Seven Division III athletes have guaranteed their spots on the podium and many are still in the hunt for third-place finishes.
St. Mary Central Catholic’s Alex Smith (113) had a brutal quarterfinal match as he was edged 5-4 against Dayton Christian’s Christian Clary, but Smith rebounded to beat Bishop Hartley’s Kris Hill 3-1 in a sudden victory.
Smith was able to get a takedown in the last 20 seconds to earn the win.
“Obviously I didn’t achieve what I wanted, but I can’t change it,” Smith said of bowing out of the title hunt. “I just had to do what I always do and get a really fast takedown right away, take the momentum away. I think I did that pretty good, but he was able to build some in the end.”
Smith added that his consolation match went down to the wire because he was tired from cutting weight. SMCC coach Jared Opfer had a different opinion.
“I think Alex was still coming off that last match and was emotionally drained,” Opfer said. “I don’t think it was his weight. I think it’s in his head. He’s deflated. Even walking to the mat he was talking about his last match and we have to get out of his head — that his goal isn’t first anymore, it’s third.”
Today, he’ll rematch Jake Spiess, the defending champion at 106 who was upset by Evan Ulinski. Spiess was a heavy favorite to win the title.
“If he wrestles like he should he’ll be alright,” Opfer said. “He still has a tough road ahead. With his ability he should be all right.”
St. Paul’s Wes Fritz (132) will battle Kameron Rayner of Caldwell for seventh place.
Derek Gross (138) will take on Bishop Hartley’s Grant Rathburn to get to the battle for third place, while Monroeville’s Grant Fidler will wrestle Massillon Tuslaw’s Chance Marthey for seventh. Hayden Miller will take on Elmwood’s Jacob Wise in the battle for seventh.
Margaretta’s Deven Taylor (145) fell to Greenview’s Logan Lacure 5-3 in the semifinals, but will face Archbold’s Logan Day today to get to the third-place match.
“I think one of the reasons I wasn’t projected (to do well) down here is because I just came down from 152,” Taylor said. “I was able to handle the 45’s a lot better with my strength. I definitely think I surprised some people.”
Norwalk sophomore Charlie Nash will take on Yearling’s Noah Jay in the battle for seventh today.
Nash (106) won his first two consolation matches, but fell 8-1 to Northwest’s Hunter Kosco.
“It’s a worry free tournament now that I think about it, because going to state alone is an accomplishment,” Nash said. “Every match you win is another big win but if you lose, you lose.”
Ben Petersen (145) won his first two consolation matches, but fell 6-3 to Claymont’s Caden Herron.
“First of all Ben almost didn’t wrestle sectionals because he had a skin condition,” Oak Harbor coach George Bergman. “He was that close to being disqualified. Our team had some skin issues before sectionals pretty bad and our doctors did a great job. Out here, you are going to lose some matches, but you don’t want to lose before you even get on the mat.
“Ben has been with us for so long, came up through our biddy program,” Bergman said. “You like to see kids that have been at it working hard do well. He’s not the most talented athlete in the world, but he just grinds and grinds. Everything he’s gotten he’s worked for and earned.”
Clyde’s Blake Miller will take on Granville’s Dain Steffeny in the consolation semifinal today at 152.
Sandusky’s Isaiah Margheim bowed out of the competition, losing two consolation matches at 195. Perkins’ John Workman will battle for seventh today against Licking Valley’s Blake Owens.
“He has placed in every tournament this year,” Perkins coach Travis Crabtree said. “We talked about that yesterday and he said I am placing in this one too. His finger has a little skin missing, but it’s not going to stop him.”
Kordell Chaney (220) will take on Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s Dre’k Brumley in the battle for seventh.
“Kordell sometimes is a little too confident,” Crabtree said. “He listens and he didn’t panic and found a way to win. All you have to do is win by one point. It doesn’t matter how you win, or how ugly it is. You just have to win. That’s our goal just to get wins.