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Vela leading St. Charles East

01/23/2013, 3:15pm CST
By Gary Larsen

St. Charles East put forth a strong performance at last weekend’s Upstate Eight Conference tournament and Isaiah Vela was a huge reason why.

Waubonsie Valley's Jimmy Davis escapes St. Charles East's Isaiah Vela in their 132-pound championship match Saturday in the Upstate Eight meet at Batavia. Vela won 9-7. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media

St. Charles East’s Isaiah Vela has a 29-1 record and is ranked seventh in Illinois at 132 pounds by Illinois Matmen, but Waubonsie Valley’s Jimmy Davis had Vela in a situation he hasn’t seen very often this year.

Davis took Vela to the mat with a five-point move in their Upstate Eight Conference title match at 132 pounds on Saturday, giving himself a 7-5 lead over Vela with time winding down in the third period.

“It kind of (ticked) me off when I got thrown,” Vela said.  “It’s not every day I get thrown to my back.”

With time ticking away, Vela managed to take Davis down and earn two near-fall points for a 9-7 decision win that gave the junior his first UEC title.

 “I was just trying to fight back at the end and do what I can, and I ended up pulling it out,” Vela said. “I’m pretty good on my feet and I was able to take him down. “

The Saints won the UEC River in duals this year and posted a 230-154 team scoring edge over Neuqua Valley at the two-day UEC tournament, hosted by Batavia.

“We’re practicing hard and in the second day here we went after (bonus points) way harder than we did on the first day,” said Saints senior Ryan Rubino. “The team is doing really good and we’re wrestling hard.”
Rubino (113) and Ramon Lopez (152) also won individual titles for the Saints, who also got seconds from Anthony Rubino (106) and Brad Kearbey (160) and thirds from Jake Mende (138), Keone Derain (145), Cam Carlson (170) and Jordan Meadows (182).

Bartlett finished sixth at Batavia, led by returning state champion and three-time UEC champion Sal Annoreno (138), a second from Brian Boyle (152), fourths from Anthony Zipparro (120), Kenny Malekian (160), Ben Wiley (195) and Nathan Baer (285), and a sixth from Jake Dary (145).

Elgin’s seventh-place finish came thanks to a pair of titles from Jeff Morrow (106) and Ritchie Santana (195), a second from Zach McCullough (113), along with a fourth from Charlie Wiltgen (126) and a fifth from Dan Easter (120).

Santana moved to 26-2 with his 7-4 title-mat decision over Batavia’s Mickey Watson, in winning his first UEC title.

“(Watson) is a solid wrestler and I’m feeling a little under the weather, but I had a good game plan,” Santana said. “I went over it in my mind, convinced myself that I was going to win, and then made it happen.”

South Elgin placed ninth, with a second-place finish from Cory Pych (126), a third from Mike Perez (120), a fifth from Josh Menendez (132), and sixths from Ben Abraham (152) and Joe Garcia (170).

Wes Posholk (220) finished second for St. Charles North, which also got a trio of sixths from Conrad Noverini (113), Anthony Perrilli (120), and Kevin Deischer (138).

Alex Curtis (126) placed third for Streamwood, which also got fifths from Evan Klimek (182) and Alex Rader (285) and a sixth from Caleb Menendez (132).

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