Three Redbird wrestlers head to sectionals

Dylan Polk TimesNewspapers

The Metamora wrestling team sent three grapplers to the sectionals and placed fifth in team scoring Saturday at the IHSA Class 2A regional at Metamora.

Senior Lucas Munter took the Redbirds’ only weight class title of the day, topping East Peoria senior Bryce Sandoval with a 4-minute, 27-second fall to claim the 145-pound division.

Munter (28-10) opened with a 1-minute, 14-second fall over Morton’s Pat Rettke, then overcame Washington’s Kyle Goin on a 4-minute, 52-second fall in the semifinals.

Metamora senior Ryan Brooks also advanced to sectionals, taking second place in the 113-pound division.

Brooks (25-6) opened with a 6-0 decision over East Peoria’s Thayer Stanford, then ousted Bloomington’s Julian Montenegro with a 4-3 decision.

However, Washington sophomore Dack Punke took a 3-minute technical fall over Brooks to claim the division crown.

Finally, Metamora senior Josh Bernius (28-12) took second place in the 170-pound bracket to round out the Redbirds’ sectional qualifiers.

Bernius was ousted from the championship bracket with a 5-minute, 21-second fall to Bartonville Limestone senior Jaylon Moore, but advanced to the third-place bout with a 3-2 decision over East Peoria’s Clarence Gomez.

Bernius met again with Moore in the third-place bout, reversing the earlier loss with a  8-2 decision to take third place.

However, Bloomington’s Shawn Safford was disqualified for biting in the championship bout against Washington sophomore Jacob Warner.

The DQ gave Bernius second place, and Moore fourth.

Munter, Brooks and Bernius will compete in the IHSA Class 2A sectional Friday and Saturday at Sterling.

Also placing in the top four finishers for Metamora were freshman Xavier Gutierrez (126) and junior Max Ward (132).

Washington dominated the team standings, with 10 first-place finishers and 12 sectional qualifiers, putting the Panthers in first place with 269 points.

Bloomington placed second with 132 points, followed by East Peoria with 98.5, Limestone with 89 and Metamora with 81.

Morton placed sixth with 69 points, while Peoria High followed with 68.

Normal Community West took eighth place with 47 points, and Peoria Manual rounded out the team standings with 18 points.