Stewart wrestles his way to state tournament

At center, Waterloo senior wrestler Austin Stewart stands at the podium following his first place finish at the Class 2A Mahomet-Seymour Sectional on Saturday.

Austin Stewart has already made history this season for the Waterloo High School wrestling program. But he’s not done yet.

Stewart, a senior who wrestles in the 152-pound weight class, picked up his third straight individual championship this past weekend at the Class 2A Mahomet-Seymour Sectional to qualify for the IHSA individual state tournament to be held this weekend at State Farm Center in Champaign.

“He is now the first sectional champion in Waterloo wrestling history!” said Waterloo wrestling coach Pat Stewart, who happens to be Austin’s father.

Austin also won titles at the Lincoln Tournament and Mississippi Valley Conference Tournament, as well as becoming regional champion at Triad on Feb. 6.

He joins past WHS wrestling greats Pat Bieber and Paul Stewart — Austin’s older brother — as the only three Bulldog wrestlers to make state in the program’s history.

“His big brother, who wrestles at Millikin, told Austin, ‘impressive,'” said proud mother, Carrie Stewart.

Austin won three matches in the sectional, the first by a 17-12 decision, the second by a 7-3 decision and the final by pin. Austin pinned Marion sophomore Michael Cantrell for the sectional title.
He defeated Kai Broudoss-Cross of Mascoutah to win the individual regional title at Triad.

Austin enters the state tournament as the top seed in his weight class. His father thinks he has a good chance of picking up at least one win at state.

“He will wrestle Joey Davies of Tinley Park, who he pinned earlier this season at the Lincoln Tournament,” Pat Stewart said. “So, he has a great chance to advance to the second round at state.”

And that’s not all. With the three sectional wins, Austin raised his season record to 37-10, tying his brother Paul for most victories in a season. With a first round win at state, Austin will have another record all to himself.

Austin was named a defensive MVP on the football team this past fall and is a nominee for the school’s Vernie Moffitt award.

“What a year,” Carrie Stewart said of her younger son.

Joining Stewart at the Mahomet-Seymour Sectional this past weekend were WHS wrestling teammates Cory Cissell (126 pounds), Cody Cissell (132 pounds), Dalton Viglasky (138 pounds) and Kory Schaefer (182 pounds), but none of them advanced.

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