State Wrestling: Lincoln-Way East’s Langenderfer a two-time champion
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media February 16, 2013 11:28PM
Lincoln-Way East's Kyle Langenderfer hoists his coach after winning the Class 3A 152-pound state championship. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 18, 2013 6:43AM
CHAMPAIGN — Lincoln-Way East’s Kyle Langenderfer aspired to be great.
After capping his second state championship Saturday at Assembly Hall, mission accomplished. The Illinois recruit topped Glenbard North’s Brian Murphy 6-5 in one of the tournament’s most exciting matches to take home the 152-pound title.
“You want to enter into the discussion of all-time greats,” Langenderfer said. “Not putting myself with them, but I was inspired to be like them.
“I had my ups and downs, but I really can’t argue with being a two-time state champion and four-time state-placer.”
Lincoln-Way East coach Tyrone Byrd, a former Illini wrestler, said Langenderfer is one of the best he’s ever been around.
While Langenderfer is on the high of victory, Plainfield South junior Miguel Silva (106 pounds) and Plainfield Central senior Jordan Ellingwood (195) tasted the bitterness of defeat. Silva and Ellingwood had superb seasons, but both lost state finals heartbreakers in clashes with undefeated wrestlers.
Silva was downed 6-1 by Brother Rice’s Rudy Yates, while Ellingwood lost 2-1 in sudden death overtime to Sandburg’s Ricky Robertson, a nationally ranked Wisconsin recruit.
“This will fuel my fire for next year,” Silva said. “If I had won, I probably would be chilling and eating a pizza right now. Instead, I’m going to get right back to work and go for the state title next year.”
Ellingwood, who has serious looks from Purdue, Northern Iowa and Central Michigan, said the loss to Robertson will only motivate him.
“We’ve known each other since we were little,” Ellingwood said. “It’s always been a fight and it’s just going to make me better for what I’m moving onto and strive me to push harder.”
Plainfield Central added to its podium total with Ryan Holzrichter (132) placing third and Nick Nasenbeny (126) grabbing fifth, the third state medal of his career.
“Being able to enjoy the sport and still be able to (compete) for as long as a lot of us have, if you’re able to do that, you’re in great shape,” Holzrichter said. “I just wanted to enjoy it.”
Lincoln-Way Central junior Bryce Gorman was the lone medalist for the Knights after a series of heart-breaking defeats. Gorman looked sharp at 170 pounds and left Champaign with a fourth-place medal.
“I’m pretty proud of myself,” Gorman said. “This was my goal at the beginning of the year to come down and place at state.”
For the seniors on Central, their season isn’t over. The Knights will compete Tuesday against Edwardsville in the dual team state tournament.
“We’re going to go back at it next week and we’re going to get a team medal,” Gorman said.
Lemont 182-pounder Chris Giatras rallied from a surprising first-round defeat to top Morris’ Nik Countryman for third place.
The disappointment was palpable for the Indians senior, but Giatras should be proud of his second state medal.
“I had to come back and make up for what I lost,” Giatras said. “I kept the same mind-set, just a different goal.”