CHAMPAIGN – Two seniors headed downstate for the IHSA Finals, and both had the championship on their minds. Both Mason Kroening and Nick Sondag had tough competition in their respective bracket of 16 wrestlers, and both came away with top five finishes.
Kroening finished in second place in the 195-pound weight class, after reaching the championship match and falling to Carl Sandburg’s Patrick by a 12-4 decision. According to the Daily Herald, it was the first championship match for a Warrior since 1998. Before that loss, Kroening had an impressive run, winning his first three matches, two by decision and one by pin. Kroening finished out the year with a 40-4 record.
Sondag finished in fifth place in the 220-pound weight class. Sondag won his first match of the weekend, but lost in the second round to Lincoln-Way West’s Jason Dudek by an 8-3 decision. With that, Sondag moved over to the consolation bracket where he rattled off two straight wins, one of which came by pin. He dropped his match to Sandburg’s Cole Bateman, but rebounded in the fifth-place game by pinning Naperville Central’s Christian Nussbaum in less than two minutes. Sondag finished the year with a 44-6 record.