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Wrestling: Dylan Ragusin returns to state for fourth time, leads Montini's 14 qualifiers

Montini's Dylan Ragusin and St. Charles East's Jake Penzato wrestle in their 126-pound championship match at the Conant wrestling sectional meet Saturday in Hoffman Estates.
Montini's Dylan Ragusin and St. Charles East's Jake Penzato wrestle in their 126-pound championship match at the Conant wrestling sectional meet Saturday in Hoffman Estates.

HOFFMAN ESTATES – Dylan Ragusin's motivation for success isn't difficult to understand.

Ragusin, a Montini senior, is a four-time state qualifier after earning first place by technical fall over St. Charles East's Jake Penzato in the 126-pound championship match at the Class 3A Conant Sectional Saturday.

"I feel like a big part of the motivation is just knowing what it feels like," Ragusin said. "I've been on both ends of the spectrum. I've lost in the state finals twice. I've also won it once now."

"I know how both feelings [are]," Ragusin' continued. "I know how easy it is to crack under that pressure. So, every day, I'm just going in there [and] giving it my all in the practice room. Do whatever it takes to not get that feeling that I had my freshman and sophomore year."

Ragusin lost in the 106-pound state finals and then again at 113 the following season. He finally broke through with a 126-pound title last year over Warren's Joel Vandervere by a 4-2 decision.

Ragusin is among 14 qualifiers Montini is sending to Champaign next weekends, as the Broncos qualified in every weight class.

Nick Gonzalez (113), Nain Vazquez (120), Joe Roberts (152), Cooper Wettig (170), Trevor Swier (182) and Josh LaBarbera (220) all earned championships in their respective weight classes.

Fidel Mayora, the Class 3A state runner-up last season at 145 pounds, lost in an upset to Batavia's Mike Caliendo in a 3-2 decision in the 145 final. Entering sectionals, Mayora was 38-5 and ranked No. 1 in his weight class by Illinois Matmen.

"[Mayora is] a hard hand-fighter," Caliendo said. "He was really strong on those ties, but I was able to move them and get to my shots."

Swier prevailed in an 11-5 decision over Glenbard North's Alonzo Smiley for the 182-pound title. He's headed to state for his fourth time.

"It's just good to see that all the hard work you put in comes to fruition," Swier said. "You've got something concrete that you can base your results off of and show that it's not all in vain. That, you're working towards the goal with the people that you grind with everyday."

Swier took third at state last season at the same weight class.

"I lost in the first round last year and battled all the way back to third," Swier said. "That was a tough event, but [I have] different plans for this year."

Joe Fernau (106), Ethan Stiles (132) Brayden Thompson (160) and Colin Baker (285) all finished in third.

Braden Stauffenberg (138) and Nathan Wemstrom (195) rounded out the brilliant Montini team showing with fourth place finishes.

Willowbrook's Elijah Brockie (195) is its lone state qualifier after prevailing in the title match over Maine South's Clay Cichowski in an 8-2 decision.

Wheaton North has no state qualifiers this year after five wrestlers fell in the consolation semis. Glenbard West has two state qualifiers: Jakub Maciorowski (195) took third and Philip Dozier (182) took fourth.

York's Josh Mathiasen (285) took second, losing in a 9-2 decision to Glenbard North's Paulie Robertson.

Glenbard East is sending two to Champaign. Miguel Garcia (106) took second and Doug Pham (170) took fourth. Pham pinned Wheaton North's Nathan Love in the consolation semifinals to punch his first ticket to state.

"I'm just so thankful for all my coaches and everything they've done for me," Pham said following his semifinal match. "None of this would be possible without my coaches. I have to thank them all for it."

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