Ohio High School Wrestling: Medina Highland freshman forced to hang up shoes after freak injury

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Medina Highland freshman Dan Mirman
Nobody could question Dan Mirman's heart. Unfortunately, that's not the
portion of the Medina Highland freshman's chest cavity that poses the
problem. A freak injury that resulted in a collapsed lung led Mirman to forfeit his semifinal match at the Fostoria Division II District over the weekend.



Nobody could question Dan Mirman's heart. Unfortunately, that's not the
portion of the Medina Highland freshman's chest cavity that poses the
problem.

A freak injury led Mirman to forfeit his semifinal match at the Fostoria
Division II District over the weekend. Discovery of how severe it was, just
before Mirman was to take the mat against Lexington's Brandon Gambucci
perhaps kept him from having to forfeit a lot more.

“They told me, 'You're not going to wrestle. If you wrestle you'll probably
end up in intensive care with a chest tube in your stomach,'” Mirman said
Monday.

Further review of x-rays taken the night before, after Mirman had won two
district matches, revealed a partially collapsed lung. As Highland coach
Mark Savoia said, it isn't the kind of injury you mess with. So Mirman was
pulled from the tournament.

Mirman's record stood at 37-5 heading into the Fostoria semifinals. After
winning by forfeit, Gambucci was soundly defeated by Padua's Andrew
Romanchik in the district final.

Mirman fell 11-9 to Romanchik in the final of the Highland Sectional a week
earlier, so it stands to reason he'd have at least earned the rematch and
the state berth that would have gone with it. Ranked sixth among Division II
103-pounders in the Brakeman, Mirman would likely have been Highland's sixth state qualifier. The Hornets still sent a solid group, good enough to place in the top 10, if things go well. A top-five finish became less likely.

Mirman's odyssey started – he thinks – in the sectional finale against
Romanchik. Mirman took a knee to the midsection from the Parma wrestler,
just one of those things that happens on the mat. But he felt fine
afterwards, as well as all week through practice.

Mirman then ripped through his first two district matches, winning both by
major decision, but something wasn't quite right. So it's possible he
aggravated the issue.

“After my first match in districts, it felt like I had swallowed something
wrong,” Mirman said. “Another hour went by and it hurt my chest just to
bounce around and jog. I got on the mat and it was hurting me. .. And I'm
running and every step and just huge pain is going through my stomach, just
breathing, taking deep breaths. My throat was swelling up and it got to the
point where someone had to help me walk and change my clothes so I could
make weight.”

It was suggested that Mirman get to a hospital just to get checked out.
Initial looks at x-rays didn't show anything major. Mirman headed back to
the team hotel to sleep. Still needing to weigh in again – “I was still
hurting like hell,” Mirman said – he made his way back to the gym, but while
warming up he was told a radiologist had discovered a partially collapsed
lung.

Mirman headed back to the hospital. Just like that, his season was over.

“I wanted to be a four-time state placer,” he said. “But I'm only a
freshman. It could be a lot worse. I could be in a lot worse condition. I
could be a senior and be done.”

Monday, Mirman was in Highland's locker room, telling his tale and watching
his teammates prepare for their first pre-state workouts. It wasn't easy for
him, knowing he was supposed to be doing the same thing. But with every
breath came a reminder of why he wasn't.

“It still hurts to breathe in, he said, his voice a bit on the raspy side.
“I can't be in the gym, I can't practice or lift or anything. It sucks. I was expecting to start lifting again even though I was out. It's tough to watch everyone. I think this will make me hungrier for next year. It will make me want it more.”

Mirman will be inactive for a couple weeks before being allowed to return to
the weight room. He'll take a little more time away from the mat after that.
At some point, he'll get back on the mat, and won't be able to worry about
the next time an opponent's knee finds his chest.

“You've got to get back on the bike,” he said. “You have to get back out
there and act like it's never going to happen again.”

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