Harlem cheer 9th at state; bowlers, wrestlers advance to sectionals
By Bob Balgemann
Saturday was yet another day of celebration for Harlem athletics.
The competitive cheer squad, under head coach Rebecca Doxtater, advanced to Saturday’s final round for the first time in school history and came home with a ninth place finish.
Meanwhile, the girls bowling team took one step toward defending its state championship by winning the Hononegah regional with 6,161 pins, second highest score among 17 regional winners statewide. O’Fallon, which won the Columbia regional downstate, led with a pinfall of 6,321.
In addition, Becca Hagerman was the individual regional champion for Harlem with a six-game 1,304 series. That’s an average of 217.3 pins per game.
Also Feb. 2, the Huskie wrestling team advanced six individuals to this Saturday’s Barrington sectional, with qualifiers from regionals at suburban Dundee-Crown, Libertyville and Palatine Fremd.
Harlem cheer scored 85.77 points to take ninth in Friday’s preliminary round, among 25 entries, to advance to the finals on Saturday. There, the Lady Huskies finished ninth, totaling 85.12 points. Lincoln Way-East was the state champion.
It marked Harlem’s third consecutive trip to state.
“We’re ecstatic to move up to the Top 10 on Day One, make it to the finals and finish ninth in the state,” Coach Doxtater said afterward. “The large division was loaded with talent this year and we’re proud to say we’re among the Top 10 teams.”
In the area, Belvidere North cheer won its third consecutive coed division championship while North Boone took a best-ever third place in the small school division.
Bowling, wrestling
The Lady Huskie bowlers were sparked by Hagerman, followed by Angel Grinnall with a 1,275 series; Laura Bartelt with a 1,241; Olivia Watton with a 1,207; and Kayla Verstraete with a 1,134. Also traveling with the team were Amanda Bohn, Joana Araojo and Paige Carpenter.
Harlem’s girls, in their quest for a three-peat as state bowling champion, will be in the Jefferson sectional this Saturday, being held at Don Carter Lanes in Rockford. State will be the following weekend at nearby Cherry Bowl in Cherry Valley.
The Harlem wrestling team had nine participants in 14 weight classes at the Rockford East regional. Two of them – Chad Richards and Cadence Hecox – emerged as champions with Jevin Doke, Kyetin Lindquist and Preston Schuelke finishing second.
Richards (34-2), ranked 10th in the state, pinned his first opponent in 2:29 at 160 pounds, then won by a medical forfeit in the championship match. At the Barrington sectional Luke Rasmussen from Barrington, ranked No. 1 in the state, and No. 3 Brock Emmerich from Deerfield will be in the field.
Hecox (28-8) had two matches at 182 pounds, winning both of them by pins, on his way to a title.
Doke (25-9) split two bouts at 113 pounds; as did Linquist (25-10) at 138; and Schuelke (20-12) at 152. Linquist lost by a slim 6-5 in the title match.
A third-place finish and trip to sectional was recorded by Jackson Cross (11-24) at 132. Cross wrestled four times that day, winning three of them with two pins and a 9-5 decision.
Just missing a berth at sectional were Cameron Pryor (16-19) at 145 and Thomas Morris (26-15) at 285, each coming in fourth. Pryor had an unusual schedule, meeting Chris Jarka (27-12) of Belvidere North twice among his four matches and losing twice. His wins in the other bouts were by a pin in 5:22 and a narrow 13-11 decision.
Mya Turnmire (4-8) was 0-2 at 106 pounds.
Team-wise, Huntley filled all 14 weights and won the regional with 230 pounds. Hononegah (133) was second followed by Rockford East (123) in third and Harlem (119) in fourth.
NIC-10 wrestling
The weekend before Harlem came home with three champions from the annual NIC-10 tournament. They were Lindquist at 138 pounds, Richards at 160 pounds and Hecox at 182 pounds. Richards dominated at his weight class, with consecutive pins in 37 seconds and 49 seconds, the latter in the championship match.
Hecox was outstanding in a tough weight class. In the semi-finals he avenged an earlier loss to Glenn Winchel of Belvidere Co-op, then in the finals he defeated the 2A, fifth-ranked Matthew Chavers from Freeport, 16-9.
Another of the highlights for the Huskies was Turnmire taking sixth place at 106 pounds. She also placed last year and is the only girl in conference history to do accomplish that feat.
Other Huskies placing at conference were Doke and Schuelke, second at 113 and 138 pounds, respectively; Pryor, fourth at 145; and Cross and Morris, fifth at 126 and 285, respectively.

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