April 21, 2014

Elyria
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Wrestling: Ziegler’s runner-up performance tops in area at Brecksville

BROADVIEW HTS. — Heading into this weekend’s 52nd annual Brecksville Holiday Tournament, St. Ignatius junior and North Ridgeville resident Tommy Ziegler only had one loss.

That loss was to Lake Catholic junior Anthony Tutolo.

Ziegler got a second crack at Tutolo in the 126-pound championship, but wasn’t able to even the score as Tutolo won a 5-0 decision. But it was Ziegler’s highest finish at the prestigious tournament and the highest finish for any area wrestler.

“I wrestled well, but there’s still room for improvement,” Ziegler said. “I definitely wrestled him better this time. The whole match was solid. I lost on two easy takedowns. Those are mistakes that can be fixed.”

Elyria, which finished in a three-way tie for 10th out of 45 teams, put five of its eight wrestlers on the podium and had three wrestlers competing in the third-place match — junior Armando Torres (113) won his third-place match.

Torres — the 106-pound runner-up last season — lost 3-2 in the semifinals to eventual champion Aaron Assad of Brecksville, then rebounded to defeat Dayton Christian’s Christian Clary 5-3 in the consolation semifinals before edging Troy Christian’s Jarred Ganger 1-0 to take third.

“I definitely feel good,” Torres said. “Even the one that I lost, I learned from it. I’m going to have (Assad) a couple more times this year. He’s going to be one of my biggest obstacles to a state title. I learned more about him (today) and I’m starting to figure him out a little bit.”

Torres was actually the second-highest finisher from Ohio in his weight class.

Davison (Mich.) sophomore Lincoln Olson, who was 47-0 going into the title match, lost 10-5 to Assad in the final.
“That says a lot,” Torres said.

Senior Brandon Egnor (132) and freshman Ben Darmstadt (120) finished fourth for the Pioneers.

Darmstadt lost 12-10 in overtime to Oregon Clay’s Richie Screptock, while Egnor lost 6-4 to top-seeded Jason Sandlin of Carlisle.

Heavyweight T.J. Halstead and 170-pounder Taylor Workman each finished eighth. Halstead was edged 2-1 by Wadsworth’s Daryk Maki, while Workman lost 8-3 to Carlisle’s Nick Svarda.

“The five placers wrestled great, and the three that didn’t get onto the podium put up a good fight,” Torres said. “We’re still going to go into the room and work hard. It’s an improvement on not placing anybody at Ironman. This isn’t the caliber of Ironman, but it’s good to see these guys working like are now.”

Amherst only had one wrestler place in the top eight. Junior Mike Wearsch took fifth at 160 with a tough 2-1 decision over Oregon Clay’s Nick Stencel.

“Mike wrestled tough this weekend, really tough,” Amherst coach Brian Cesear said. “Every single kid he went up against, he did not back down. He made several improvements over the last few weeks, and he had a great tournament.”

Wearsch was proud of his accomplishments.

“I lost in the second round, so it was a lot of matches to go through to get to this point,” he said. “It was rough in that round to place, because I’m standing there ready to warm up and I see all my buddies getting knocked off. It kind of put the pressure on me.

“The only other tournaments we’ll run into competition like this is districts and states. This gets us ready for those two big ones coming up.”

Keystone finished 45th, and both Wildcats wrestlers that survived Friday — junior Logan Stiner (132) and sophomore Jake Worthington (195) — were eliminated Saturday.

Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or dangilles73@gmail.com.