CUYAHOGA FALLS - While the Walsh Jesuit Ironman tournament had been like kryptonite to the Palmer name, St. Edward junior Collin Palmer proved tougher than Superman on Saturday night as he powered his way to the 135-pound championship.
The season-opening tournament had been tough on Collin`s older brother Lance - who won the event his junior season and had three runner-up performances in his other appearances - and Collin himself had finished as a runner-up as a freshman and took third last season.
"It`s been tough," Palmer said. "Every year the competition gets better and better here. I`m looking forward to coming back next year and doing the same thing."
Palmer, who lives in Columbia Station, entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed due to Canon (Pa.) McMillan`s Colin Johnston being ranked No. 1 in the nation. Johnston was also the reason Palmer didn`t bring home gold as a sophomore, scoring a 5-1 decision in the 125-pound quarterfinals.
"That`s the kid I wanted," Palmer said. "He goes to Fargo and wins and everyone makes a big deal out of it."
But Johnston was eliminated in the semifinals by Walsh Jesuit senior Chase Skonieczny - who then was losing 4-0 to Palmer in the final when he defaulted with an ankle injury.
"I started off a bit slow (in the tournament)," Palmer said. "But I felt pretty good at the end."
Also feeling good were the Elyria pair of Steve Mitcheff and Ryan Nelisse, who both wrestled in the Saturday night session and took home strong placements.
Nelisse, who placed eighth at the event during his sophomore season, suffered a last-second takedown during his placement match and Lawrenceville`s Adam Zamos came away with a 3-1 victory.
"Sixth place isn`t too bad compared to what I did last year," Nelisse said. "Next year I want to win it all."
The Pioneer junior was impressive picking up five victories and four pins - including three pins in under a minute - during the two-day event.
"I like to get guys pretty quick," Nelisse said. "That`s just me wrestling hard. I was in the right spot at the right time."
Mitcheff placed fourth - the same result he managed during his freshman and sophomore seasons (he suffered an injury during the third round last season) - after a 4-2 loss in the semifinals to good friend and training partner Jamie Clark of St. Edward.
"It was a little bit strange," Mitcheff said. "But when we get out on the mat, we let everything go.
"You`ve got to be almost perfect to win this event."
Elyrian Brad Wukie, a sophomore at University School, was perfect during Day 1 competition, earning a spot in the 135-pound quarterfinals. But Day 2 was a bit tougher for Wukie, who lost a pair of matches and just missed placing.
"I just wanted to go as far as I could and I didn`t wrestle the way I should have," Wukie said. "You always have to be ready for your next match. Even if you lose, you`ve got to be able to get up for the next match."
Wukie lost 3-0 in the quarterfinals to Skonieczny, whom he expects to have a good rivalry with this season.
"I`ll see Chase about five more times again this year," Wukie said. "Through tournaments, we dual them and state - since he`s my weight. I got a good look at him and I`ll be ready for him next time."
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or email@example.com.
Collin Palmer (Columbia Station), St. Edward (135 pounds - 1st place)
W - pinned Ryan Medved (Harrison, Ga.), 3:23
W - dec. Austin Ormsbee (Blair Academy, N.J.), 3-2
W - dec. Shane Welsh (Burrell, Pa.), 3-0
W - dec. Daniel Kolodzik (Miami Valley), 7-0
W - def. Chase Skonieczny (Walsh Jesuit) by inj. default
Steve Mitcheff, Elyria (112 - 4th place)
W - pinned Drew Stone (Oak Harbor), 1:47
W - pinned Devin Marino (Montini Catholic, Ill.), 3:03
W - tech. fall Alex Gray (Wadsworth), 16-0
L - dec. by Jamie Clark (St. Edward), 4-2
W - dec. Mason Beckman (Reynolds, Pa.), 7-1
L - dec. by Sean Boyle (Blair Academy, N.J.), 6-1
Ryan Nelisse, Elyria (189 - 6th place)
W - pinned Terry Williamson (Broken Arrow, Okla.), 3:16
L - dec. by Ben Krakower (Blair Academy, N.J.), 11-5
W - pinned David McCoy (Parkersburg South, W. Va.), :38
W - pinned Nate Rychlik (St. Edward), :35
W - pinned Dan Grimes (Montini Catholic, Ill.), :41
W - dec. Nathan Jones (Troy Christian), 5-3
L - dec. by Jeremy Foster (Pemberville Eastwood), 7-5
L - dec. by Adam Zamos (Lawrenceville, N.J.), 3-1
Zack Goins, Elyria (145)
W - pinned Kaine Kulka (Reynolds, Pa.), 3:12
L - dec. by Richie Dehnz (Palmetto Ridge, Fla.), 4-3
W - dec. Seamus Szucs (Holy Name), 6-5
W - dec. Billy Painter (Aurora), 5-3
L - dec. by Zach Toal (Troy Christian), 7-1
Brad Wukie (Elyria), University School (135)
W - tech. fall Zach Bergman (Oak Harbor), 22-7
W - dec. Matt Bryan (Broken Arrow, Okla.), 3-2
L - dec. by Chase Skonieczny (Walsh Jesuit), 3-0
L - dec. by Austin Ormsbee (Blair Academy, N.J.), 5-1
Kodie Egnor, Elyria (119)
L - pinned by Jordan Nolan (Parkersburg, W. Va.), 5:55
W - dec. Scott Collins (Bishop Lynch, Texas), 2-0
W - tech. fall Blaine Ison (Palmetto Ridge, Fla.), 15-0
L - dec. by Andrew Robertson (Christianburg, Va.), 8-3
Dalton McHenry, Elyria (130)
W - tech. fall Jake Gregerson (Montini Catholic, Ill.), 17-2
L - maj. dec. by Andrew Grabfelder (Germantown Academy, Pa.), 14-3
W - dec. Zach Jakubek (Walsh Jesuit), 4-2
L - dec. by Harrison Hightower (University School), 11-6
Brandon Perrott, Elyria (135)
L - pinned by Daniel Kolodzik (Miami Valley), 2:45
W - tech. fall Brandon Henson (Montini Catholic, Ill.), 16-0
L - pinned by Glen Meyerhofer (Kaukauna, Wis.), 3:54