COLUMBUS — In the final day at the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament, Mount Vernon’s Dakota Riley looked like the best 106-pounder in Division I.
Unfortunately, he’ll have to settle for third place.
Riley won both his final matches in the consolation bracket Saturday at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus, giving him a third place finish in the state.
The junior defeated Central Crossing’s Josh Wimer, 9-2, in the consolation semifinal match. Then, an hour later, easily dispatched Marysville’s Taleb Rahmani, 9-4, in the third place match.
He’s the 15th wrestler to place in Mount Vernon history, the first in the 106-pound category.
“I’m so proud of Dakota,” said Mount Vernon head coach John Brown. “He’s done everything we’ve asked of him this year, taking every step we’ve wanted to take. We came one point shy. We’ve got to get two more points and climb two more steps. That’s the goal next year.”
Riley left no doubt that, had it not been for a slip-up in Friday’s semifinal, he could have won it all. In both matches, Riley was the aggressor, taking his frustration out early on each opponent and opening a big lead by the end of two periods.
In his third-place match against Rahmani, Riley (46-4) gained the early advantage with a takedown that went out-of-bounds. The move gave Riley a 2-0 lead and control at the restart. Rahmani escaped at the end of the period to narrow the gap to 2-1.