wrestlers found the best way to return to this weekend's Illinois Elementary Schools Association State Meet was to lighten up.
Glyman and Kullby were two of five Braves to advance to State by taking one of the top three places at last Saturday's Deerfield Sectional. , Andrew Tuttle and Bronko Tupanjac were the other three. Deer Path finished sixth as a team.
Glyman, an eighth grader, spent the season wrestling in the 100-pound weight class while Kullby, a seventh grader, weighed in at 95. Both dropped a weight class at least week’s Regional to achieve their best performances of the year.
“He’s (Glyman) never won anything before until the Regional last week. He’s been second and third,” said. “This was really special for him.”
Glyman won the Sectional gold medal at 95 pounds. Kullby, also a Regional champ, earned second place at 90 pounds.
The weight drop had been planned most of the season as a way to improve both athletes’ performances, according to Troemel.
“Peter (Glyman) and Keegan (Kullby) have been battling each other all year,” Troemel said. “They were wrestling a class ahead. This was planned.”
Kullby knew entering the tournament as a 90 pounder was realistic when his weight hit 92 with little effort. His protein became chicken and egg whites. “It was mostly a vegetarian diet,” he said.
Troemel considers weight management part of a wrestler’s regimen. He expects them to be aware of how much they weigh on a daily basis and take healthy steps to maintain it.
“They should weigh themselves every day when they get up,” Troemel said. “If they’re a little over on Friday (the day before a meet), they should get on the bike or run.”
Troemel wants his athletes to avoid expending extra energy the same day as a match. He has also seen wrestlers disqualified for a tenth of a pound.
In the case of Kullby and Glyman, there was another advantage. With the experience of wrestling heavier opponents heading into the Regionals, Kullby sensed an advantage.
“I feel a little more powerful when I’m wrestling there (at 90),” Kullby said. “The other guys are going to seem weaker and I can dominate.”
Kullby wanted, who competed in the State Meet a year ago, was also determined to return. “I knew I had to win two matches,” he said. He easily took victories in the quarter and semi finals before dropping a 2-0 bout to Ethan Honegger of Lake Zurich North to finish second.
who placed third at 126, is making his first trip to state. After dropping his quarterfinal match, he wrestled back in the consolation round to compete for third place. The top three finishers advance.
“I told him (before the third place match) that you never know what will happen in the future. This could be your only chance to go to state in anything,” Troemel said. Tupanjac responded with an 8-3 victory.
Tupanjac began wrestling as a Deer Path fifth grader, but did not make the varsity team until he reached eighth grade. He felt his effort at summer wrestling camps such as Northwestern University's made a difference.
“They’re really intense. We work on technique and they make us stronger,” Tupanjac said. “We stand on our hands and do pushups.”
Troemel showed him how to put that experience to work. “He (Troemel) teaches some great moves,” Tupanjac said of the inside headlock. “He (Troemel) said it’s three points or a pin.”
Karkazis, who has lost only one match all year, captured the 112 division. He took his quarterfinal match, 11-0, and pinned his semifinal opponent in 2:22. He then held on for a 5-4 championship victory over Lake Zurich North’s Bryce Kapitzky.
Tuttle dropped his semifinal bout before dominating Marlowe’s John Kitsis, 8-2, to take the third place match and earn his trip to the State Meet.