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Area's top wrestlers converge on Decatur
By COLE COSGROVE
For Jeffersons Nick Vincent, todays regional wrestling tournament at Decatur seemed like a long-shot when he was out for eight weeks earlier this season with two fractured ribs.
After battling injuries his sophomore and junior seasons, Vincent didnt want to spend his senior year on the sidelines.
It really freaked me out, Vincent said. I was scared this would be the ending to my last real chance of doing something.
Vincent made the most of his shortened season by winning the 171-pound title at the SPSL meet.
Hes aiming just as high today.
Im hoping to come out first if I can, Vincent said.
Lofty goals are nothing new to Vincent, who is enrolled in Jeffersons International Baccalaureate program. He scored a 1440 on his SAT test and was accepted into the University of Southern Californias school of business.
On the mat, he uses his intelligence to his advantage, for sure, Jefferson coach Brett Lucas said. Hes just a great student. If other people on the team need help, hell help them with their homework. But youd never guess it if you met him.
Vincent agreed that he takes a cerebral approach to the physical sport.
I learn from match to match, Vincent said. I watch other people and analyze whats going on. When I watch myself, I breakdown specific things I can improve.
Another wrestler who takes a measured approach is Decatur junior Kyle Bressler, who is looking to wrestle for a championship tonight in his home gym.
Bressler is a defending regional champion. He finished fifth at state last season and is out to a 29-0 record this season.
At this point, were just taking it one match at a time, Decatur coach and Kyles father Mike Bressler said.
The top four wrestlers at regionals advance to next weekends state tournament. Wrestling starts at 10 a.m. today. The finals are expected to be at 6 p.m.
Other participants competing for a state berth include Decaturs Hoan Do at 125, Jeffersons David Markey at 119 and Jeffersons Galen Hensley at 152. All three finished second at the league tournament.
Decaturs Dustin English at 119, Ryan Cossano at 145 and Joe Isaac at 215 each took third at the league meet and could challenge for one of the top four places.
Other locals who qualified for regionals include Federal Ways Ludevic Mea at 130 pounds, Jeffersons Adam Summers at 189 pounds and Decaturs Jesse Chester at 152 pounds.