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Strong showing by area wrestlers at state

Updated: March 17, 2013 6:40PM

CHAMPAIGN — Jake Cochrane came downstate with a couple of goals: extend one tradition and start another.

Lake County heavyweights have had a successful run in Class 2A lately, with Vernon Hills’ Jeremy Brazil reaching two state title bouts and winning one last year. Cochrane also won a medal last season, taking fourth.

But the Carmel senior has set the bar higher this weekend.

“I’m going for the title,” Cochrane said after beating Freeport’s Kendal Parker 3-0 in a Class 2A preliminary match Thursday at Assembly Hall. “Start my own legacy at Carmel, (become its) first state champ ever.”

Cochrane (41-1), who’s ranked No. 1 in 2A by Illinois Best Weekly, and fourth-ranked Parker were scoreless through two periods. But Cochrane escaped early in the third and clinched the win with a takedown in the final 15 seconds.

Maintaining his stamina was a major point of emphasis, according to Cochrane.

“I knew I had to have gas in the tank, no matter what,” he said.

Cochrane was one of seven Lake County wrestlers to move into Friday morning’s Class 2A quarterfinals ­— three more advanced in 3A — as Antioch, Vernon Hills and Wauconda all advanced a pair.

Wauconda qualified second-ranked Devin Tortorice (38-4) at 132 and third-ranked Nate Magiera (34-1) at 220. Vernon Hills’ qualifiers were second-ranked Jordan Reich (43-5) at 106 and David Pierce (40-7) at 145, while Antioch’s first-round winners were Briley Schultz (33-14) at 106 and Mike Gussarson (37-10) at 132.

In Class 3A, Stevenson’s Justin Weber and Warren’s Danny Hicks advanced to the quarterfinals, as did 182-pound Tony Cashmore of Grant.

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