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Hinsdale South's Justin Maslow, 138, wrestles Highland Park's Dom Ciancio. Hinsdale Central HS hosted the 46th Annual Rex Whitlatch Wrestling Invitational Saturday. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media

A trip to Fargo, N.D., last summer for Junior Nationals and more workouts with the Naperville-based Overtime club have made a difference for Hinsdale South junior wrestler Justin Maslow.

Maslow is on a roll heading into Hinsdale South’s own triple dual at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The Darien resident has taken the lessons learned from an early loss in last year’s Class 3A De La Salle sectional to bounce back with another promising season. Maslow (25-2 at 145 pounds) is poised to crack the top 12 weekly rankings by IllinoisMatmen.com. He is listed as an honorable mention after winning the Rich East Invitational Dec. 15 with a 10-3 victory over Shepard’s Quintin Stirczyk.

Maslow also took second place at the Hinsdale South Invitational Dec. 1. In Palatine’s Berman Classic Dec. 28, Maslow took third place with a 10-2 win over St. Charles East’s Keone Devaun. The only other Hinsdale South wrestler to place was freshman Joshua King (14-4) at 220.

“I went 2-2 at Fargo for my first time (there),” Maslow said. “It was a learning experience. That was good. That helped with my technique and my skills.”

After making the commitment to compete at Junior Nationals, Maslow spent more time than ever at Overtime, which has helped develop more than 100 state champions from Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. One of Overtime’s state champions (2011) is former Hinsdale South wrestler Sebastian Pique, who now competes for Sandburg.

“They push you a lot harder. They could be college coaches, all of them,” Maslow said.

One of the skills that has produced wins for Maslow this season is improved movement on his feet. Another of his strengths is positioning on top.

“I don’t get many back points. This year, I have taken people down more consistently,” Maslow said.

During the offseason, Maslow attended Overtime three times a week and then practiced six times a week in the month leading up to Fargo.

Maslow’s only defeats this season have been to wrestlers from Joliet Central and Bradley-Bourbonnais.

He finished last season with a 29-9 record and lost in the first round of the sectional to Sandburg’s Mitch Cook, 6-5. At the Lyons regional, he fell in the 138 pound final to Hinsdale Central’s Ernest Battaglia.

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