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GHS wrestlers set for semistate

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

(Photo)
Greencastle's Chris Pingleton is undefeated this season at 41-0. He will face either Bloomington South's Darren Eads or Evansville Mater Dei's Frank Fabiano in the second round of the Evansville Reitz Semistate Saturday.
The cream has risen to the top as grapplers across the state will begin semistate action Saturday in the Indiana High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Finals.

Two Putnam County wrestlers, Greencastle's Robert Bittles and Chris Pingleton, will both compete at the Evansville Reitz semistate site, which will take place at Roberts Stadium in Evansville.

Four regionals feed into each four semistates. Wrestlers will also compete at the semistate level in Merrillville, Woodlan, and New Castle.

Other regionals feeding into the Evansville Semistate include Bloomington South, Castle and Jeffersonville.

Both Bittles and Pingleton placed first in their respective weight classes at the Mooresville Regional last weekend.

Because they won the regional title, both earned a first-round bye at the semistate level.

Four wrestlers earn first-round byes at the semistate.

Pingleton competes in the 160-pound weight division and is 41-0 this season. He will face either Bloomington South's Darren Eads (25-14) or Evansville Mater Dei's Frank Fabiano (27-6) in the second round of semistate action.

Last season, at 145 pounds, Pingleton finished third at the regional,

According to the last rankings put together by the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches' Association, Pingleton is ranked 12th in the state.

There are four other ranked wrestlers at the semistate at 160 pounds, including Evansville Memorial's Tanner Wedding (33-17, ninth), Center Grove's Shelby Mappes (33-7, 19th), Madison's Matt Clark (35-9, 21st), Gibson Southern's Wes Deal (42-2, sixth), and Fabiano (27-6, 11th).

Also competing in the weight division will be Floyd Central's Cooper Samuels. Samuels, a junior, is 27-1 this season and also drew a bye in the first round Saturday. He was the runner-up at 145 pounds in the state last year.

Bittles will be competing at 171 pounds this season, one weight class up from where he was last year.

Competing at 160 pounds in 2006, Bittles advanced to the semistate and was fifth overall.

This year, Bittles is undefeated, sporting a 33-0 record.

He will face either Terre Haute South's Vancil Smith or Providence's Ethan Cook (19-3) in the second round Saturday.

Five wrestlers, including Bittles, are ranked in the IHSWCA rankings at 171 pounds at the Evansville Semistate.

The top-ranked grappler at 171 pounds will compete at the semistate. Evansville Memorial's Matt Powless is 44-0 this season and drew a first-round bye.

Bittles is ranked fifth in the state whiel Cook is sixth.

Mooresville's Sean Mccammack (26-2) is ranked seventh while John Jenkins of New Albany (38-6) is ranked 21st.

Last year, Powless placed second in the semistate at 171 pounds, falling to Franklin Community's Phillip Glaser.

The top eight wrestlers at each semistate advance to the state tournament, which will take place Feb. 16-17 at Conseco Fieldhouse.



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