TROY — It was a very big weekend for local wrestlers in the Division III district wrestling tournament at Troy’s Hobart Arena as 12 wrestlers punched their tickets to next week’s state tournament.
Troy Christian advanced four wrestlers with senior Austin Awan and sophomore Connor Havill leading the way with runner-up finishes.
Awan advanced to the finals at 152 pounds with a 5-1 win over Evan Davis of Greenon, but was forced to injury default his championship match against unbeaten Jake Hurst of Mechanicsburg.
Havill tallied an impressive 5-0 victory over Chase Miller of Allen East in the semifinals and then fell to unbeaten Hayden Pummel of Indian Lake via an 11-1 major decision in the finals.
Sophomore Jason Shaffer and junior Troy Kennedy finished third at 120 and 126 pounds respectively to qualify for state, while freshman Kyle Schroer earned alternate status with a fifth place finish at 106 pounds.
Shaffer began the day with a defeat to eventual champion Max Shore of Miami East in the semifinals, but rebounded with a 9-5 win over Ashtan Hendricks of Greeneview and a 1:59 pin of Gabe Sutton of Wayne Trace in the 120-pound consolation final.
Kennedy battled his way through the consolation bracket at 126 pounds by defeating Owen O’Brien of Ben Logan via 16-0 technical fall, followed by a 2-1 win over Kellan Anderson of Covington in the third place match.
Schroer also battled in the blood rounds, but dropped a close 6-4 decision to Olivia Shore of Miami East in the consolation semifinal before closing out the tournament with a 10-4 win over Khadyn Jacobs of Brookville to finish fifth as a state alternate.
Miami East also had four wrestlers advance to state with junior Max Shore earning a district championship at 120 pounds.
Shore was dominant throughout the tournament, recording two pins and two technical falls. He opened Saturday’s competition with a 1:09 pin of Jason Shaffer of Troy Christian and then took just 28 seconds to pin Logan Attisano of Legacy Christian in the championship match. Shore entered the state tournament with an unbeaten 13-0 record.
Max’s brother Cooper and sister Olivia also earned state births as Cooper finished second at 113 pounds and Olivia placed third at 106 pounds.
Cooper Shore, a sophomore, advanced to the finals with a 1:20 pin of Kyler Walsh of Carlisle to set up a rematch of last week’s sectional final against unbeaten Dillon Campbell of Legacy Christian. The match was close through two periods, but Campbell pulled away in the final frame to hand the Viking wrestler a 10-2 defeat.
Olivia Shore rebounded from a defeat on Friday to defeat Troy Christian’s Kyle Schroer 6-4 in the consolation semifinal and followed with a 6-1 victory over Lane Bergman of Versailles to finish third at 106 pounds.
The final Viking wrestler to qualify for state was junior David Davis at 145 pounds. He dropped a close 8-4 decision to Westyn Moyer of Mechanicsburg in the semifinals, but rebounded to pin Grant Heuing of Coldwater in the consolation semifinal. Davis then defeated Kane Epperly of Versailles 5-2 to finish third.
Covington entered Saturday’s action with four wrestlers remaining and all four grapplers earned reservations for the state tournament.
Freshman Michael Hagan finished runner-up at 106 pounds after defeating Lane Bergman of Versailles 12-0 in the semifinals and falling to Legacy Christian’s Eli Campbell 7-5 in the championship match.
Seniors Cael Vanderhorst and Kellan Anderson each qualified for state for the fourth consecutive year as Vanderhorst finished third at 138 pounds and Anderson placed fourth at 126 pounds.
Vanderhorst defeated Teagan Hendricks of Greeneview 2-1 and then pinned Kade Wireman of Allen East, while Anderson punched his ticket to state with a 4-3 win over Brayden Brown of Legacy Christian.
The final Buccaneer wrestler to compete in the second day of the tournament was Trentin Alexander. The senior 170-pounder advanced in the consolation bracket with a 1:04 pin of Cael Gostomsky of Arcanum and then punched his ticket to state with an 8-2 decision over Kam Cox of Greenon – a victory that avenged an 11-10 loss in last week’s sectional final.
Evan Fogt of Lehman Catholic advanced to the second day of the tournament at 285 pounds, but dropped his consolation quarterfinal bout to Mechanicsburg’s Jake Thiel by the score of 4-1. He ended his senior season with a 22-11 record.