ELYRIA — Maybe it was the hot streak Elyria High wrestler Armando Torres has been riding that caused the school’s fire alarm to sound off midway through Sunday’s competition.
Torres — the Division I 113-pound state runner-up in March — captured the Junior freestyle 120-pound state championship with a 1-1, 1-0 victory over Olentangy Liberty sophomore Jonathan Furnas.
“I had heard he was pretty tough — I think the match was a little closer than I expected,” Torres said of Furnas, who placed seventh at state in March. “It was really hard to move him around. He had great head position and almost always I couldn’t get past his head or hands.”
Torres joins three other Lorain County wrestlers on the Ohio team headed for the national championships in Fargo, N.D., in July. Oberlin heavyweight Kevin Vough won a Cadet state championship to earn his spot, Pioneers freshman Ben Darmstadt finished as the Cadet runner-up at 145 pounds and Elyria’s Taylor Workman was petitioned onto the team after placing fourth in the Junior’s 170-pound bracket.
“I can’t wait because I’ve heard so much about Fargo, and the training camp’s real good,” said Darmstadt, who lost 6-0, 4-2 to Greenview’s Logan Lacure in the final. “I actually went down last year because (Pioneers coach Erik Burnett) took me down just to work out. That was real cool — just the training camp alone — so with the tournament on top of it, it’s going to be fun.”
Lacure was a Division III high school state runner-up last season. The freshman started fast against Darmstadt.
“The first period he came out there and took me down, turned me, turned me, exposed me here and got that tech — it got a little crazy rolling around,” said Darmstadt, whose post-match interview was interrupted by the false alarm. “Second period, I stayed a little more solid. I didn’t give up stupid exposures and tried to work my offense instead of worrying about defense.”
Darmstadt will have two months to work on the mistakes he made Sunday — he mentioned not allowing his arms to get trapped in a front head trap and not allowing his left arm to hang — and he’s already gotten a good scouting report on the national event.
“They say it’s a long day, the dorms are hot and sweaty, the food’s good … but I’m just going down there to get some good matches in and hopefully be an All-American and national champ,” he said.
It must have seemed like a long day for Vough, who won a state title mostly by sitting on the bleachers.
“I only wrestled a total of one match for freestyle,” he said. “My one match today was a 20-second pin.”
Vough’s 1-0 record — and the five points from the pin — was enough to put him in the final, which he won when Perrysburg’s Cale Bonner didn’t show up to wrestle. Bonner defeated Vough in the Greco Roman final Saturday, meaning both wrestlers will be competing in both styles in Fargo.
“I would have liked to wrestle the kid … but it’s so awesome to go to Fargo,” Vough said. “It’ll be tough, a lot of work.”
Not many on the Ohio team will have more Fargo experience than Torres, who will be making his fourth trip to nationals.
Torres won a Cadet state championship in 2010 with a win over Bethel-Tate’s Brandon Kahlenbeck, and went on to become an All-American (top eight) at the national tournament. He lost to Brecksville’s Austin Assad in the 2011 state final, then lost to Kahlenbeck in the 2012 state final.
“The last two years, I didn’t wrestle my best,” Torres said. “I’m glad I won it this year and for sure made it on the Fargo team … that’s always a good thing.”
Torres’ list of accomplishments has grown during his high school career, and events like the nationals have helped fan the flames of his burning desire to succeed.
“It’s basically all wrestling,” he said. “There’s not much to do in North Dakota, so you’re there concentrating on wrestling. Getting workouts in, wrestling … it’s just a weekend of straight wrestling.”
88 — First: Vince Mancini; Second: Jared Stevens; Third: Clayton Catanzarite. 94 — First: Ross Rayfield. 100 — First: Joshua Venia dec. Michael Mattin, 2-6, 2-0, 7-0. Third: Justin Portillo dec. Nick Henneman, 3-3, 7-0, 4-2. 106 — First: Garrett Lambert dec. Lane Peters, 3-0, 9-2. Third: Sam Roth dec. Harry Feuer, 5-3, 4-2. 113 — First: Jose Rodriguez tech. fall Jake Newhouse, 0-1, 7-0, 8-0. Third: Michael Sergent dec. Noah Baughmon, 8-2, 0-2, 3-2. 120 — First: Alexander Smith pinned Sam Meddings, :09. Third: Ana Abduljelil tech. fall Hunter Deshon, 5-0, 8-0. 126 — First: Garrett Hancock dec. Jake Spiess, 5-0, 1-0. Third: Alex Mackall tech. fall Nico O’Dor, 6-0, 10-4. 132 — First: Matthew Steer dec. Justin Demicco, 7-1, 7-4. Third: Jacob Kendzerski tech. fall Brandon Nagy, 8-1, 8-1. 138 — First: Hunter Ladnier dec. Dominick Demas, 9-9, 10-10. Third: Spencer Nagy pinned John Tunon, :23. 145 — First: Logan Lacure dec. Ben Darmstadt, 6-0, 4-2. Third: Austin Hiles pinned Lukas Rufenacht, 4-1, 1:01. 152 — First: Kyle Kaminski dec. Brandon Goldsmith, 6-0, 8-4. Third: Sam Matzek pinned Anthony Arroyo, 4-3, 4-8, :00. 160 — First: Andrew McNally dec. David Labra, 2-9, 5-4, 5-4. Third: Clayton Davidson tech. fall Eric Fausnacht, 6-0, 7-0. 170 — First: Antonil Campbell pinned Max Furst, 6-0, 1:08. Third: Brady Durieux tech. fall Zach Nirode, 6-0, 7-0. 182 — First: Andrew Fenton; Second: Andrew Jewell. 195 — First: Bailey Faust pinned Jerek Cropper, 6-0, 1:44. Third: Jaret Bunch dec. John Kelbly, 0-4, 3-1, 3-1. 220 — First: Deaken McCoy; Second: Eddie Sternad; Third: James Ford; Fourth: Blake Young. 285 — First: Kevin Vough beat Cale Bonner by forfeit. Third: Dan Cutchall dec. Adam Notestine, 4-3, 6-0.
100 — First: Zac McCauley. 106 — First: Thomas Genetin dec. Gage Branson, 3-6, 1-0, 6-0. Third: Daniel Roth tech. fall Zach Davie, 8-1, 7-0. 113 — First: Eli Stickley dec. Paul Petras, 1-0, 1-0. Third: Anthony Jagel beat Skyler St. Peter by forfeit. 120 — Armando Torres dec. Jonathan Furnas, 1-1, 1-0. Third: Michael Stewart dec. Chris Doyle, 6-2, 6-2. 126 — First: Joshua Parrett dec. Austin Assad, 5-0, 1-0. Third: Nick Mancini tech. fall Aaron Henneman, 6-0, 6-0. 132 — First: David Bavery dec. Anthony Tutolo, 1-1, 4-2. Third: Richard Screptock dec. Lyle Plummer, 4-0, 7-0. 138 — First: Wade Hodges dec. Stewart Oehlers, 4-1, 3-2. Third: Nick Boggs dec. Justyn Bostic, 5-1, 6-0. 145 — First: Dean Heil dec. Beau Minnick, 3-0, 1-0. Third: Casey Sparkman tech. fall Anthony Alexander, 7-3, 8-2. 152 — First: Anthony Collica tech. fall Jairod James, 7-0, 7-0. Third: Isaac Bast pinned Trey Grine, 2-2, 1:41. 160 — First: David-Brian Whisler dec. Benjamin Schram, 3-0, 1-4, 4-2. Third: Grayson Davis dec. Sal Straziusco, 4-0, 7-0. 170 — First: Quinton Hiles pinned Tyler Maloy, 7-0, 1:35. Third: Seth Williams dec. Taylor Workman, 2-1, 7-0. 182 — First: Joe Cordova; Second: Ryan Patchin; Third: De’Jon Vaughn. 195 — First: Nick Corba pinned Josh Murphy, :54. Third: Nate Hall dec. Andrew Shackelford, 0-4, 7-0, 3-3. 220 — First: Evan Rosborough tech. fall Michael Crockett, 7-1, 7-0. Third: Seth Brennock dec. Parker Knapp, 4-0, 4-1. 285 — First: Jon Cunningham; Second: Cody Buckner; Third: Antonio Zapata; Fourth: Nick Nader.