COLUMBUS — The four local wrestlers who made it past the first day of competition at the individual wrestling state championships in Columbus returned to the mat bight and early Saturday morning for the next round of competition.
Western Brown’s Jake Henderson got the event started with his championship quarterfinal rematch against Mentor Lake Catholic’s Joe Boley. Henderson pinned Boley the first time the two matched up, in early February at the state team duals. However, this time Boley would get the victory, edging Henderson by a 6-5 decision to advance to the semifinals.
Henderson then dropped to the consolation bracket, where he held on for a 5-4 victory over Alliance Marlingington’s Brennen Joseph. The victory assured Henderson of a spot on the podium Saturday night.
Teammate Jacob Altman took to the very same mat a short time later for his championship quarterfinal match in the 195-pound weight class. Altman took a 14-5 defeat in the bout, sending him to the consolation bracket. He was then pinned by Norwalk’s Abdullah Silmi, ending his season.
Jeffrey Botts took to the mat in his consolation bracket match against Milan Edison’s Jack Staggs. Staggs was defeated by a pin at 3:02 in the championship quarterfinals, which dropped him down to Botts’ bracket.Botts defeated Staggs 8-3, clinching a spot on the podium.
In the last match of the morning session, Western Brown’s Jordan Hamblin also took to the mat in a consolation match Saturday afternoon. Hamblin squared off against Canal Fulton’s Hunter Kosco, who lost a 3-2 decision that took a pair of 30-second tiebreakers to determine the winner. Hamblin lost the match by a 6-3 decision.
The two remaining wrestlers returned to the mat later in the day for the third session of competition, the consolation quarterfinals. Henderson rolled to a relatively easy 3-0 decision win over Poland Seminary’s Dave Escaro in the 145-pound weight class. With the win, Henderson clinched no worse than a sixth-place finish.
Botts rounded out the day’s event with a match on mat nine against John Kelbly from Smithville. In a close battle, Botts used a last-minute escape to send the match to overtime, where he was defeated 3-1.
Both Henderson and Botts will return to action early Saturday morning. Henderson will wrestle in the consolation semifinals beginning at roughly 10 a.m. against Timothy Gage Grunden from Defiance. A victory would put Henderson in the third-place match. Botts will partake in the seventh-place matchup around 11 against Barnesville’s Caide Bunfill.