Pingleton sixth at state meet

Monday, February 19, 2007
Chris Pingleton

On Saturday, state finals wrestling action continued at Conseco Fieldhouse with Greencastle senior Chris Pingleton looking to move his way up through the brackets and get a shot at a state title. Unfortunately his quest for the title was stopped short in the quarterfinals.

Having advanced from Friday night's first round with an upset win, Pingleton faced Philip Oudhuis (41-2) from New Prairie in the quarterfinals. Pingleton fought hard against Oudhuis, who ultimately finished second at 160, and ended up falling only three points short of advancing.

"Kids are gonna make mistakes," Greencastle coach Russ Hesler said. "He made mistakes and you can't make mistakes at this level or they'll get up on you."

With the loss, Pingleton went against Evansville Memorial's Tanner Wedding (36-10) in the first round of the consolation finals. Both eyeing a fifth-place finish, Pingleton and Wedding wrestled hard but when the dust settled, Pingleton walked away with a 3-1 victory and advanced to the final round of the consolations.

In the final, Kurt Cauffman (39-9) was who stood in the way of Pingleton and a fifth-place finish. Cauffman was sent to the consolation bracket by Floyd Central's Cooper Samuels (35-1), who went on to capture the state title in the 160 weight class.

Both wrestlers vied for position most of the match. The match shaped up to be exactly what a championship match should be, low scoring and full of suspense. Even with tremendous determination, Pingleton just couldn't get around Cauffman. Pingleton was defeated by Cauffman, 5-3, in a close match that had action that could have tipped in favor of either wrestler.

"When your three losses on the season come from the guys who finish first, second, and fifth at state, I think that's a pretty good season," Hesler said.

Pingleton finished sixth place on the day and moved his record to 45-3 on the season and closes his high school career with a record of 164-24. He was a four-time Putnam County champ as well as a four-time West Central Conference.

Pingleton plans to attend the University of Indianapolis and join his brother Charlie on the wrestling squad. Hesler thinks Pingleton's willingness to be coached will prove to be a key in his transition from high school to college.

"I think he'll adapt very well. He's a very coachable young man and does what you ask him to do," he said.

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