COLUMBUS – The ultimate goal for a wrestler is to make it to the third day of the state tournament.
If a wrestler makes it that far, then they will stand on the awards podium at the end of the day.
But first of all, the wrestler has to get through the second day.
For three area wrestlers, the second day of the state wrestling tournament had a little extra importance.
Shawnee sophomore Hunter Lucas came into Friday’s action hoping to win out for the day and move on to tonight’s championship match.
Lucas (106) won his Division II championship quarterfinal match Friday, as decisioned Terrell Grant from Tallmadge 7-3.
However, Lucas ran into a buzz saw in Friday’s semifinal match, later on. Claymont’s Tyler Warner (42-1) defeated Lucas in the semifinal, 7-2, forcing Lucas to wrestle back.
Lucas still has an opportunity to wrestle in today’s third-place match if he can get by Graham’s Justin Stickley in his first match today.
Bath’s Colin Ingram came into Saturday’s Division II championship quarterfinals with hopes of staying in contention for a state title
However, in Friday’s quarterfinals, Ingram was pinned by Cole Woods from Millersburg West Holmes late in the third period.
With the loss, Ingram was forced to wrestled back in the consolations. In the second round of consolations, Ingram pinned Juwan Minnifield from Sandusky Perkins.
In the next round of consolations, Ingram lost to Circleville Logan Elm’s Dominic Vagnier 9-5. Ingram will wrestle in the seventh-place match today.
Last season, Ingram placed seventh in Division III at 113.
“You just have to let it go and refocus,” Bath coach Joe Fisher said. “This definitely sucks, being his senior year, but he’ll still medal.
“He’s been here before. We’re staying positive with him. It’s a tough situation. So, we just have to be positive with him.”
Indian Lake’s Heath Lange (145) put himself in good position Friday, making it to the Division II semifinal match against Clyde’s Beau Minnick.
However, Lange fell short, losing 9-3 in his semifinal match. Lange still has a chance to wrestle back to the third-place match today.
Shawnee’s Dylan Hefner (182) came into Friday’s action 1-0 in the state tournament. However, in his championship quarterfinal bout Friday against Claymont’s Colt Crall, Hefner found himself on his back just 37 seconds into the match. With the loss, Hefner had to battle back in the consolations.
Hefner went 1-2 on the day and will wrestle for seventh place today.
Elida sophomore Blaine Hunter became the first state-placer in over a decade from his school. On Friday, Hunter (113) went 1-1 and will wrestle for seventh place today in Division II.
Hunter felt confident about his chances of making this far into the tournament.
“I’ve always wanted to get on the podium,” Hunter said. “Now, I want to see how high I can get up on it.”
In Division III, Lima Central Catholic’s Jack Huffman (195) bounced back from his loss in Friday’s first match of the day. In his second match on Friday, Huffman pinned Dezmond Perkins from Chillcothe Southeastern. In his next consolation match on Friday, Huffman lost to Versailles’ Kyle Dieringer, 3-1. Huffman will compete in today’s seventh-place match.
“I’m one of those three-period guys,” Huffman said. “I like going three periods and seeing how things end up in the third. I’m a good three-period wrestler. I think that favors me. But, anytime you smell blood like that and you have an opportunity to go for it, you take it.”
Huffman isn’t satisfied at just getting on the podium.
“Knowing that I’m on the podium that really takes all the jitters out,” Huffman said. “There’s no pressure at this point. I’ve accomplished my goal; I came here and I placed. Now, I feel like that no matter what happens, I’m not going to be really disappointed. Now the goal is to climb that podium as high as I can.”
Other local wrestlers that will compete today include Ada’s Austin Windle (160, seventh-place match), Coldwater’s Justin Post (220, possible third-place match); Indian Lake’s Reyse Wallbrown (152) and L.J. Henderson (182); Van Wert’s Zack Thomas (285, seventh-place match).
Wapakoneta’s Dallas Ambos (145) and Colton Brown (195) were both eliminated from the tournament.