Oak Park-River Forest captures 11 titles at York regional
Elmhurst, 02/02/13--Oak Park River Forest's Larry Early, 132, wrestles York's Brandon Kupczyk. York High School hosted a wrestling regional on Saturday. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 13, 2013 4:21PM
ELMHURST — Like a well-oiled machine, No. 1 Oak Park-River Forest steamrolled its way to the title at the Class 3A York regional on Saturday.
The Huskies made the finals in 12 of 14 weight classes and brought home titles in 11 of them, finishing with 275.5 points. Glenbard East was second with 165.5.
Oak Park’s Jake O’Mara pulled off the biggest upset of the day, knocking off previously unbeaten Steve Galiardo (38-1) of St. Patrick at 138. O’Mara led throughout the match, posting a 7-1 decision to improve to 27-5 on the season.
“I’ve started the season pretty slow but I’ve picked it up the last month, beating a lot of big names,” O’Mara said. “He was undefeated and had something to lose. I had nothing to lose so I just went out there and wrestled hard.”
O’Mara, who lost by tech fall to Galiardo last year, tried to set the tone early and let it be known he was no pushover.
“He had my leg up in the air in the first and I got away,” O’Mara said. “At that point he had to be thinking, ‘He’s not going to let me have any takedowns.’ ”
Other winners for the Huskies were: Robert Campos (33-8) at 106; Gabriel Townsell (34-8) at 113; Matthew Rundell (27-4) at 120; Isaiah White (40-1) at 126; Larry Early (39-0) at 132; John Gahagan (32-6) at 145; Kamaal Bey (24-3) at 152; Davont’e Mahomes (37-0) at 160; Joe Ariola (39-0) at 182; and Andre Lee (29-7) at 195.
“It wasn’t really expected, but the dominance as a team comes from hard work, practicing and wrestling Huskie style,” Mahomes said. “This is a good jump start for sectionals and state.”
Oak Park won the first nine finals matches before Willowbrook’s Dan Rowland (44-1) put an end to that streak by beating Oak Park’s Allen Stallings (16-14) 6-3 at 170.
“(The Huskies) are always a pretty tough team but I was expected to win,” said Rowland, who got a takedown 30 seconds into the match. “The first takedown was everything. Normally, whoever gets the first takedown wins.”
Dan Draski also posted a win for Willowbrook, pinning Glenbard East’s Shane Vincent (33-8) 49 seconds into the match at 220.
Leyden’s Javier Rhoades (22-4) collected a regional title at 285, beating Glenbard East’s D’Andre Johnson (34-6) 8-4.
“(Johnson) put Brian Allen on his back at Palatine so he’s dangerous,” said Rhoades, who lost to Johnson earlier this year. “I had to get away from his headlock. That’s his go-to move. I was able to stop that and that opened up my offense.”