Three Waterloo wrestlers advanced to sectionals with strong performances Saturday in Mascoutah.
The Mississippi Valley Conference schools competed along with defending champion Cahokia, East St. Louis and Jacksonville in the Class 2A regional meet at Mascoutah. The top three finishers in each weight class advanced to this weekend’s sectional at Chatham-Glenwood.
The state tournament is Feb. 20-22 at Assembly Hall in Champaign.
The Bulldogs entered the match with high hopes of sending several wrestlers to sectionals after having one of its best seasons ever.
When the dust settled, Waterloo’s Pat Bieber, Paul Stewart and Zach Shaw advanced, while two other wrestlers just missed the cut.
Bieber, who wrestled last year at state, won the 182-pound class on Saturday. Entering the day with a record of 35-2, Bieber beat Joshua Griffin of Cahokia with a pin at the 3:52 mark.
Stewart, who entered the day with a 35-9 record, won the 138-pound class by avenging a loss earlier this season to Conner Godar of Jacksonville by pinning him at the 1:06 mark.
“Finishing in first place for Stewart and Bieber is huge heading into sectionals because they will get a first round bye,” coach Pat Stewart said. “Hopefully they will get a good draw out of the bye because it is a bracket style format. The top seeds will wrestle the lower remaining seeds.”
Zach Shaw, who wrestles in the 106-pound class, just missed winning first, losing a very close match to Chrishon Tucker of East St. Louis. Shaw was leading with one minute to go but Tucker was able to get a takedown.
Cory Cissell (113 pounds) and Mack Mundy (132 pounds) just missed qualifying for sectionals by placing fourth in their respective classes. Both will be sectional alternates. If a wrestler in their weight class can’t make it, they still might get to wrestle at sectionals.
As a team, the Bulldogs placed fourth out of nine schools on Saturday.
“With some good off-season work and weight training, we should be good next year,” coach Stewart said of his team. “We will lose four seniors, but we have a very good young team.”