COLUMBUS — The final day of the 2010 OHSAA State Wrestling Championships saw local wrestlers take their place among the very best in the state of Ohio.
The area, strong throughout the tournament in Division III, placed well on Day 3. Loudonville’s Brent Allerding stood highest on the podium of all area wrestlers, gaining fourth place in the 215-pound category. Johnstown’s Scott Robinson was sixth at 152 pounds and Utica’s Dylan Wheeler (130 pounds) placed seventh.
It was Mount Vernon, which was supposed to be in a rebuilding year, that became the local surprise of the wrestling season, placing a pair of wrestlers on the state podium in Division I.
“I felt we really came a long way this year,” said Mount Vernon coach John Brown. “Our kids have grown up a lot and continue to be better.”
Both 130-pound Collin Riley and 215-pound Dane Cullen lost their seventh-place final matches, but stood on the eighth spot of the podium as All-Ohioans.
Riley lost to Mike Carlone of Mayfield, 10-6 in the seventh-place final. For the junior, reaching the podium was the final chapter of a memorable year that took him from a spot on last year’s jayvee team, through a slow start this season and, finally, to becoming one of Ohio’s best.
“We have Collin for another year and there’s a bunch of our kids that could join him next year,” said Brown.
As with their opening bout on Thursday, Riley was down early but fought back to within a point of Carlone, 6-5, before giving up a late takedown.
Cullen, in his final appearance as a senior, lost to Will Porter of Willoughby South. Ahead in the third period, Cullen had Porter in trouble close to the edge of the mat. Suddenly, Porter turned the tables on a surprised Cullen and pinned him at 4:22 of the match.
“I felt we had the match under control and took (Porter) down,” said Brown. “We had him by three points and (Cullen) made a mistake and got caught. Dane was right near the out of bound and I tried to get him to go out of bounds and get a fresh start. He hung there too long on his knees and (Porter) came around and got us. It’s not how you want to end a tournament or a season. I’ll tell you what, though. We’ve had a great tournament. We brought two kids down and both of them placed. We made a great showing down here.”
Wheeler, who was much-improved from his battle with illness all week, was brimming with confidence coming out of the tunnel and disposed of Tristan Gerber of Sugarcreek Garaway in a major decision, 15-4. Wheeler manhandled Gerber throughout the match on his way to a seventh-place standing among 130-pound, Division III wrestlers.
“I feel much better, today,” said Wheeler. “I knew I was going to have a better match. I came out and felt way better this morning. I got a lot of sleep last night and I rested yesterday, when I had that break. I got some food and felt better this morning. I decided I was taking things too serious. I decided that I needed to come out and mess around. I just kind of went out there and winged it. I just kind of went in there with what I have done all year.”
After being down by a point late in the Division III Consolation Semifinal, Allerding, once again, took a bout into overtime before winning. He defeated long-legged Josh Salyers of Mechanicsburg, 4-3.
“A lot of times, with those tall kids, you can’t hit doubles so I was trying a lot of outside stuff in the match,” said Allerding. “I talked to the coaches and they thought I could hit double, so I tried in the first overtime and he kind of blocked. In the second overtime I knew, if I stopped his first move, I was going to try to ride him out, but he got it pretty quick. So, I kicked him out and tried that double again. After that, I just held on.”
Allerding enjoys overtime, because he is so tough to score points against.
“I haven’t felt that anyone could really score on me,” said Allerding. “There have only been two takedowns on me the whole year.”
“All of Brent’s matches have been very close against good opponents or dominated by him,” said Loudonville coach Steve Furlong.
When time ran out, an elated Allerding ran a semi lap on the mat in victory.
“I didn’t want to lose — that’s for sure,” said Allerding, “I was down by one and you can’t pace the match or anything at that point. You’ve just got to go at it.”
The win vaulted Allerding into the Division III third-place final where Tyler Fabry of powerful West Jefferson edged him, 5-3. Allerding finished the tournament in fourth place.
Scott Robinson dropped a heartbreaker in the Division III consolation semifinal to Thomas Fullenkamp of Versailles, 1-0. That landed Robinson in the 152-pound fifth-place final where Anthony Ferber of Greenwich South Central beat the Johnstown senior by decision, 7-5. Johnson is the fourth Johnstown student to reach the podium, although he wanted to stand higher than sixth.
“Losing this is just devastating,” said Robinson. “I know I placed, but I had higher expectations, so I’m more disappointed in myself than anything. It feels good to know that I placed, but I know I could have done better — it hurts.”