LIMA — Ten for 10.
That’s what Allen East was at this weekend’s Division III sectional wrestling tournament at Lima Central Catholic.
Allen East brought 10 wrestlers to the sectional tournament, and all 10 qualified for next weekend’s Division III district tournament at Troy’s Hobart Arena on Friday and Saturday.
As a team, Allen East won the sectional title, slipping past runner-up Wayne Trace 222.5-197. Coldwater (159.5), Parkway (130) and Columbus Grove (124) rounded out the top five squads in the 14-team field.
The top four placers in each weight class at the LCC sectional qualified for the district tournament. Then, the top four placers in each weight class at Troy will advance to the Division III state tournament, which will be held at Marion Harding High School on March 13-14.
Out of those 10 district qualifiers this weekend, Allen East notched four individual sectional titles. The 14 weight classes were divided up between Friday and Saturday, because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Kade Wireman (138-pound weight class), Trenton Gatchell (152), Chase Miller (160) and Gage Wireman (182) all notched sectional titles this weekend for Allen East.
“We brought 10 guys yesterday – and all 10 finished (at least) top three (in their respective weight classes),” longtime Allen East head coach Mike Abbey said. “So, we were pretty solid. We’ll go down to districts and see what kind of splash we can make down there.”
On Saturday, Allen East sophomore Gage Wireman (30-10) won the title in the 182-pound weight class. Friday night, his twin brother Kade Wireman, won the title at 138.
Gage Wireman came into the tournament weighing less than 170 pounds. In Saturday’s championship bout at 182, Wireman defeated Coldwater’s Shane Ontrop (29-13), 7-2.
Gage Wireman said that wrestling larger opponents isn’t anything new for him.
“I was going to go down to 152 (pounds), but my body would not allow me to go down (in weight),” Gage Wireman said. “So, I thought I would just go back to 182. I won conference (at 182), and now I’m the sectional champ.
“I’ve been wrestling 182 pretty much all year, except once, when I wrestled at 170. Then I went back to 182. I wrestle with my brother (Kade), Chase Miller and Blake Hershberger (at practices). It’s the best work that I’ve gotten in the past two years.”
Friday night, Kade Wireman defeated Bath’s Ezekiel Burkholder in a major-decision, 17-5, to win the sectional title at 138.
Also on Friday, Allen East’s Blake Hershberger (170) became the all-time leader in wins in school history. However, in the championship match, Chase Martin from Delphos St. John’s defeated Hershberger 7-5, in a battle of two former state-qualifiers. During the weekend, Martin became the all-time wins leader at St. John’s.
In Saturday’s final in the 285-pound weight class, Allen East sophomore Eli Criblez (39-3) was defeated by Columbus Grove senior Jeff Meyer (41-2) in an overtime tiebreaker, 2-1. Meyer is a three-time state qualifier for the Bulldogs.
“It was a tough match – double overtime again,” Abbey said. “We have to be a little better on top, and a little bit better on the bottom. If we see him (Meyer) next week, it will be awesome. I said that I wouldn’t mind wrestling him two more times. … That means that something pretty good is happening at state. So, we’ll see what happens. It’s been a solid season.”
Criblez and Meyer know each other quite well. On the season, Meyer holds a 2-1 edge over Criblez.
Meyer said he felt confident about Saturday’s matchup with Criblez.
“It’s just all the hours I put in at practice – all the conditioning and all the extra sprints,” Meyer said. “When you go into overtime you think, ‘I know I can do it’. … All that hard work pays off.”
Meyer’s teammate, Ezra Jones, won a sectional title at 195. In Saturday’s finals, Jones (36-3) defeated Coldwater’s Caleb Stammen (38-3), 7-3.
Last season, as a junior, Jones placed fifth at districts and was a state-alternate. This season, Jones has big aspirations.
“I lost my (state-) qualifying match (at districts) in overtime,” Jones said. “So, that’s always been in the back of my head the whole year – just trying to get back and qualify for state.”
Others from the area winning sectional crowns at LCC included Columbus Grove’s Ethan Beam (106), Lima Central Catholic’s Gavin Caprella (113) and Parkway’s Hayden Ridenour (220).
Others from the area who advanced to districts this weekend at LCC included: Ada’s Antonio Petitt (second, 126), Clayton McClain (third, 113) and Colton Biederman (fourth, 120), Allen East’s Hunter Sidle (second, 113), Alek Winner (second, 220), Jacob Hershberger (third, 145) and Brogan Paxson (third, 195), Bath’s Ezekiel Burkholder (second, 138), Zachary Kennedy (third, 132) and Nolan Deppe (third, 182), Columbus Grove’s Landen Schroeder (fourth, 145), Coldwater’s Nick Kline (second, 120), Austin Hamilton (fourth, 113), Mason Klosterman (third, 126) and Grant Heuing (second, 145), Crestview’s Gavin Grubb (third, 106), Kenton’s Connor Dye (second, 106), Anthony Hunt (second, 132), Carter Bays (third, 170) and Brandon Bowling (fourth, 195), Delphos Jefferson’s Anthony Bodine (fourth, 138), Bruce Hutchison (fourth, 170) and Owen Miller (fourth, 220), Lincolnview’s Dylan Hensley (fourth, 132), Mason Vonderwell (third, 160) from Delphos St. John’s, Parkway’s Skyler Fokine (fourth, 126), Graham Farmer (third, 152) and Bryce Mihm (fourth, 160) and Spencerville’s Trey Hunter (fourth, 106), Carder Miller (third, 120), Maddox Jurek (fourth, 152), Reuben Noriega (third, 220) and Brandon Dues (third, 285).
Oregon Clay sectional
Lima Senior’s Aaron Bowsher (145 pounds) and Davion Browning (182) advanced to districts with a second-place finishes.
Perrysburg (242.5 points) won the team title. Lima Senior (63.5) was seventh.
St. Marys’ Tyler Hisey (106 pounds) and Stashu Patterson (182), Wapakoneta’s Colin Mellott (113) and Elida’s Conner Douglass (138) each won individual titles.
Wausean (253.5 points) won the team title followed by Napoleon (206), St. Marys (158), Celina (153), Wapakoneta (152), Bowling Green (121), Bryan (82), Shawnee (64), Elida (59), Defiance and Van Wert (54 each) and Ottawa-Glandorf (41).
Area second-place finishers included St. Marys’ Trevor Hisey (113) and Carter Sharpe (195), Celina’s Landon Engle (126), Joey Posada (220) and Jaden King (152), O-G’s Angel Rosales (138), Shawnee’s Ethan Scurlock (145), Van Wert’s Macein Bigham (160) and Wapakoneta’s Cael Rostorfer.
Area third-place finishers included Celina’s Derrick Slater (113), Wapakoneta’s Bryce Knapke (120), Gavin Hill (132), Ean Kramer (195) and Trevor Houts (220) and St. Marys’ Mason Saeler (160) and Jace Schaefer (170).
Area competitors also qualifying for districts with fourth-place finishes included Van Wert’s Killian Sudduth (126), Celina’s Kyler Bowlby (138) and Alex Stachler (182), Ottawa-Glandorf’s Owen Thomas (145), Shawnee’s Mason Adlesh (152) and Wapakoneta’s Jacob Schlesselman (160).
Van Buren sectional
Bluffton’s Thayne Kleman (106 pounds), Tayton Kleman (120) and Kaden Basil (160) won individual titles. Jeremy Sturgeon (126) and Trent Howard (195) were second and third respectively for Bluffton to also earn district spots.
Liberty-Benton (217.5 points) won the team title. Bluffton (110.5) was fifth, Cory-Rawson (21) was 10th and Pandora-Gilboa (5) was 13th.
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