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Wrestling regional results

Of the 22 wrestlers LaGrange County sent over to Saturday’s Goshen regional, Hayden Gephart wouldn’t have been one of the top picks to bring home a weight-division title. The Lakeland senior was coming off a third-place finish in the sectional and a fifth-place effort in the NECC tournament the week prior.

But there he stood on the awards stand Saturday afternoon, taller than any of his opponents in the 160-pound flight. Gephart claimed the only regional weight-class championship won by a LaGrange County grappler with a pin of sectional runner-up John Lanam of Angola in a time of 3:27.

The Laker veteran began his trek to the crown with a first-round pin of NorthWood’s Jaden Miller in 2:21. In the semifinals, Gephart made short work of NECC and sectional champion Jadon Crisp, pinning the Central Noble ace in just 41 seconds.

Five other county wrestlers made it to the finals of their weight classes and will join Gephart in the New Haven semi-state field this Saturday. Lakeland senior Brian Bergman (285 pounds) was one of those five.

The other four runners-up hailed from defending regional team champion Prairie Heights, which placed fifth this time around with 71.5 points. That quartet included sophomore Isiah Levitz (152) and seniors Jed Levitz (170), Coye Blodgett (182) and Troy Deetz (220).

Lakeland junior Brandon Bergman (195) and Prairie Heights junior Ryan Rasler (138) placed fourth in their respective weight brackets to earn semi-state berths.

Northridge won its first-ever wrestling regional team championship with a score of 116 points. Central Noble was second with 91 and Elkhart Central third with 88.5.

The New Haven semi-state tournament is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this Saturday at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne. The top four finishers in each of the 14 weight divisions will earn trips to the 2018 IHSAA state finals set for February 16-17 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.