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Wrestling: Sandburg captures SouthWest Suburban Conference Tournament title

Sandburg’s Alante Walker reacts after defeating Homewood-Flossmoor’s Connor Bandy 145-pound championship match. | Ray Luna~For Sun-Times Media

Sandburg’s Alante Walker reacts after defeating Homewood-Flossmoor’s Connor Bandy in the 145-pound championship match. | Ray Luna~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 21, 2013 6:34AM



The SouthWest Suburban Tournament still belongs to reigning Class 3A state champion Sandburg.

The Eagles sent eight wrestlers to the finals Saturday in Joliet and captured five titles, behind Alante Walker (145 pounds), C.J. Brucki (160), Colin Holler (170), Ricky Robertson (182) and Bill Gore (220).

Holler, a three-time state medalist, bookends his career with SWSC Tournament titles. He won the 119-pound crown as a freshman but finished second his sophomore and junior years.

“The last two years I wrestled some tough guys in the finals,” Holler said. “I figured I might as well go all out my last year and wrestle like I have nothing to lose. I couldn’t let it get by me.”

Sandburg took home the unofficial team title with 269 points. Lincoln-Way Central was runner-up with 230 and received a second conference championship from senior Robbie Mikenis (138). Lockport (173) was third in the 16-team field.

“Something felt different about this week,” Mikenis said. “I felt like this was the best I’ve wrestled all year. We had great team practices all week.”

In one of the most star-studded matches of the event, Thornton’s reigning individual state champ, Kris Williams, downed Lockport state medalist Brian Rossi for the 113-pound title. Williams, a sophomore, displayed uncanny quickness on his first takedown and went on to win his second conference title by a 9-5 decision.

“Rossi’s definitely the toughest guy I’ve faced all season,” Williams said. “He came out aggressive. I’m used to being the aggressor so I had to put him back on his heels.”

Lincoln-Way East and Joliet Central notched two individual champs apiece.East’s Kyle Langenderfer (152) and Central’s Trayvon Zabala (120) became three-time titleholders in the process. Nick Allegretti won at 285 for the Griffins and Sharod Wilson repeated as the 182-pound titleholder for Joliet Central.

Homwood-Flossmoor’s Mike Burke (106), Bradley’s Jacob Igartua (126) and Lincoln-Way West’s Kyle Rodriguez (132) rounded out the podium-toppers.



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