Hendricks County schools sent 20 grapplers to the Evansville Reitz semi-state over the weekend and eight continued their journey to the state finals.
Avon led the way to semi-state with eight wrestlers and was able to advance four grapplers to Bankers Life Fieldhouse this Friday, though Orioles coach Israel Blevins would have liked to have had more make the trip.
“We expected more to get through, but four is still a good number, we just lost a couple we thought we could win,” Blevins said.
Avon’s Quinn Harris (126 pounds), Evan Elmore (182), Gunnar Larson (220) and Guy Henson (285) all advanced.
Harris fell to Evansville Mater Dei’s Nick Lee (33-0) in the finals and secured a No. 2-seed heading into the state finals.
“Quinn wrestled well and going into it I thought he’d have a chance to make the finals the way the draw fell out,” Blevins said. “He did a great job taking advantage of what was put in front of him and wrestled hard to get to where he got.”
Henson (285) took on Ben Davis’ Norman Oglesby for the third straight week in the finals as the pair had split the sectional and regional championships. Oglesby took a 2-1 postseason advantage and 3-1 overall record with a regular season victory over Henson in finals.
Larson, the first Avon freshman in history to advance to the state finals, finished third.
“Gunnar’s done a great job this year and I thought coming into the year he could do well,” Blevins said. “He wrestles smart matches, doesn’t get out of position and it continues to work out for him.”
Elmore improved on his semi-state position last season, taking third, and is the only Oriole from last year returning to the state finals.
Danville was the only county school to come away with a champion.