By David Fong
COLUMBUS — Jared Ford is getting his rematch — even if it’s not necessarily the way he wanted it or expected it.
Ford, a 138-pound senior wrestler at Troy Christian High School, fully expected to see Miami East’s Alex Isbrandt in Saturday’s championship match at the Ohio High School Athletic Association state wrestling tournament. The two have been ranked first and second in the state all year and have wrestled four times, with Isbrandt winning all four.
That Miami County dream match came to an end Friday at the Schottenstein Center, when both were upset, Ford in the quarterfinals and Isbrandt in the semifinals.
The two will now meet instead in Saturday’s consolation semifinals. They are two of four Miami County wrestlers who will be competing for anywhere from third through eighth place Saturday. They will be joined in the consolation semifinals by Covington freshman Kellan Anderson (106 points), while Covington freshman Cael Vanderhorst (113 pounds) will be wrestling for seventh place.
“This is the rematch I wanted … I just didn’t think it would happen this way,” Ford said. “But I’m glad I get another chance. When I lost (Friday morning), that was one of the things I was most upset about, that I wouldn’t get another chance at him.”
In the quarterfinals, Ford, ranked No. 2 in the state, was upset by Genoa Area sophomore Dustin Morgillo, 4-2, ending his bid to compete for a state title. He rebounded in his first consolation match, however, beating Wellington’s Mason Wright 7-1 to advance to the consolation quarterfinals, where he then beat Middletown Madison’s Drew Price 10-1.
“Cocah told me I had to bounce back and show character,” Ford said.
Vanderhorst began his day in the second round of consolations after going 1-1 Thursday. In first match Friday, be defeated Pemberville Eastwood’s Brandon Hahn 6-5 to move into the consolation quarterfinals. In the consolation quarterfinals, he lost 7-2 to Millbury Lake’sAntonio Lecki, dropping him into the match for seventh place.
He’s carrying on a family tradition by making it to state. His dad Eric — Covington’s coach — was a two-time state qualifier. Uncles Todd and Craig also were state qualifiers.
“It feels good,” the younger Vanderhorst said of placing in his first trip to state. “You put in a bunch of work in the off-season and then you watch your weight all season long. It’s nice to see it pay off.”
Here’s a look at how the rest of Miami County’s wrestlers fared in Friday’s state tournament action:
Caleb Blake, the lone Division II wrestler from Miami County competing at the state tournament, dropped both of his matches in the morning session.
Blake, a senior competing at 145 pounds, first squared off against Carrollton junior Ben Pasiuk in the quarterfinals. Pasiuk, a two-time state runner-up, defeated Blake by technical fall, 17-2, dropping him into the second consolation round. In the consolation match, Parma Padua Fransican’s Sam LoFaso pinned Blake in 2:59.
Blake ends his career at Tippecanoe as a two-time state qualifier.
A pair of Miami East wrestlers saw their seasons come to an end in the morning session Friday.
At 126 pounds, sophomore Kaleb Nickels began his day in the consolation round. He dropped a 10-4 decision to Akron Manchester’s Zach Larue, eliminating him from the tournament. Nickels also qualified for the state meet as a freshman.
Teammate Brenden Dalton started his day in the quarterfinals at 220 pounds, having won his first match Friday. The junior lost a 3-0 decision to Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic’s Chris Kuhn in the quarterfinals, dropping him into the second consolation round. In the consolation round, he was pinned by Indian Lake’s Cole Mefford in 1:37.
It was Dalton’s first trip to the state meet.
Kellen Calhoun’s historic run in the state wrestling tournament ended Friday in the morning session.
Calhoun, the first wrestler from Bethel high school ever to qualify for the state meet, started his day in the 170-pound quarterfinals. Smithville’s Riley Smucker — a two-time state placer — defeated the Bethel senior by technical fall, 17-2. In his second consolation match, Calhoun came back from a 4-1 deficit to tie Mechanicsburg’s Dustin Knapp 4-4 late, but Knapp scored a reversal as time expired to pull out the victory.
In his first trip to the state meet, Craig Montgomery went 1-2, dropping his second consolation match Friday to bring an end to his season. Ottawa-Glandorf’s Danny Rosales defeated the Troy Christian sophomore in the 170-pound consolation round, ending his season. It was Montgomery’s first trip to the state meet.
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong.
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