) and Jake Bohne (38-10), a winner at 170, were two of Lincoln-Way West’s 10 qualifiers with state meet experience. The lack of seasoning didn’t hinder the Warriors from advancing seven to the next round, second-best in Class 2A behind Montini’s 10 quarterfinalists.
Tinley Park’s Derek (220 pounds) and Eric Schultz (138), who are cousins, both advanced to the 2A quarterfinals by gutting out decisions.
In 113-pound matches with Class 3A repercussions, Lockport state medalist Brian Rossi topped Sandburg’s Jim Pellegrino via first-round fall and Thornton’s reigning state champ, Kris Williams, downed Lincoln-Way Central’s Ian Meagher by a 10-6 decision.
Also winning at 113 were Providence’s Ronald Triche and Marist’s Mark Duda, a state finalist in the weight class a season ago.
“With so many good wrestlers in the area, it’s really easy to push yourself because you don’t want to fall behind anyone else,” Triche said.
For the Class 3A giants, Marist sent seven to the quarterfinals, led by Tom Howell (220). Sandburg, paced by a John Pellegrino victory at 138, sends six.
In possibly the days biggest shocker, Lemont’s Chris Giatras, a state medalist last season, fell to Washington’s Colin Carr 8-4.