COLUMBUS — The second day of the state wrestling tournament at Ohio State can best be described as an emotional rollercoaster.
For Bluffton’s Zach Wilson, the second day of the tournament proved to be too full of emotion.
Wilson, who many projected as a Division III state finalist in the 152-pound weight class, was pinned by Shadyside’s Alex Quinn, 40 seconds into the second period of his semifinal match on Friday. With the loss, the four-time state qualifier will attempt to battle back today for a possible third-place bout.
Wilson has finished fourth the past two seasons at the state tournament. He did not suffer his first loss of this season until the district championship match this past Sunday at Kettering Fairmont, where Troy Christian’s Jordan Marshall defeated him 5-2. Marshall won the state title last season at 145.
Marshall also was defeated in his semifinal match Friday.
“(Alex) Quinn placed third in the same weight class last year,” Bluffton coach Jeff Kleman said. “He was projected by some to be No. 2 in the state, behind Jordan Marshall. So he’s no slouch. He was undefeated coming in.
“I think he came right at us and got physical with us right off the bat and just kind of took Zach right out of the match. And down here, when you give some points away, then it gets tough.”
Kleman is confident Wilson (47-2) will regroup after Friday’s tough loss.
“Zach will be able to do that (come back after the loss). That’s not a problem. We’ll get him refocused by tomorrow,” he said.
Wapakoneta to have three on podium
For the wrestlers who lost a match Thursday, Friday was all about wrestling back in hopes of making it to the awards podium Saturday night.
Wapakoneta’s John Martin (106), Nate Valentine (145), Holden Hengstler (182) and Alec Brown (195) all won their first-round bouts on Thursday.
However, on Friday morning, all four of Wapakoneta’s seniors lost their respective championship quarterfinal matches, which dropped them into the consolations.
In the second round of consolations, all of Wapakoneta’s wrestlers, except for Brown, won to stay in the hunt. Brown’s loss in Friday’s consolations eliminated him from the tournament.
Martin went 2-1 on Friday to keep his hopes alive for a top-four placing. He opened Friday’s action with a 3-2 loss to Claymont’s Tyler Warner in the championship quarterfinal.
Even though he’s been to the state tournament three times before, Martin has yet to make the podium.
“I just put it in my mind that eighth place isn’t good enough,” Martin said. “So now I want to get third. I’m really confident in my takedown abilities. I feel like I have a really good chance of getting in that third-place match.”
Hengstler went 2-1 Friday to stay alive for a shot at a top-four finish.
“I didn’t wrestle to my ability,” Hengstler said about his loss on Friday. “But I knew I had to come back. I couldn’t just give up. It was my last shot. If I lost, then I was done.”
Nate Valentine (145) also went 2-1 on Friday to keep his hopes alive for a possible top-four finish.
LCC duo to make podium
The two seniors have been there before.
Lima Central Catholic’s Brandon McCormick (138) and Bobby Sunderhaus (170) have been through all the hype that comes with competing at the state tournament.
For McCormick, this is his third trip to the Division III state tournament. Sunderhaus is making his second consecutive trip to wrestle at the Schottenstein Center.
The one thing missing for McCormick, however, is not getting on the awards podium. Last season, Sunderhaus competed at the state tournament and finished seventh at 170.
“Drawing (Waynedale’s Zane) Nelson in the first round was definitely tough,” McCormick said. “He’s really good. I thought I wrestled really well against him. But it’s good to battle back and hopefully I can get as high as I can and get third. …That would be great.”
McCormick lost a major-decision to Nelson 14-6 on Thursday. Last season, Nelson was the Division III state runner-up at 138.
After losing his first-round match on Thursday, McCormick reeled off three wins on Friday to set himself up for a possible top-four finish.
For Sunderhaus, he knew after suffering a first-round loss Thursday, he had to regroup and get ready to wrestle. Sunderhaus went 2-1 on Friday and now will wrestle in today’s seventh-place match.
“Actually, this probably was a lot more difficult than a normal week. It was easy to sit there and say, ‘I’m a senior. … I’m already here and it doesn’t matter. I could still lose this match and feel pretty good about myself’. But I got focused, and I knew what I had to do,” he said.
LCC coach Tommy Connelly gave his wrestlers some advice after their losses.
“I just said that it’s water under the bridge. You have to stay focused and you can’t make mistakes. You just have to battle back. This tournament is just a test of adversity. You have to stay focused the whole time. If you make one mistake, then anyone can beat you,” Connelly said.
— Colin Ingram (113, Div. III) was pinned by Ashland Mapleton’s Zack Durbin midway through the third period in Friday’s quarterfinal match. Ingram bounced back and won his first consolation match, defeating Riverdale’s Kolten Marti, 4-2.
However, Ingram then lost to Liberty-Benton’s Tyler Sarreshteh 10-4 in the consolations. With the loss, Ingram is still alive in the tournament and will compete in the seventh-place match later today.
— Delphos Jefferson’s Colin McConnahea (195, Div. III) took on North Baltimore’s Dalton Ishmael in his championship quarterfinal. Ishmael is a two-time state placer. Ishmael, who holds the state record in career pins, made McConnahea his 154th victim in his quarterfinal victory.
McConnahea went 1-2 on Thursday and will wrestle for seventh.
— Bluffton’s Josiah Conley (182, Div. III) went 1-2 on Friday to put himself in today’s seventh-place match. Conley, a senior, has been wrestling just three seasons.
“It’s been a good time here,” Conley said. “I’ve made my mistakes, but I’ve wrestled well for the most part. I’m hoping to get this win here tomorrow.”
— Indian Lake’s Heath Lange (138, Div. II) and L.J. Henderson (160, Div. II) will both have a chance to finish as high as third place today. Coldwater’s Justin Post (220, Div. III) will be wrestling in the seventh-place match.