In his fifth and final match Saturday at Prospect’s invitational, it was clear Quinn McCarthy was struggling with his conditioning.
It’s to be forgiven, though. After all, the senior start his wrestling season until Nov. 30 because of football.
Nevertheless, McCarthy found a way to earn a 12-10 win over Stevenson’s Austin Abitua to take third place at 138 pounds.
“He was getting gassed and had to hang on at the end,” Loyola head coach Joe Haney said. “He wrestled really well [Saturday], but when he gets back in shape, he can be a force.”
McCarthy, who came to Prospect having wrestled only eight matches, said Saturday was the best he felt this season. After losing an 11-3 decision in the second round to Libertyville’s Michael Gunther — a state qualifier last season — he won three in a row in the back draw.
“It was a good day,” he said. “I was more comfortable and things started to click.”
Loyola junior John Kelly finished second at 182, winning his first two matches by fall before losing a 4-0 decision to Glenbrook North’s Cam Casey in the final.
“He’s strong as an ox,” Haney said. “Now, he’s finally starting to bring some technique to his strength. Once he puts it all together, good things will happen. He could very well make some noise this season.”
Senior Sean Cloherty finished fourth at 145 as the Ramblers finished 14th in the 16-team field with 53.50 points. They didn’t field a wrestler in six of the 14 weight classes.
Loyola competes Friday and Saturday at Glenbrook South’s invitational.
“This was a good level of competition for us,” Haney said. “Glenbrook South will be another litmus test.”