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Lincoln-Way East’s Kyle Langenderfer takes down Schaumburg’s Luke Gruszka in the championship, 152 pound match at Lincoln-Way East, Saturday January, 12, 2013. | Ray Luna ~ For Sun-Times Media
Lincoln-Way East’s Kyle Langenderfer is a force in any weight class.
Certified at 145, the reigning state champ romped through the 152-pound field on Saturday with three pins and a technical fall to capture the Most Outstanding Wrestler award at the 16-team Lincoln-Way East Illini Classic.
“I haven’t done too shabby at 152,” Langenderfer said. “But I’m taking the undefeated record with a grain of salt. It looks good in the record book, but I’m more concerned with the end result, which is a state title.
Langenderfer (31-0) secured takedowns at will in his 16-1 title win over Schaumburg’s Luke Gruszka.
“I’ve been putting in extra work on my feet,” added Langenderfer, an Illinois commit. “I landed 23 takedowns over the weekend.”
In the team standings, Marist repeated as Illini Classic Champion, which mandates a coach to have wrestled at Illinois for tournament entry.
Marist scored 251.5 points, Harlem finished second with 216 and St. Rita placed third with 180.5.
Marist entered wrestlers in 12 of 14 weight classes and pushed 11 through to the semis. Seven Redhawks made the finals as Mark Duda (113), Peter Andreotti (160), Alex Benoit (170) and Tom Howell (220) seized titles.
“This is one of my favorite tournaments,” Andreotti said. “It’s unique with all the Illinois coaches here, and I really went out there and tried to wrestle my best.”
Andreotti secured the only fall of the finals, landing a beautiful crusher on Schaumburg’s Sadarriss Patterson to frame a second period pin.
St. Rita received titles from freshman Jake Silzer (106) and senior Jack Sears (182).“This is my first year wrestling since my freshman year,” Sears said. “I missed the last two years with football injuries, but it’s my senior year and I wanted to come back.”
Sears appeared to badly injure his knee in the final period of his title match, but he limped to the center of the mat and survived a 3-1 decision over Niles West’s Vaughn Monreal-Berner.
Hinsdale Central and Harlem finished with two titleholders each. Central received titles from Juwan Edmund (138) and undefeated Brian Allen (285), while Harlem's returning state champion Jordan Northrup won at 126 pounds and Sage Hecox conquered the 195-pound field.
Rounding out the podium toppers were Morris's Kenny Baldridge (120), Lincoln-Way West’s Kyle Rodriguez (132) and Minooka freshman Carson Oughton (145).