BALTIMORE — With the outcome still undetermined until the final whistle sounded Saturday, Logan Elm was able to pin down the 2019 Mid-State League Buckeye Division wrestling championship with 173.5 points while Teays Valley was second at 169.5.
Fairfield Union finished third at 134.5 with Amanda-Clearcreek fourth at 110. Circleville placed eighth with 40 team points.
The title was a bit of a surprise to Logan Elm coach Jake Daniels.
“I personally thought we didn’t have a chance because we were missing our 126-pounder,” he said. “We had a couple kids come out and wrestle real tough.”
The Vikings held a four-and-a-half-point lead heading into the finals.
TV had seven kids wrestling for first and Logan Elm had six, with both schools claiming five titles.
The only weight class where they went head-to-head was at 170 pounds where LE’s Luke Linton was facing off against TV’s Hunter Young. Linton was able to come through with pin with seven seconds remaining in the second round.
“That was a big match. We had a head-to-head against him at West Jeff and it was tight, one or two points,” Daniels said. “We know Luke has gotten better, but we didn’t know how much better. Luke went out there and wrestled awesome. He sticks out the most today, beating a kid who beat him earlier in the year and pinning a kid that he only won by one or two points. He’s really stepped it in the last couple of weeks.”
Also winning league titles for the Braves were Cole Renier (106 pounds), Blake Holzschuh (120), Peyton Bennett (145) and Bowen McConahay (195). Christian Algoe came in second at 182.
Winning league titles for the Vikings were Zander Graham (113), Jacob Williams (138), Sam Fabbro (160), Nathan James (220) and Jaden Smith (285). Along with Young, Jacob Smith (132) also took second.
“It was a good tournament. Logan Elm has improved a lot and has a lot of good kids,” TV coach Todd Nace said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids and we had five champions. That might be the most we’ve had in a long time.
“Three of them were seniors, so the seniors stepped up today. Jacob Williams, Sam Fabbro and James Smith – Sam had a great match in the finals against (AC’s Seth) Turner, that’s probably the best I’ve seen him wrestle all year.”
LE got five wrestlers to the consolation finals with three claiming third, two by pin.
“Cole Renier wrestled great, Blake wrestled great at 120, Peyton wrestled great against the 45 kid from Hamilton — somebody he lost to this offseason in freestyle – Bowen wrestled well against a good younger kid and Collin (Roar) in the last match wrestled well (to take third),” Daniels said. “We had a couple young kids like Ethan Smith at 138 who won his (consolation) match. He pinned and got extra points.
“It was basically an all hands on deck type of mentality. Everybody contributed somehow, in some way, shape or form.”
TV advanced two wrestlers into the consolation finals with Josh Thompson taking third with a pin at 120 pounds.
“Our kids wrestled hard,” Nace said. “We had a sophomore (Dylan Bish) step up at 126 who had some varsity ‘B’ schedule, and he came in and got fourth place in this tournament.
“Our 120-pounder was our backup all year, stepped up and got third.”
Amanda-Clearcreek had eight wrestlers place Saturday.
Bobby Pieratt (120), Luke Herron (126), Matthew Metzger (138) and Seth Turner (160) each placed second. Hunter Hughes (145), Exekiel Hoffmann (152) and Quinton Lott (195) each finished third. Jacob Green (170) finished fourth for the Aces.
Circleville advanced three wrestlers to the consolation finals.
Timmy Clements took third at 126, Lucky Donaldson was fourth at 132 and Seth Duvall took third at 182. Injured in his match, Duvall was transported from the event by the local paramedics for further evaluation.
Circleville and Logan Elm will be competing at the Southeast District Division II sectional at Washington Court House this weekend.
“Hopefully this isn’t the top of the peak,” Daniels said. “We’ve still got a couple more weeks to go and, hopefully, we continue to build off what we did last week at Jonathan Alder and this week at league. We’ll try to get as many people out as possible next week at sectionals.”
Teays Valley heads to Newark for its sectional action.
“We’ll come back for sectionals Saturday at Newark, probably the hardest sectional in Central Ohio Division I,” Nace said. “But we’ve got some good kids so we’re excited for the future and finishing up the season.”
Amanda-Clearcreek will be in action at Licking Valley High School next weekend competing in the Central District Division II sectional.