Wrestling: Allen East’s Criblez is aiming high

LIMA — Allen East junior Eli Criblez is focused on one thing.

That is, to win a state wrestling title.

Last season, Criblez lost in the Division III state title match in the 285-pound weight class to Columbus Grove’s Jeff Meyer.

At this weekend’s Lima Central Catholic Thunderbird Invitational, Criblez dominated the heavyweight class, en route to winning Saturday’s championship match against Coldwater’s Will Fox. Criblez pinned Fox in the first period. Criblez is 30-0 on the season.

“I’ve faced him (Fox) two other times,” Criblez said. “I faced him at Lima Senior (Spartan Invitational, Jan. 8). He went the whole match with me. Then two weeks ago, we had a dual, and I pinned him in the first (period).”

Since Criblez came so close last year to winning a state title, he has taken a different approach this season.

“I try to think about each match as being my last match,” Criblez said. “I’m going to give it my all, either way.”

Now that Meyer has graduated, Criblez said it’s different, knowing that he will not meet Meyer again.

“I think it helps me to push harder, because I don’t know how good they are,” Criblez said in reference to other competition that he will face down the road.

Criblez’s impressive performance this weekend helped pave the way for a third-place finish in the final team standings for Allen East.

The Mustangs finished third out of 43 teams in the two-day tournament.

Waynedale won the team title, scoring 198.5 points. Reading ended the tournament with 174 points, while Allen East was a very close third (171.5).

Coldwater had the next-best area performance. The Cavaliers finished ninth (95).

“Today was like going to a district tournament,” longtime Allen East head coach Mike Abbey said. “We had four guys in the finals. My heavyweight (Criblez) is for real. He just dominated the whole tournament. … He pinned his way through. He had a six-second pin yesterday. He’s getting better every day.”

Allen East had three other wrestlers compete in Saturday’s finals.

Allen East’s Kade Wireman (29-4) lost to last year’s Division III state champion Wayne Trace’s Jarrett Hornish (126) in Saturday’s title match at 144 pounds by way of a pin. Teammate Alek Winner (24-7) was pinned by Carey’s Isaac Carmen in the title match at 215 pounds.

However, Allen East’s Chase Miller (14-3) slipped out with a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Eastwood’s Bryce Hesselbart in the title match at 165 pounds.

“A win is a win,” Miller said. “I got my one point for an escape. So, once I got on top, I knew I pretty much could ride it out.”

Abbey feels like his team is starting to come together, as the regional team dual tournament begins next weekend.

“The (wrestling) room is getting better,” Abbey said. “We have Chase Miller back. He’s been out about a month with a sore arm. He came in and wrestled really well. We had two champs today. So, it’s getting better.”

All four of Allen East’s wrestlers who were in Saturday’s finals, also competed at last year’s Division III state tournament.

Lima Central Catholic’s Gavin Caprella notched the title at 120 pounds on Saturday.

In Saturday’s championship match, Caprella (23-3) recorded a 12-2 major decision over Reading’s Ramakrishna Gandhi.

“I was super pumped, coming into the tournament,” Caprella said. “It’s my final Thunderbird (Invitational), in front of the home crowd.”

Saturday’s Thunderbird invitational title was Caprella’s third. Caprella is a senior.

Last season, Caprella placed fifth at the Division III state tournament in the 113-pound weight class. This season, there is one ultimate goal for the LCC standout.

“It’s obviously (winning) a state title. … That’s the goal,” Caprella said.

Area wrestlers who finished second on Saturday were Bluffton’s Kaden Basil (175), and Spencerville’s Carder Miller (126).

Miami East’s Max Shore, the 126-pound champion, was named the most valuable wrestler of the invitational. Shore, who was last year’s state champion in the 120-pound weight class, defeated Spencerville’s Carder Miller in Saturday’s title match by way of a tech fall, 18-3.

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Lima Central Catholic’s Gavin Caprella, top, competes against Lakota’s Simon Roth during Saturday’s LCC Thunderbird Invitational at Edward C. Herr Gymnasium.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/01/web1_Tbird-Invite-003-1.jpgLima Central Catholic’s Gavin Caprella, top, competes against Lakota’s Simon Roth during Saturday’s LCC Thunderbird Invitational at Edward C. Herr Gymnasium. Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Allen East’s Kade Wireman, top, competes against Reading’s Austin Fancher during Saturday’s LCC Thunderbird Invitational at Edward C. Herr Gymnasium.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/01/web1_Tbird-Invite-009-1.jpgAllen East’s Kade Wireman, top, competes against Reading’s Austin Fancher during Saturday’s LCC Thunderbird Invitational at Edward C. Herr Gymnasium. Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Allen East’s Chase Miller lifts Triad’s Awesom Mitchell during Saturday’s LCC Thunderbird Invitational at Edward C. Herr Gymnasium.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/01/web1_Tbird-Invite-011-1.jpgAllen East’s Chase Miller lifts Triad’s Awesom Mitchell during Saturday’s LCC Thunderbird Invitational at Edward C. Herr Gymnasium. Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Bluffton’s Kaden Basil, top, competes against Reading’s Caden Conner during Saturday’s LCC Thunderbird Invitational at Edward C. Herr Gymnasium.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/01/web1_Tbird-Invite-017-1.jpgBluffton’s Kaden Basil, top, competes against Reading’s Caden Conner during Saturday’s LCC Thunderbird Invitational at Edward C. Herr Gymnasium. Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Allen East’s Eli Criblez, top, competes against Carey’s Brock Bushong during Saturday’s LCC Thunderbird Invitational at Edward C. Herr Gymnasium.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/01/web1_Tbird-Invite-022-1.jpgAllen East’s Eli Criblez, top, competes against Carey’s Brock Bushong during Saturday’s LCC Thunderbird Invitational at Edward C. Herr Gymnasium. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
LCC’s Caprella is poised

By Mark Altstaetter

[email protected]

Results

Team scores (top 10, area teams): 1. Waynedale 198.5, 2. Reading 174, 3. Allen East 171.5, 4. Miami East 160, 5. Covington 157, 6. Wayne Trace 133, 7. Lakota 126, 8. Woodmore 108.5, 9. Coldwater 95, 10. Ashland Crestview 91,

11. Spencerville 83.5 (tied Carey), 16. Columbus Grove 68, 20. Bath 53, 24. Bluffton 47.5, 29. Convoy Crestview 30, 30. Lima Central Catholic 29.5, 33. Delphos St. John’s 20, 35. Lincolnview 18 (tied Toledo Christian), 37. Cory-Rawson 16, 38. Delphos St. John’s 14.5, 42. Ottawa-Glandorf 8.5, 43. Pandora-Gilboa 0.

First- through seventh-place matches involving area competitors

First-place matches

120: Gavin Caprella (Lima C.C.) maj. def. Ramakrishna Gandhi (Reading), 12-2 major decision

126: Max Shore (Miami East) def. Carder Miller (Spencerville), 18-3 technical fall

144: Jarrett Hornish (Wayne Trace) pinned Kade Wireman (Allen East) 3:19

165: Chase Miller (Allen East) def. Bryce Hesselbart (Eastwood), 1-0

175: Peyton Lemon (Waynedale) def. Kaden Basil (Bluffton), 11-4

215: Isaac Carmen (Carey) pinned Alek Winner (Allen East), 4:22

285: Eli Criblez (Allen East) pinned Will Fox (Coldwater), 1:49

Third-place matches

144: Ezekiel Burkholder (Bath) pinned Landon Emch (Woodmore), 2:09

165: Justin Hershberger (Waynedale) pinned Grant Heuing (Coldwater), 4:28

175: Mason Vonderwell (Delphos St. John’s) def. Gus Kyser (Madeira), 6-2

190: Jensen Wagoner (Covington) def. Caleb Stammen (Coldwater), 2-1

Fifth-place matches

113: Zachary LaPlante (Tol. Christian) def. Nyah Hodge-Miller (Spencerville) by default

120: Nolan Earles (Preble Shawnee) pinned Austin Hamilton (Coldwater), 4:05

150: Trenton Gatchell (Allen East) def. Caleb Miller (Covington) by default

157: Landen Schroeder (Columbus Grove) pinned Connor Morse (Ash. Crestview), 4:05

190: Michael Mulvihill (Blanchester) def. Brogan Paxson (Allen East) by default

215: Matthew Creamer (Ben. Logan) pinned Andrew Schafer (Columbus Grove), 4:31

285: Logan Johnson (Spencerville) def. Patton Johnson (Reading), 5-3

Seventh-place matches

106: Carter Deppe (Bath) pinned Caleb Wischer (Madeira), 4:22

113: Domanic Devault (Waynedale) pinned Gavin Grubb (Con. Crestview), 1:18

138: Nick Musselman (Blanchester) pinned Jacob Pinks (Allen East), 0:48

165: Awesom Mitchell (Triad) pinned Maddox Jurek (Spencerville), 1:47

175: Owen Burge (Van Buren) def. Gage Wireman (Allen East), 7-5