A banner day for Robinson High School's wrestling team came up just short of being able to wave the banner they wanted.
The Maroons won four individual championships and advanced eight wrestlers to sectional competition, but saw the team championship elude them - barely.
Robinson fell short of claiming just the second regional championship in school history and the first since the 1999-2000 season by 3.5 points. Robinson scored 175.5 points, while champion Vandalia posted 179 to claim the title.
"The team had an excellent day," RHS head coach Levi Damron said. "We were right in the mix of it all the way to the end."
Rounding out the field were Mt. Carmel (140), Carlyle (134), Olney (132), Lawrenceville (129), Fairfield (88), Carmi (41) and Breese Mater Dei (0).
Of the four Maroons that won regional titles, senior Payton Stifle had the easiest time and made some history in the process. Stifle received a bye into the semifinals, where he pinned Mt. Carmel's J.T. Ingram in 45 seconds, then he took down Vandalia's Ryne Lipsey in the title match in 1:49 to become the first RHS wrestler in program history to win four regional championships.
Junior Alec Keeler also had a relatively easy day at 126, where he received a bye into the semifinals, then pinned Lawrenceville's Evan Briner in 5:53 and Fairfield's Don Bielecki in 3:46 to claim the title.
Meanwhile, senior Andrew Gallagher rolled to a championship at 132, scoring technical fall victories over Mt. Carmel's J.T. McCowen and Carlyle's Tanner Leith in his first two matches, then earning a 3-0 win over Vandalia's Rodney Tedrick in the championship match.
Another senior, Nic Iovanac, won the 195 class with three straight victories. He opened with a pin of Lawrenceville's Shawn Rogers in 53 seconds, followed with a 10-0 major decision over Mt. Carmel's Cody Wall, then beat Vandalia's Sean Newcomb 4-0 in the title match.
Two other Maroons - senior Tanner Keeler and junior Nick Berty - reached their respective championship matches before falling. At 220, Keeler pinned Carmi's Eli Allen in 1:40 and Mt. Carmel's Andrew Wise in 3:29 to reach the title bout, then was pinned by Carlyle's Kevin Roper in 3:37 to finish second. At 170, Berty scored a major decision over Carmi's Cody Purcell, 10-1, to start his day, then pinned Olney's Tim Sturm before losing a 5-3 decision to Mt. Carmel's Kane Garcia in the title match.
Also, two more Maroons - senior Geoffrey Harrison and junior Aaron Rankin - qualified for the sectional with third-place efforts.
Harrison opened at 285 with a 3-1 win over Carmi's Ray Smock, then lost to Lawrenceville's Brandon Vessels, 7-3. He would rebound with pins of Vandalia's Kendrick Woosley in 1:01 and Olney's Chris Wood in 3:30 to take third.
At 182, Rankin started with a technical fall win over Olney's Greg Michels, then lost a 3-0 decision to Mt. Carmel's Sam Wampler, before coming back with wins via pin over Breese Mater Dei's Ben Maue in 58 seconds and Fairfield's Anthony Thomas in 5:52 to finish third.
Three other Maroons - Kyle Langley at 106, Curtis Herrington at 145 and Dylan Dart at 160 - each won their opening round matches before losing their next two to bow out of the competition.
"We won with class and lost with class," Damron said. "Now we have to focus on the Individual Sectional."
Stifle, Alec Keeler, Gallagher, Berty, Rankin, Iovanac, Tanner Keeler and Harrison will compete in the Class 1A Vandalia Sectional, which begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. Two sessions will also be held on Saturday, at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
2013 IHSA Class 1A Wrestling Regional
At Mt. Carmel High School
Team scores - Vandalia 179, Robinson 175.5, Mt. Carmel 140, Carlyle 134, Olney 132, Lawrenceville 129, Fairfield 88, Carmi 41, Breese Mater Dei 0.
106 - Kyle Langley (R) dec. Aaron Nettles (Carlyle) 20-13; major dec. by Austin Goodman (F) 13-5; pinned Ben Thompson (BMD) 3:32; pinned by Brendan Cropper (MC) 3:39.