RIVER GROVE, Ill. – The Harper College wrestling team had a successful Saturday at the 24th Art Kraft Memorial Open, hosted by Triton College. The Hawks had four wrestlers win individual championships and two wrestlers who finished runner-up in their respective weight classes.
Jacob Bellis (/Bloomington), Blake Tisza (/Thornton Fractional South), Blake Santi (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) andLavontay Cobb (/King College Prep) won individual titles while Michael Romanelli and John Walker (/Huntley)each finished second in their weight classes.
Bellis compiled a perfect 4-0 record on his way to a championship at 125 pounds. He first defeated Mercyhurst's Jared Rice 16-0 and followed it up with a pinfall victory over Triton's Thomas Angsten. Bellis defeated Muskegon's Devane Dodgens 10-7 in the semis and knocked off Lincoln's Leslie Williams by fall to take first place.
Tisza ran off four straight victories on Saturday to captured the 141-pound weight division. He pinned Lincoln's Rook Kassabaum and beat Minnesota West's Mike Tanner to advance to the semis. Tisza topped Triton's Troy Valdez 9-3 to set up a finals showdown with his teammate Walker. Tisza earned the victory by fall in 1:03.
Santi blitzed through the field at the 149-pound weight division, going 3-0 and winning his matches by a combined 45-8 score. He bested Triton's Stan Whiting 17-0, Triton's Ryan Fulton 17-2 and Muskegon Community College's Elvis Peacock 11-6 to capture first place.
Cobb clashed with the biggest competitors at the heavyweight division and emerged victorious with an unscathed 4-0 mark. He topped Lincoln's Cameron Pascoe 6-1, Minnesota West's Josh Valandra 7-2, Elmhurst College's Shane Vincent 10-4 and finally Lincoln's Dequence Goodman by injury default.
Romanelli picked up wins over Mercyhurst's Josh Grodesky (9-0) and Muskegon's Steven Malloy (3-2) before losing in the championship to Lincoln's Archie Williams, 13-8.
Walker collected victories over Waubonsee's Phillip Ottesen (17-2) and Lincoln's Jeremiah Tucker-Shead (5-3) before losing the title match to Tisza.
The Hawks have a quick turnaround and return to action Thursday in the Wellness and Sports Center gymnasium for a dual meet with Waubonsee beginning at 3 PM.