By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — Churubusco placed fifth at the Jay County Invitational, highlighted by a first-place finish by Joe Leazier and a second place from J.T. Kilgore.
Finishing fifth out of 16 teams is strong, but the Eagles are not content with that placing.
“Our kids really could have had a better performance, and they know it,” said Sam Riesen, Churubusco head coach. “In many ways, we were really average. Placing fifth out of 16 is something a lot of teams would be happy with, but we are pushing our kids to keep improving and not accept finishes that don’t reach our goals.”
Leazier, who won the 138-pound weight class, pinned all of his opponents in two total minutes.
“He did a fantastic job all day and is really starting to get things going in the right direction,” Riesen said.
Kilgore placed second in the 220-pound weight class after suffering his first loss of the season to Gaven Hare of Jay County.
“There’s an old saying that ‘styles make fights’ and this was really what we saw in this match,” Riesen said.
“J.T. had trouble getting in on him, and getting much offense going. I think this loss will really help us to focus in on what J.T. needs to do to get where we want him.”
Kilgore is now 17-1.
Along with Kilgore and Leazier, several other Churubusco grapplers placed in the top eight at the invitational.
Reece Wicker came in third in the heavyweight class, Korbyn Reister placed sixth in the 106-pound class, and Jakob Spieth also placed sixth at 182 pounds.
Clay Tinney came in seventh in the 195-pound weight class. Trevor Kelley and Cody Graft finished eighth at 170 pounds and 113 pounds, respectively.