By Josh Lowe (@JoshMLowe)
Buckeye State flexes muscle at all levels of collegiate national tournaments…
It’s been about 2-1/2 weeks since 42 wrestlers were crowned as state champions on the raised mats at The Schott. However, much has happened since then in the world of Ohio wrestling, a good chunk of it involving those now wrestling at all levels of college.
First off, while the state high school tournament was being conducted the national junior college championships (NJCAA) were being conducted in Spokane, Wash. Two Ohio high school alumni earned All-American honors:
Davion Caston (Darton State/Sandusky) – 5th at 133
The next weekend was the NAIA Championships in Topeka, Kansas, where one Ohio high school alumnus earned an All-American honor. Shawn McGhee (Campbellsville/Steubenville) was 5th at 157 pounds.
NCAA DIVISION II AND III
This past weekend, NCAA Division II and Division III staged their tournaments. The Division II tournament was held at Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio, while the Division III tournament was held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Five Ohio high school alumni earned All-American honors in Division III. That group was led by Jesse Gunter (Baldwin-Wallace/Coventry), who was third at 125 pounds, and his navigation through being legally blind has been well-documented. Others to earn spots on the podium were:
Jeremy Border (Mt. Union/Caldwell) – 3rd at 133
Daniel Mirman (John Carroll/Medina Highland) – 6th at 149
Jon Garrison (Mt. Union/Copley) – 6th at 157
Cody Lovejoy (Ohio Northern/Allen East) – 7th at 285
Eight Ohio high school alumni, including a pair of national finalists, earned All-American honors in Division II – as they did so in front of a (close to) hometown setting. The group was led by 125 pound national champion Ben Sergent (Findlay/Troy Christian) and 174 pound runner-up Adam Walters (Findlay/West Geauga). Rounding out the All-American honorees was:
Matt Turek (Gannon University/Madison) – 4th at 125
Michael Labry (Ashland University/Twinsburg) – 3rd at 133
Zak Vargo (Lake Erie College/CVCA) – 5th at 157
Bryson Hall (Ashland University/Chippewa) – 8th at 184
Joe Brandt (Ashland University/Versailles) – 5th at 197
Evan Rosborogh (Lake Erie College/Painesville Riverside) – 8th at 197
NCAA DIVISION I
Finally, this coming week is the NCAA Division I national tournament in Oklahoma City. 31 Ohio high school alumni, which is the second most of any state (only Pennsylvania with 63 has more) will be among the 330 wrestlers competing at the Chesapeke Energy Arena for national championships and All-American honors.
Two of those alumni are top seeds in their respective weight classes, David Taylor (Penn State/St. Paris Graham) at 165 and Nick Heflin (Ohio State/Massillon Perry) at 197. Two-time defending champion Logan Stieber (Ohio State/Monroeville) is the second seed at 141 pounds. Here is the listing of all the other qualifiers by weight class, with their seed number (1-16 get seeded) as applicable.
125: No. 7 Ryan Taylor (Wisconsin/St. Paris Graham), Cory Stainbrook (West Virginia/Walsh Jesuit), Kory Mines (Edinboro/Maple Hts)
133: No. 9 Johnni DiJulius (Ohio State/Walsh Jesuit), Vinnie Pizzuto (Eastern Michigan/Jackson-Milton)
141: No. 14 Edgar Bright (Pittsburgh/St. Edward), No. 15 Anthony Collica (Oklahoma State/Solon)
149: No. 7 Gus Sako (Virginia/St. Edward), No. 8 David Habat (Edinboro/St. Ignatius), No. 10 Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech/St. Paris Graham), Tywan Claxton (Ohio/Brush)
157: No. 4 Ian Miller (Kent State/Oak Harbor), No. 5 Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin/St. Paris Graham), Markus Scheidel (Columbia/St. Edward)
165: No. 3 Nick Sulzer (Virginia/St. Edward), No. 7 Pierce Harger (Northwestern/Cincinnati Moeller), Harrison Hightower (Ohio/University School), Zach Toal (Missouri/Troy Christian)
174: No. 8 Cody Walters (Ohio/St. Peter Chanel), No. 14 Mark Martin (Ohio State/St. Edward), Brad Wukie (Penn/University School), Caleb Marsh (Kent State/Marysville)
184: No. 4 Max Thomusseit (Pittsburgh/St. Paris Graham), No. 9 Domenic Abounader (Michigan/St. Edward)
197: No. 8 Phil Wellington (Ohio/Villa Angela-St. Joseph)
285: No. 10 Jeremy Johnson (Ohio/Brecksville), Nick Tavanello (Ohio State/Wadsworth), Ty Walz (Virginia Tech/St. Edward)