FAIRBURY — Conference action was the highlight last weekend for Monticello High School’s wrestlers, who went 4-3 at the Illini Prairie Conference meet Jan. 13-14 to finish fourth out of eight area squads.
Unity went undefeated to take the top slot, followed by Pontiac, St. Joseph-Ogden, Monticello, host team Prairie Central, Illinois Valley Central, Rantoul and St. Thomas More.
The Sages netted team wins over St. Thomas More (48-30), Prairie Central (39-37), Rantoul (57-24) and IVC (63-12). They lost to the top three squads, with one of those being a narrow 38-35 decision to St. Joseoh-Ogden.
Drake Weeks and Preston Bettinger each registered four wins on the day, with Marissa Miller, Christian Mikulich, Tristan Slade and Russ Brown adding three victories apiece.
Here is how MHS wrestlers fared individually (contested matches only):
— Drake Weeks, 4 wins at 132 and 138 lbs., all by fall and all in under one minute each
— Preston Bettinger, 4 wins at 126, including three by fall and one by technical fall
— Christian Mikulich, 3 wins at 170 lbs., two in less than a minute by fall
— Marissa Miller, 3 wins at 105 and 113 lbs., all by fall including one in 15 seconds
— Tristan Slade, 3 wins at 145 lbs., one by fall
— Russ Brown, 3 wins at 160 lbs.
— Riley Jones, two wins at 220 lbs., both by fall
— Wyatt Vaughan, 2 wins at 182 lbs., both by fall in less than one minute
— Gavin Ridings, 2 wins at 138 lbs., one by fall
— Shane Carr, 1 win at 138 lbs. by fall in under one minute
— Nate Darnell, 1 win at 285 lbs. by fall
— Hunter Romano, 1 win at 170 lbs. by fall
— Dawson Sheets, 1 win at 152 lbs.
The Sages remain on the road the remainder of January as they prepare for post-season action beginning in February.
MHS travels to Ridgeview Jan. 19 to take on the host team, Riverton and Olympia; will compete against Petersburg Porta, Vandalia and Beardstown at Porta on Jan. 21, and wraps up its regular season at Oakwood in a three-team meet Jan. 26 that also includes Bismark-Henning.
Regional action begins Feb. 4 at LeRoy. Teams assigned to that post-season opening round are Bismark-Henning, St. Thomas More, Clinton, Decatur Lutheran, LeRoy, Monticello, Rantoul, St. Joseph-Ogden, Olympia, Unity and Warrensburg-Latham.
The top three in each weight class advance to the sectional round in Clinton on Feb. 10-11. The top four at sectional advance to the IHSA State Wrestling Tournament at the State Farm Center in Champaign on Feb. 16-18.