CHAMPAIGN — Sitting back isn’t Christian Brunner’s style before, andthere was no reason to change tactics now.
The Dundee-Crown sophomore moved into the Class 3A state quarterfinalswith a 10-5 win over Taft’s Nico Gallo at 182 pounds in Thursday’spreliminary round at State Farm Center.
“I just had to be aggressive,” Brunner said. “I knew that coming in. Ihad to wrestle like I wrestled Colton (Emmerich of Deerfield in lastweek’s sectional).”
Brunner (41-4), scored the last three points of the match after Gallopulled within 7-5 early in the third period.
“I chased a move thatwasn’t there,” Brunner said.
But his conditioning paid off, which wasn’t anything new.
“I usuallyfeel that way in most matches,” he said.
Brunner, who is ranked sixth bylllinoisMatmen.com, facesfourth-ranked Jimmy Mickens (35-8) of Mount Carmel in Friday’s quarterfinals.
He’s one of two Chargers who reached the quarters. At 285, Jeremy Marshall (41-6) pinned Lake Park’s Kameron Hardwick to earn a matchup with top-ranked Brian Allen (43-1) of Hinsdale Central.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals was St. Charles East junior Keone Derain (42-5), whowon 9-5 over Alton’s Qiante Wagner at 152 in Class 3A.
Derain meets fourth-ranked Joey Gunther (37-6) of Libertyville in thequarterfinals.
Two of Derain’s teammates lost their openers. Isaiah Vela (39-5) fell7-6 to WW South’s Qarin Johnnic at 138 and Jake Mende(33-9) dropped a 10-1 major decision to Hononegah’s Fernie Silva at145. Larkin’s Duke Bogisevic (37-5) was pinned in4:36by Lockport’s ShayneOster (40-6) in a Class 3A opener at 126. Huntley’s Ricky Vigil(32-10) lost a technical fallat 4:00in 3A at 126 to Marmion’s JohnnyJimenez, who is going for his fourth state title.
In Class 2A, Hampshire’s Kyle Szlenk (36-9, 106) and Anton Krocko (36-10, 182) each lost openers.