Pingleton advances at state

Saturday, February 17, 2007
Chris Pingleton

INDIANAPOLIS -- The first round of the Indiana High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Fnals got underway Friday night at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, with two members of the Greencastle Tiger Cub wrestling team looking to advance to the big dance on Saturday.

Unfortunately, only one will be wrestling with a shot at a state title

First up was Chris Pingleton at the 160 weight class. His first round opponent, Kyle Adams of Perry Meridian (48-1), proved to be a handful for Pingleton.

Pingleton came to the mat looking calm and collected and proceeded to go to work as soon as the whistle blew.

The first period saw both wrestlers sizing each other up, waiting for their moment to strike. Pingleton struck first for two points but a quick escape from Adams left Pingleton with a narrow 2-1 lead at the end of the period.

Pingleton and Adams went head-to-head in the second, both grabbing points and again ending the period with a one-point lead in favor of Pingleton.

In the final period, Pingleton took control and steadily built his lead with a takedown and a reversal. When all was said and done, Pingleton's arm was raised and his opportunity for a title was still alive. He will face Phillip Oudhuis of New Prairie (39-1) in the quarterfinals.

At 171 pounds, Greencastle's Robert Bittles faced off against Ryan Konrath who boasted a perfect 40-0 record. Bittles and Konrath battled like two warriors, each wrestler refusing to give an inch.

During the first period, Konrath finally managed to take down Bittles for two points and gain a lead that would stand the rest of the match. When the period closed, Bittles was looking at a three-point deficit.

The second period was almost a stalemate, but Konrath was able to score with less than a minute on the clock to grab a 6-1 lead going into the final period.

With dreams of a state title fading fast, Bittles refused to give in and kept trying to press his opponent into a position to strike. He continuously had Konrath in a position to make a move but Konrath was one step ahead and countered every maneuver. Sadly the opportunity to strike never presented itself. As the final buzzer sounded, Bittles had lost 12-2 and his shot to advance.

Pingleton will be competing in the quarterfinals today at Conseco Fieldhouse. Quarterfinals and Semifinals begin at 9:30 a.m. and the consolation finals and championship finals begin at 5 p.m.

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