MARCH 7, 2019 - COLUMBUS
It was a short night for the three Covington wrestlers in the opening session of the 82nd Annual State Wrestling Individual Tournament on Thursday as all three Buccaneers won their opening matches.
“What a great way to start the tournament,” said a very delighted Covington coach Eric Vanderhorst. “Anytime you can win all of your matches, it’s a good day.”
Sophomore 106 pounder Kellan Anderson (50-0) started things off in style for the Buccaneers with a dominating 15-0 technical fall victory over Jarrison Moore of Creston Norway (36-11).
“I knew coming in that I can hang with anyone in my weight class, so I went out and pushed the pace right away,” Anderson said. “I didn’t want to give him anything.”
Anderson immediately scored on a takedown and then turned Moore to his back twice to build an 8-0 lead after one period of wrestling.
He chose bottom to start the second and was awarded a penalty point as Moore locked his hands trying to prevent the Buccaneer wrestler from escaping. After a restart, Anderson quickly escaped and followed with a takedown and three back points for the 15-0 win.
“I kept pushing the pace and staying aggressive,” Anderson explained. “I just focused on working my stuff and not giving him any opportunities.”
Anderson advances to tomorrow’s quarterfinals where he will face Gavin Owens of Pemberville Eastwood (45-2), a wrestler he defeated 5-0 at the Thunderbird Invitational at Lima Central Catholic.
“I wrestled him at LCC earlier this year, so I’m kinda familiar with him,” Anderson said. “I just have to wrestle my match and stay focused.”
Sophomore 113 pounder Cael Vanderhorst (48-5) was equally impressive with a 13-2 victory over Bryce Maynard of Pemberville Eastwood (38-12).
“My approach was the same thing as it was for Kellan, stay aggressive with my attacks,” Vanderhorst explained. “Last year I was too cautious in some of my matches here, so I wanted to be more aggressive this time around.”
Vanderhorst scored a quick takedown for a 2-0 lead in the first and then pushed his lead to 6-0 with a reversal and two back points in the second frame. He then closed out the contest with two more takedowns and was awarded another point as Maynard was tagged for stalling.
“I wrestled him before at LCC and he was injured in that match,” said Vanderhorst. “I knew if I wrestled my match I would be fine.”
Vanderhorst advances to take on Caleb Edwards of Rootstown (44-4) in tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
“My plan is to stay aggressive and work my moves,” he said. “I have to stay on my stuff and not let him work his.”
Senior 152 pounder Keringten Martin had a familiar foe in his opening match as he took on Ryan Marvin of Swanton (41-5), a returning state placer from a year ago.
“He beat me at LCC earlier this year and that was because I gave up an early takedown and couldn’t get in on my shots,” Martin said. “This time I wanted to be more aggressive.”
Marvin scored first on a takedown, but Martin was able to quickly escape to cut the deficit to 2-1 at the end of one. Martin then surrendered an escape point to Marvin to start the second, but quickly turned the momentum with a takedown of his own to tie the score at 3-3.
But Martin wasn’t able to hold Marvin and gave up an escape point as the second period came to a close with the Buccaneer wrestler trailing 4-3.
Martin chose bottom to start the third and quickly tied the match with an escape. He then shot in on a double-leg and capitalized on an opportunity by turning Marvin to his back for a five-point move.
“I felt him gassing a little bit in the second period, so I picked up the pace even more,” Martin explained. “I was able to catch him and get some back points, which was really big.”
With a 9-4 lead, Martin elected to surrender an escape so he could control the remainder of the match from his feet.
And as the time expired, Martin had his hand raised with a 9-5 win.
This sets up a quarterfinal matchup against Nick Skye of Mogodore (48-8).
“I don’t know anything about him,” Martin said of his next opponent. “But I’m ready. I’m confident right now in my moves and that’s my focus.”
Eric Vanderhorst is pleased with how well his wrestlers performed.
“Kellan and Cael were obviously the better wrestlers in their matches, but Keringten drew a state placer who had beaten him earlier in the year,” he said. “And just like last time, he gave up an early takedown. But the difference in this match was Keringten was able to keep his composure and his ability to set up his shots.”
And with a short night, Vanderhorst is looking forward to enjoying some relaxing time at the hotel.
“That’s what’s good about not having to come back later tonight in the consolation round,” he said. “We get to go back to the hotel, relax and get focused for tomorrow.”
Thanks to a short night.