COLUMBUS — The Miami Trace Panthers wrestling team was among the elite teams in Ohio at the Fifth Annual State Wrestling Dual Team Tournament Sunday morning.
The Panthers won four previous matches to advance to their first-ever appearance at this still relatively new State tournament.
Miami Trace (seeded 8th out of eight teams) had the unenviable challenge of taking on the No. 1 seed St. Paris Graham.
The Falcons had already won the first four State Dual team championship titles and have won 16 consecutive State individual tournament championships.
Graham won the match against Miami Trace, 65-12.
The Falcons went on to defeat Mentor Lake Catholic, 57-13 in the semifinals before winning the championship, 48-9 over Wauseon.
Miami Trace won two matches against Graham.
Senior Dereck Moore pinned sophomore D`artangan Spitler in 3:00. That match was at 152 pounds.
Panther junior heavyweight Colin Wolffe pinned junior Khrizdon Vanhoos in 2:32.
Graham won eight of the 14 matches against the Panthers by pin and picked up one win by forfeit.
At 132 pounds, Graham junior Mitch Moore had a tech fall over Miami Trace junior Coby Hughes, 16-1.
At 170 pounds, Graham sophomore Hunter Hyden won a 9-2 decision over junior Jack Anders.
Graham senior Kavan Sarver won a 3-2 decision over Miami Trace senior Jared Fenner at 195 pounds.
“We have a lot of good things to take from today,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Fondale said. “After watching those matches, now we can see what we need to work towards. We need to work on closing those gaps.
“Graham has a few kids ranked high in the state,” Fondale said. “Which, our kids were close, within a few points of winning. If we can get in a little bit better shape — we’re already in pretty good shape. It’s just continuing to work a little bit harder in the practice room, closing those gaps, to make those matches even closer.
“We did a lot of things right,” Fondale said. “The kids should be proud of what they’ve accomplished so far as a dual team. We had a lot of support from their families and the administrators today to come up here.
“The kids understand that we have to work hard this week,” Fondale said. “And the next week and then the next week, but, one day at a time.”
Miami Trace will enter the final South Central Ohio League wrestling tournament (Saturday at 10 a.m. at Hillsboro High School) in second place to Clinton-Massie.
Then the Sectional tournament will be held at Washington High School on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25.
The District tournament is at Wilmington High School Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4.
The State tournament is a three-day affair at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University Thursday through Saturday, March 9-11.
Graham Local 65, Miami Trace 12
106 Tanner Jordan 10 (Graham Local) pin Storm Duffy 9 (Miami Trace) 2:48 6
113 Dawson Show 10 (Graham Local) pin Joshua Puckett 9 (Miami Trace) 0:37 6
120 Jordan Crace 10 (Graham Local) pin Wes Gandee 11 (Miami Trace) 0:32 6
126 Jeffrey Thomas 10 (Graham Local) forfeit (Miami Trace) Forfeit 6
132 Mitch Moore 11 (Graham Local) dec. Coby Hughes 11 (Miami Trace) tf16-1 5
138 J.D. Stickley 11 (Graham Local) pin Dylan Murphy 11 (Miami Trace) 1:12 6
145 Joey Sanchez 11 (Graham Local) pin Bladeth Leamon 10 (Miami Trace) 1:09 6
152 Dereck Moore 12 (Miami Trace) pin D`artangan Spitler 10 (Graham Local) 3:00 6
160 Ryan Thomas 11 (Graham Local) pin James Munro 10 (Miami Trace) 1:13 6
170 Hunter Hyden 10 (Graham Local) dec. Jack Anders 11 (Miami Trace) Dec 9-2 3
182 Gage Braun 11 (Graham Local) pin Jacob Tinkler 11 (Miami Trace) 1:21 6
195 Kavan Sarver 12 (Graham Local) dec. Jared Fenner 12 (Miami Trace) Dec 3-2 3
220 Johnny Shafer 10 (Graham Local) pin Dalton Bartley 11 (Miami Trace) 1:57 6
285 Colin Wolffe 11 (Miami Trace) pin Khrizdon Vanhoose 11 (Graham Local) 2:32 6
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1