COLUMBUS — The only thing Elyria junior Armando Torres struggled to control Friday was keeping the smile off his face.
Torres escaped with a 4-3 victory over Mount Vernon senior Dakota Riley in the morning’s quarterfinal, then breezed to a 5-0 win over Cincinnati Moeller sophomore Conner Ziegler in the semifinals to earn a spot in the Division I 113-pound state championship match tonight.
“This is what I’ve been working for since I was young,” Torres said. “To wrestle on the big stage … it’s unbelievable.”
The area’s other two semifinalists weren’t as lucky.
Black River junior Sebastian Vidika lost a 7-1 decision to Delta freshman Jake Spiess in the Division III 106-pound semifinals, and Keystone sophomore Jacob Worthington suffered a 25-10 technical fall at the hands of Troy Christian senior — and defending state champion — B.J. Toal.
Torres did everything he could to prepare himself for this year’s tournament.
“I’ve been coming down here every year since the fifth grade,” he said. “It’s a big difference — huge — to actually get out on the mats and wrestle. It feels so different than watching it from the stands.”
The atmosphere wasn’t the only thing that had a familiar feel to it. The semifinal showdown with Ziegler was the third meeting between the pair — they met the first two weekends of the season at the Moeller Duals in Cincinnati and at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman — with Torres coming away with a pair of wins.
“That’s actually the fourth time I’ve wrestled him,” Torres said. “He beat me the first time we met at last year’s Ironman. He actually was the one that knocked me out of that tournament.”
Torres is even more familiar with his championship opponent, Brecksville senior Aaron Assad. They have met four times this season — Ironman, Brecksville Holiday, Bill Dies Memorial and the CSU district final — with Assad winning each match, all by two points or less.
“Assad is very, very good,” Pioneers coach Erik Burnett said. “(Torres) has gotten better and better every match down here, and you can only hope that it will culminate with his best match of the tournament tomorrow night.
“He’s going to have to go a full six minutes … or a full seven minutes … or a full 8½ … whatever it takes.”
The other two semifinalists dropped into the consolation quarterfinals, where they will battle this morning for the chance to wrestle for third place.
“I just have to forget about what happened and go after it tomorrow,” Vidika said. “(Spiess) frustrated me. He blocked my shots and he was really good on top.”
Things were even tougher for Worthington — both physically and mentally.
“I just wanted it to be done,” he said. “He just really broke me after that first period. He psyched me out. He just kept taking me down and kicking me.”
It wasn’t a surprising loss, especially since Toal was the overwhelming favorite to win the state title.
“He just wrestled the best kid in the bracket,” Wildcats coach Jim Pycraft said. “He lost to the defending state champion, it wasn’t like he lost to some nobody. For a sophomore, he did really well.”
Nobody from Lorain County performed better than Torres this weekend.
“I’m putting all those losses (to Assad) behind me,” he said. “This is the one that matters most. This is the one that counts.”
1. Lakewood St. Edward 92.5, 2. Brecksville-Broad. Hts. 88.5, 3. Cin. Arch. Moeller 85.0, 4. Massillon Perry 80.0, 5. Marysville 47.5, T-6. Hilliard Davidson, Solon 44.0, 8. Powell Olen. Liberty 35.0, 9. Maple Hts. 33.0, 10. Madison 31.0
19. Elyria 20.0, T-42. Lorain 8.0, T-66. Amherst Steele 3.0
106: Jose Rodriguez, Massillon Perry dec. Josh Heil, Brunswick 4-2; Austin Assad, Brecksville-Broad. Hts. dec. Shakur Laney, Groveport-Madison 5-4
113: Armando Torres, Elyria dec. Conner Ziegler, Cin. Arch. Moeller 5-0; Aaron Assad, Brecksville-Broad. Hts. dec. Nick Mancini, Young. Boardman 2-1
120: Artem Timchenko, Olentangy Orange dec. David Bavery, Massillon Perry 6-3; Brandon Thompson, Solon dec. Richie Screptock, Oregon Clay 6-0
126: Ivan McClay, Massillon Washington dec. Chance Driscoll, Lakewood St. Edward 2-1UTB; Bobby Smith, Hilliard Davidson dec. Jarrad Lasko, Madison 5-1
132: Dean Heil, Lakewood St. Edward dec. Andrew Mendel, Cin. Arch. Moeller 5-2; Zac Carson, Uniontown Lake dec. Nick Boggs, Painesville Riverside 9-5
138: Nick Montgomery, Madison pin Adam Sams, Fairfield 5:02; Noah Forrider, Marysville dec. Colin Heffernan, Lakewood St. Edward 3-1SV
145: Jake Ryan, Powell Olen. Liberty dec. Edgar Bright, Lakewood St. Edward 3-2UTB; Wyatt Music, Ashland dec. Trey Grine, Fremont Ross 9-2
152: Anthony Collica, Solon pin J.P. Newton, Perrysburg 1:20; Markus Scheidel, Lakewood St. Edward maj. dec. Aaron Yarger, Pickerington Centra 17-6
160: Quinton Hiles, Brecksville-Broad. Hts. maj. dec. Michael Coleman, Hudson 11-3; Dakota Sizemore, Cin. Arch. Moeller maj. dec. Nick Stencel, Oregon Clay 17-7
170: Tyler Hughes, Brunswick dec. Anthony McLaughlin, Cle. St. Ignatius 5-4TB; Nick Corba, Beavercreek dec. Richard Robertson, Maple Hts. 7-5SV
182: Quinton Rosser, Cin. Arch. Moeller dec. Gunner Lay, Loveland 11-9SV; Domenic Abounader, Lakewood St. Edward tech. fall Thomas Danis, Mason 16-0
195: Kyle Conel, Ashtabula Lakeside dec. Adam Kluk, Medina Highland 6-4; JoJo Tayse, Massillon Perry dec. Austin Pfarr, Marysville 6-3
220: Devin Revels, Maple Hts. dec. Alex Woicehovich, Macedonia Nordonia 5-3; Chalmer Frueauf, Cin. Arch. Moeller dec. Evan Rosborough, Painesville Riverside 6-2
285: Corey Siegfried, Canton GlenOak dec. Marquise Moore, Tol. Whitmer 2-1; Travis Gusan, Hilliard Davidson pin Truman Gutapfel, Harrison 3:43
126: Tommy Zeigler, Cle. St. Ignatius (North Ridgeville resident) dec. David Sparks, Marysville 4-3
138: Elijah Garcia, Lorain dec. Mathias Zollinger, Wadsworth 8-2
Consolation Round Two
113: Santino Disabato, Wester. North dec. Sal Corrao, Lakewood St. Edward (Avon resident) 7-2
120: Giuseppe Penzone, Powell Olen. Liberty pin Ben Darmstadt, Elyria 1:34
126: Tommy Zeigler, Cle. St. Ignatius dec. Matt Sicurella, Cin. Glen Este 5-1; Tim Rooney, Col. St. Charles pin Bryan DeRuchie, Amherst Steele 3:57
138: Elijah Garcia, Lorain maj. dec. Nick Steed, Canton GlenOak 11-3
(Local results only)
113: Armando Torres, Elyria dec. Dakota Riley, Mount Vernon 4-3; 113: Conner Ziegler, Cin. Arch. Moeller dec. Sal Corrao, Lakewood St. Edward 7-5SV
126: Bobby Smith, Hilliard Davidson dec. Tommy Zeigler, Cle. St. Ignatius 3-2
138: Nick Montgomery, Madison pin Elijah Garcia, Lorain 3:38
1. St. Paris Graham Local 114.0, 2. Akron St. Vin.-St. Mary 70.5, 3. Cuy. Falls CVCA 66.0, 4. Perry 57.5, 5. Wauseon 52.0, 6. Uhrichsville Claymont 50.0, 7. Oak Harbor 37.0, 8. Steubenville 35.0, 9. Hamilton Ross 33.0, 10. Lexington 31.5
106: Tyler Warner, Uhrichsville Claymont dec. Evan Cheek, Milan Edison 9-7; Seth Beard, Napoleon dec. Eli Stickley, St. Paris Graham Local 4-2
113: Eli Seipel, St. Paris Graham Local dec. Ryan Bennett, Cuy. Falls CVCA 8-3; Cameron Kelly, Bellbrook dec. Collin Dees, Perry 7-2
120: Joey Miller, Carrollton dec. Brent Moore, St. Paris Graham Local 12-8; Nathan Tomasello, Cuy. Falls CVCA pin Dalton Howard, Milan Edison 1:03
126: Mike Rix, Akron St. Vin.-St. Mary dec. Josh Decatur, Cuy. Falls CVCA 2-1TB; Anthony Tutolo, Mentor Lake Cath. dec. D.J. Schoeppner, Canton South 6-2
132: Preston Bowshier, Spring. Kenton Ridge dec. Aaran Gessic, Perry 3-2; Micah Jordan, St. Paris Graham Local pin Kade Kowalski, Dresden Tri-Valley 3:42
138: Ryan Skonieczny, Akron St. Vin.-St. Mary dec. Kyle Kaminski, Parma Padua Francis 6-4; Alex Mossing, Tol. Central Cath. pin Cordell Byrd, Hamilton Ross 4:32
145: Shelden Struble, Bryan dec. Joseph Jones, Hamilton Ross 6-4; Gabe Stark, Warren Howland dec. Max Rohskopf, Millersburg W. Holmes 6-0
152: Alex Marinelli, St. Paris Graham Local dec. Blake Miller, Clyde 11-6; Seth Williams, Tiffin Columbian maj. dec. Benjamin Schram, Bellbrook 13-2
160: Aaron Schuette, Wauseon dec. Alec Schenk, Perry 4-2; Bo Jordan, St. Paris Graham Local pin Ian Ferguson, Col. St. Francis DeSales 2:24
170: Luke Cramer, Oak Harbor dec. Lane Thomas, St. Paris Graham Local 6-1; Wyatt Running, Clarksville Clinton-Massie maj. dec. Brandon James, Ravenna South 21-13
182: Aaron Adkins, Akron St. Vin.-St. Mary dec. Jack Harris, Urbana 11-6; Stephen Suglio, Richfield Revere pin Jacob Kasper, Lexington 2:54
195: Josh Lehner, Lexington tech. fall Harrison Hoppel, Minerva 17-1; Isaiah Margheim, Sandusky dec. Sam Harris, Urbana 6-4
220: Zane Krall, Wauseon maj. dec. Kordell Chaney, Sandusky Perkins 11-0; Greg Moray, Steubenville maj. dec. Frank Heimkreiter, Hamilton Ross 12-2
285: Alex Farrow, Whitehall-Yearling dec. Chase Henderson, Franklin 8-3; Billy Miller, Perry dec. Dustin Kuhlwein, Plain City Jonathan Alder 8-3
1. Troy Christian 76.5, 2. Delta 63.5, 3. Day. Christian 63.0, 4. Jamestown Greeneview 46.0, 5. Rootstown 44.5, T-6. Loudonville, W. Jefferson 42.0, 8. Apple Creek Waynedale 39.5, 9. Shadyside 36.0, 10. Galion Northmor 33.5
T-26. Sullivan Black River 17.0, T-33. LaGrange Keystone 12.0, T-61. Lorain Clearview 6.0
106: Evan Ulinski, Elmore Woodmore dec. Hunter Bray, Day. Christian 2-0; Jake Spiess, Delta dec. Sebastian Vidika, Sullivan Black River 7-1
113: Christian Clary, Day. Christian tech. fall Caleb Ohl, Newark Cath. 18-3; Jarred Ganger, Troy Christian dec. Zack Durbin, Ashland Mapleton 7-3
120: Garrett Hancock, Troy Christian dec. Kyle Keller, Delta 7-4; Logan Lacure, Jamestown Greeneview dec. Sammy Gross, Beachwood 6-3
126: Zack Nelson, Apple Creek Waynedale dec. Zac Tupps, Galion 5-3; Andrew Hoskins, Jamestown Greeneview dec. Wes Fritz, Norwalk St. Paul 4-2
132: Jared VanVleet, Edgerton dec. Jason Sandlin, Carlisle 5-2; Gennar Feucht, W. Jefferson maj. dec. Dylan Marthey, Massillon Tuslaw 12-3
138: Logan Day, Archbold pin Jared Dilley, Amanda-Clearcreek 0:26; J.J. Diven, Atwater Waterloo pin Austin Reese, Mechanicsburg 6:49SV
145: Jacob Danishek, Day. Christian tech. fall Jamie Baldridge, Galion Northmor 23-8; Matt Buxton, New Lebanon Dixie dec. Tyler Fahrer, Delta 8-4
152: Alex Quinn, Shadyside pin Zach Wilson, Bluffton 2:40; Kollin Moore, Creston Norwayne dec. Jordan Marshall, Troy Christian 3-1SV
160: Ryan Harris, Beachwood dec. Chance Sonnenberg, Van Buren 13-6; Jared Mattin, Delta dec. Kurt Moore, Creston Norwayne 9-7SV
170: Travis Linton, Rootstown maj. dec. Jason Tipton, Amanda-Clearcreek 10-2; Tony Reynolds, Fostoria dec. Zach Mays, Nelsonville-York 8-3
182: Sam Groff, Magnolia Sandy Valley dec. Armani Robinson, Jamestown Greeneview 2-0; B.J. Toal, Troy Christian tech. fall Jacob Worthington, LaGrange Keystone 25-10
195: Dalton Ishmael, N. Baltimore dec. Ryan Weber, Loudonville 6-1; Tyler Beck, Galion Northmor pin Marcus Smith, Carlisle 2:25
220: Jake Moore, Rootstown pin Travis Boyd, Blanchester 4:46; Corey Ginn, W. Jefferson dec. Tyler Shank, Ashland Mapleton 8-7TB
285: Austin Cary, Loudonville pin Ben Sexton, Sugarcreek Garaway 5:59; Patrik Garren, Col. Bishop Ready dec. Zack Srock, Doylestown Chippewa 4-2
120: Dion Perez, Massillon Tuslaw dec. Mike Hozan, Sullivan Black River 4-1
Consolation Round Two
120: Mike Hozan, Sullivan Black River pin Dylan Stiner, LaGrange Keystone 4:53
132: Matt Hollingsworth, Lorain Clearview dec. Austin Laney, Hicksville 3-1
106: Sebastian Vidika, Sullivan Black River pin George Clemens, Haviland Wayne Trace 2:37
120: Garrett Hancock, Troy Christian pin Mike Hozan, Sullivan Black River 1:50
132: Matt Hollingsworth, Lorain Clearview dec. Brayden Leist, Carey 3-1
182: Jacob Worthington, LaGrange Keystone pin Josiah Conley, Bluffton 0:58