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Benton wrestlers second at 1A Robinson Regional


 
By Scott Mees
updated: 2/5/2019 8:44 AM

The Benton wrestling team enjoyed a good day on Saturday at the tough Robinson Class 1A Regional.

The Rangers amassed 174 points to finish in second place as a team. Mount Carmel won the event with 182.5 points, and Robinson took third with 167.5.

"We performed about as good as we could have hoped," said Benton coach Aaron Robinson. "We had two or three guys that had chances to win and couldn't kind of tie it together, and that was the story.

"Overall, anytime you can get five guys in the finals, which is what we had, that's a good day," Robinson said. "It was a three-team race, and I don't think any other regional in Southern Illinois had three teams that could have won it. I was really happy with our performance."

Three individuals won their respective weight classes for Benton. At 106 pounds, senior Seth Padovic defeated Fairfield's Cole Simpson by fall at 3:41.

Padovic improved to 14-1 on the season.

"We knew Seth had a chance to be good, and he's dealt with a lot of injuries this year and missed several matches," Robinson said of Padovic. "He has fought back from those injuries and just completely dominated his bracket from start to finish."

Peyton Swigonski, a sophomore, claimed victory at 132 pounds. He beat Zeth Stallings of Lawrenceville by fall at 0:38. Swigonski is 33-4 this season.

"He is two-for-two in regional title matches," Robinson said. "He beat a kid that was a state qualifier last year, and it ended up being a crazy match. He's had a great year for us."

At 285 pounds, Gabe Craig picked up a win over Lawrenceville's Nolan Tewell by decision, 8-5. The big sophomore enhanced his record to 34-6.

"We were a little nervous about Gabe, and the kid he wrestled in the semifinals already had a head-to-head win against him early in the season," Robinson said. "Gabe pinned him pretty easily in the semifinals. In the finals, his opponent finished sixth in the state last year. Gabe came out and just looked great today. He beat him from start to finish. He lit him up a bunch, and that was a quality win for him."

Benton had two other wrestlers who earned second-places finishes. Garrett Cardwell fell to Robinson's Grayson Wolf in the 195-pound division.

At 220 pounds, Carston Sanders was defeated by Harrisburg's Tucker Bryant. Jadon Stark, a senior at Benton, won his third-place match at 182 pounds over Ike Downen (Fairfield).

Benton's wrestlers will compete at the Carterville Sectional on Saturday.

"It's going to be tough," Robinson said. "Once you get to the sectional, there are no more easy matches. I like our chances to win a lot of our first-round matches, and that's how we approach things. Everybody is so good at this point that you can win or lose in your first match."