Six sectional qualifiers. Three regional champions.
That’s just part of the list of accomplishments Saturday for the Pekin wrestling team at the Class 3A Quincy Regional.
Each Pekin sectional qualifier placed at or above his regional seed, and the Dragons won five of six place matches.
Pekin’s Drake Hawkins (120), Brody Haynes (145) and Tyler Siddles (195) won regional titles. Ryan Haynes (113) placed second. Jared Dowell (170) and Andrew Krahn (220) were third.
The top three finishers in each weight class in regionals move on to sectionals. Dowell and Krahn won pressure-packed third-place matches in which the loser sees his season come to an end.
Brody Haynes, Dowell and Krahn were No. 4 seeds. So they weren’t predicted to move on to sectionals.
Ryan Haynes was the lone Pekin wrestler who lost a place match. But he fell 11-0 to Edwardsville’s Noah Surtin, who is ranked No. 7 in the country at 113.
This will be the second sectional appearance for Ryan Haynes, and the first for the other five Pekin sectional qualifiers.
“If someone would have told me before regionals that we’d have six sectional qualifiers, I think I would have laughed at him,” said Pekin coach John Jacobs.
“We hadn’t seen all the teams that competed at the Quincy Regional, but I figured we’d only get one or two kids through to sectionals because Class 3A is so tough. Our kids wrestled great. Each one of them battled like they wanted to wrestle at sectionals.”
It was the third straight tournament championship for Siddles (31-7), who had never won a tourney before he captured Quincy Invitational and Mid-Illini Conference titles before the regional. He’s a senior.
Here are the records of the other Pekin sectional qualifiers: Ryan Haynes (33-5), Hawkins (30-8), Brody Haynes (27-10), Dowell (22-9) and Krahn (21-18).
The Dragons will compete this weekend at the Alton Sectional. There will be a dozen wrestlers in each weight class, and the top four will move on to the state tournament.
Pekin filled only 10 of 14 weight classes at the Quincy Regional but finished in fourth place among nine teams.
Edwardsville (177), Belleville West (118.5) and Collinsville (117.5) placed in front of the Dragons (112.5). Quincy (95.5), Alton (86), Belleville East (76.5), Granite City (72) and O’Fallon (66.5) trailed Pekin.
Steve Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.