The Miami Trace wrestling team hosted the first-ever Frontier Athletic Conference tournament, the final wresting tournament in the Panther Pit, Saturday.
The Panthers had gone 4-1 during the season in FAC dual meets.
Saturday, the Panthers won enough matches in the conference tournament to capture first place.
The Panthers won with 180.5 points.
The McClain Tigers were second with 127 points, followed by the Blue Lions of Washington High School with 109 points.
Hillsboro placed fourth with 105 points, followed by Chillicothe with 101 points and Jackson with 92 points.
Each of the schools had at least one weight class champion.
Miami Trace had five weight class champions: Graham Carson at 113, Storm Duffy at 120, Mcale Callahan at 126, Jaymon Flaugher at 145 and Jack Anders at 182.
Washington had two weight class champions in Will Baughn at 138 and Colton McNichols at heavyweight.
McClain’s Lucas Jansen won at 106 and Keegan Rawlins won at 152.
Chillicothe won at 170 (Joseph Hilliard) and 220 (Cole Maxon).
Jackson won at 132 (Brandon Queen) and Brice Parks (160) and Hillsbor’s Deegan Boris won at 195.
Fondale spoke about this being the final wresting event in the Panther Pit.
“This is my sixth year as a Miami Trace Panther,” head coach Ben Fondale said. “Talking with folks in the community, and other coaches, they really do like this gym and they’re going to miss it. I’m glad our kids came out and wrestled well the last time in this gym.
“We had five weight class champions today,” Fondale said. “The last month of the season, the kids have really turned it up. We went into this week as a coaching staff telling our kids to get another good week of practice in. We didn’t want them to make a bigger deal out of it than it is; just show up and wrestle.
“We’re progressing as a team,” Fondale said. “We’re getting better. We’re getting in better shape. We had a lot of young guys step up and we had some good senior leadership.
“My juniors and sophomores stepped up when they should have,” Fondale said. “Maybe all the kids didn’t win their weight class, but they got runner-up for us or they placed third for us. It’s a team sport. It takes everybody, not just those five champions. It took all of my guys.”
Carson, a freshman, pinned Tanner Warner of Hillsboro in 1:44 and Austin Van-Allen of Jackson in 5:58 to win the 113-pound weight class.
Duffy, a sophomore, defeated Caleb Lake of Chillicothe, 7-4 and then pinned Isaac Lewis of Hillsboro in the finals in 2:44 to capture the FAC title at 120 pounds.
Callahan, a freshman, pinned Wade Remsing of Hillsboro in 3:41 and then defeated Dawson Jansen of McClain by technical fall, 24-7 to take the 126-pound title.
A senior, Flaugher beat Cordell Covault of Hillsboro, 14-8, and then, in the semifinals, he pinned Jacob Barton of McClain in 3:25.
In the finals, Flaugher won a 17-6 major decision over McKellan Lee of Chilllicothe for the 145-pound championship.
Anders, another senior, began his run to the title with a pin of Justin Conn of Hillsboro in 47 seconds.
Anders then posted an 11-3 major decision win over Collier Brown of Washington.
In the finals, Anders defeated Kyler Trefz of McClain, 7-2 to finish atop the 182-pound class.
For the Blue Lions, Baughn began with a pin of Dawson Wallace of Miami Trace in 1:26.
Baughn then beat Noah Richison of Jackson, 8-2 before pinning Scott Eastes of Hillsboro in the finals in three minutes.
McNichols pinned Kai Borrelli of McClain in 1:05 and then he pinned Grant DeBruin of Miami Trace in 4:16.
For Miami Trace, at 106 pounds, freshman Titus Lehr went 0-2.
Senior Wes Gandee placed third for the Panthers at 132 pounds.
He was pinned by Brandon Queen of Jackson in 19 seconds.
Then, Gandee pinned James Coday of HIllsboro in 2:28 to place third.
At 138 pounds, sophomore Dawson Wallace of Miami Trace went 0-2.
At 152 pounds, junior Dylan Arnold of Miami Trace placed second. He defeated Joey Richison of Jackson, 8-3 before being pinned in the championship match by Keegan Rawlins of McClain in 1:24.
At 160 pounds, junior James Munro of Miami Trace placed second.
Munro won a 13-2 major decision over Phil Waters of McClain. In the finals, Munro lost to Brice Parks of Jackson, 11-4.
Jacob Tinkler, a senior, went 1-1 for Miami Trace to place third at 170 pounds.
He lost to Chris Conger of McClain by pin in 3:54 and then beat Mason Lewis of Hillsboro, 4-3.
At 195, David Tyndall went 0-2 for the Panthers.
At 220, senior Dalton Bartley placed third.
He lost 6-4 to Kade Rawlins of McClain before he pinned David Strong of Jacson in 53 seconds. Bartley completed his tournament with a pin of Andreas Utrea of Washington in 1:43.
At heavyweight, Grant DeBruin of Miami Trace beat Nick Colley of Chillicothe, 2-0.
He pinned Brent Jarvis of Jackson in 3:09 before falling by pin to McNichols of Washington in the finals in 4:16.
Courtney Walker, a senior, placed second at 106 pounds for Washington.
She pinned Titus Lehr of Miami Trace in 2:31 before being pinned in the finals by Lucas Jansen of McClain in 25 seconds.
Freshman Jordan Rohrer went 0-2 at 113 pounds for the Blue Lions.
Washington did not have anyone wrestling at 120 or 126 pounds.
At 132, freshman Zyon Wilson went 0-2 for the Blue Lions.
Baughn began his run to the 138-pound title with a pin of Miami Trace’s Dawson Wallace in 1:26.
Baughn then defeated Noah Richison of Jackson, 8-2 and then pinned Scott Eastes of Hillsboro in the finals in 3:00.
Jay Fettig, a junior, went 1-2 for the Blue Lions at 145 pounds, placing fourth.
In his first match, he was pinned by Brennan Greene of Jackson in 2:48.
He then pinned Jacob Barton of McClain in 2:17 before being pinned by Cordell Covault of Hillsboro in 2:06.
Wyatt Pfeifer, a freshman, went 0-2 to take fourth place for the Blue Lions at 152 pounds.
Freshman Jared Kuhn of Washington went 0-2 at 160 pounds for Washington.
Senior Chris Conger placed second for Washington at 170 pounds.
Conger began with a pin of Mason Lewis of Hillsboro in 4:20.
Conger then pinned Jacob Tinkler of Miami Trace in 3:54 in the semifinals before falling 4-2 to Joseph Hilliard of Chillicothe in the finals.
Sophomore Collier Brown went 1-2 to place third at 182 pounds.
He was pinned by Jack Anders of Miami Trace in 47 seconds.
Brown then advanced by default to the match for third place where he lost 1-0 to Collin Lindsey of Chillicothe.
Sophomore Jaimie McCane of Washington placed third at 195 pounds.
He started with a 6-3 loss to Nick Erslan of Chillicothe.
McCane then picked up a pin of Aaron Causey of Jackson in 2:25 before falling 5-2 to Ethan Taylor of McClain.
Andreas Utrea, a freshman, placed fourth at the tournament.
He was pinned by Kade Rawlins of McClain in 1:30. Then, in the match for third place, Utrea was pinned by Miami Trace’s Dalton Bartley in 1:43.
“For us, it has been a rough season,” Washington head coach Louis Reid said. “We’ve had a lot of injuries. We’ve had some guys who’ve had to step into the line-up due to injuries and they’ve wrestled well.
“Colton had to step into the line-up due to an injury to Adrian (Butterbaugh) and he was league champ today,” Reid said. “I’m ecstatic, because we only won one league dual, we beat Chillicothe. But, today we were third. Our guys wrestled really well. I was very proud of them to see the kind of effort they gave today.”
Washington will host the Division II Sectional tournament Friday, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. It continues Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10 a.m.
“We’d like to get three to five kids through to the District meet,” Reid said. “Top five at the Sectional as a team would be great with everything we’ve battled. If we have a couple of Sectional champions, that would be awesome.”