Tristan Daugherty wins first state title for Peoria Notre Dame wrestling

Tristan Daugherty, a senior at Peoria Notre Dame, hugs head coach Kevin Burk after winning the IHSA Class 1A state championship in the 126-pound division on Feb. 22 at the State Farm Center in Champaign. At right is Danny Burk, assistant coach. (Photo courtesy IllinoisMatmen.com)

Peoria Notre Dame wrestler Tristan Daugherty capped a stellar high school career and senior season by winning the Illinois High School Association Class 1A state championship with a 20-5 technical fall over previously unbeaten Nik Jiminez of Harvard in the 126-pound weight division.

“It’s amazing,” Daugherty told The Catholic Post on Monday, two days after his title bout win at State Farm Center in Champaign. “It’s everything I ever dreamed of and worked for since wrestling as a little kid.”

Tristan Daugherty stands on the podium after his state title win capped an undefeated senior season. Photo courtesy IllinoisMatmen.com

Because Daugherty was winning by at least 15 points, the match was stopped halfway through the third and final two-minute period. And history was made.

  • The individual win gave Peoria Notre Dame its first-ever state wrestling champion.
  • Daugherty finished his senior season with an unblemished record of 48-0. Only two matches went the full three periods.
  • He set a record for career state tournament wins with 17, having placed third in the state in each of his first three seasons.

All of that couldn’t have been envisioned when his father, Patrick — who had wrestled in high school — showed Tristan a flier about wrestling training at a club when he was only 6.

A member of St. Ann Parish in Peoria, Tristan quickly grew to love the sport.

CREDITS COACHES

“I love going out there and working hard,” he said. Wrestling has taught Tristan life lessons such as the advantages of preparation and planning, perseverance, and the need to always move forward. It has also brought joy and given him “more confidence in every aspect of life.”

“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s all on you,” he said of the competition. “You can’t blame anyone else.”

(Photo courtesy IllinoisMatmen.com)

But Tristan can, and does, credit others — especially his coaches at Peoria Notre Dame, longtime head coach Kevin Burk and assistant coach Danny Burk.

“All of my success goes to them,” said Tristan. “They’ve been my coaches since I was 10, and taught me everything I know about the sport.”

Wrestling success has earned Tristan a scholarship to the University at Buffalo, where he will major in finance. He is proud to know he has left his mark on Peoria Notre Dame.

“Our school has such a great history of wrestling,” he said, noting Notre Dame is enjoying “a really good year” in other sports as well. “Hopefully this is one of many more state championships.”

In other Class 1A results involving wrestlers from Catholic schools in the Diocese of Peoria, Jack Patting of Alleman High School in Rock Island finished second in the 152-pound division, completing a 45-4 season. John Sexton of The High School of Saint Thomas More finished sixth in the same division, while Charlie Jagusah of Alleman took fourth in the 285-pound division.

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