When Wilmington’s Isaac Allen made the first of two consecutive trips to Columbus to be an alternate for the OHSAA state wrestling tournament, his teammate Conner Barton wasn’t even wrestling yet.
Two years later, both will represent the Hurricane at the state wrestling meet.
Barton and Allen secured their spots with semifinal wins Saturday at the Division II district meet at Wilmington High School.
In just his second year of wrestling, Barton won the 285-pound weight class. After pinning Khrizdon Van Hoose from legendary Graham Local in the semifinal, he earned an 8-3 decision over Hillsboro’s Lane Cluff in the final.
“His whole entire season has been pretty magical for him,” WHS head coach Kelly Tolliver said. “The last three or four weeks really accelerated. Kids that just beat him three weeks ago, he was pinning here.”
Allen locked up his third trip to Columbus — his first as an active competitor rather than an alternate — by pinning Jack Forschner of Alter in the semifinals.
“He had a great weekend and a great season,” Tolliver said. “He’s long overdue. He’s been an alternate two years in a row. He’s going to be valuable for us in Columbus for a multitude of reasons.”
In the final, Allen faced the third-ranked wrestler in the nation at 160 pounds according to InterMat Wrestling, Graham Local’s Ryan Thomas. The Minnesota-commit was impressive in a 23-8 technical fall victory over Allen.
It wasn’t all good news for Clinton County on Saturday — Clinton-Massie did not advance a wrestler to state, breaking an impressive streak.
According to head coach Spencer Running, the last year the Falcons failed to send a wrestler to state was in 2001.
“We wrestled pretty decently,” Running said. “We lost in key spots. We lost in the spots where we knew we couldn’t lose. That was really the difference maker. We lost tight matches in the wrong spots that put is in the wrong spots in the bracket.
“Ultimately, it cost us a couple of state qualifiers.”
In the end, a judgment call cost the Falcons a state qualifier.
Ross Lennon was competing in the 160-pound consolation semifinals against Miami Trace’s James Munro. Trailing 8-7 in the final seconds with Munro in control, Lennon made his move for a reversal.
It appeared as if Lennon’s reversal came just as time had expired in the third period. The officials discussed it, checked with the table, and then ruled that the reversal was too late. Lennon would fall in the fifth-place match to finish sixth.
“It was just a really tight window on when the reversal really actually happened,” Running said. “We probably should have gotten after it a little bit earlier. It came down to that last second reversal.
“You can’t leave it in the hands of the refs. I know that’s a hard call to make. They thought that it wasn’t a reversal at the time that the clock stopped.”
Barton and Allen will compete in the state tournament beginning Thursday afternoon at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the Ohio State campus. The Division II first-round bouts are scheduled to start at approximately 4:10 p.m.
OHSAA Division II District Wrestling at Wilmington
113: Cameron Smart was pinned by Amir Harris (Trotwood-Madison) 4:53; pinned William Bailey (Springfield Northwestern) 4:40 was dec. by Chanston Moll (Westfall) 2-1. Did not place.
120: Sam Eastes dec. Dylan Hartranft (Logan Elm) 6-4; was pinned by Alek Martin (Graham) 0:53 was dec. by Tyler Harkins (Norwood) 9-8. Did not place.
126: Dominic Davidson was pinned by Nick Moore (Graham) 0:18; was dec. by AJ Lewandowski (Oakwood) 8-3. Did not place.
160: Isaac Allen dec. Phil Waters (McClain) 12-1; pinned Sam Bohannon (Monroe) 5:53; pinned Jack Forschner (Alter) 2:55; was tech falled by Ryan Thomas (Graham) 23-7. Finished second.
195: Brady Bergefurd was pinned by Gage Braun (Graham) 1:12; was pinned by Timothy Diamond (Unioto) 1:40. Did not place.
285: Conner Barton pinned Sam Lansangan (Carroll) 4:50; pinned Trent Wilson (Valley View) 3:28; pinned Khrizdon Van Hoose (Graham) 5:05; dec. Lane Cluff (Hillsboro) 8-3. Finished first.
126: Matt Asher pinned Demiri Randle (Trotwood-Madison) 1:53; was pinned by Jordan Hoselton (Zane Trace) 3:50; was dec. by Ben Miller (Fairfield Union) 5-3. Did not place.
145: Bryson Mills was pinned by Kole Deel (Valley View) 3:35; pinned Jaymon Flaugher (Miami Trace) 1:28; was dec. by Zach Dunn (Goshen) 7-3. Did not place.
152: Robby Frederick was dec. by David Frederick (Chaminade-Julienne) 12-4; dec. Dylan Arnold (Miami Trace) 13-5; was pinned by Damion Williams (Urbana) 1:40. Did not place.
160: Ross Lennon was dec. by Caleb Linton (Logan Elm) 10-7; pinned Austin Monroe (Springfield Northwestern) 3:57; pinned Ethan Tefs (Wyoming) 0:31; dec. Sam Bohannon (Monroe) 6-3; was dec. by James Munro (Miami Trace) 8-7; was dec. by Caleb Linton (Logan Elm) 10-6. Finished sixth.
220: Sam Brothers dec. Nathaniel Armstrong (Alter) 8-2; was dec. by Ben Davis (Circleville) 3-1; pinned Perry Gardiner (Valley View) 1:56; was pinned by Tom Coleman (Ross) 4:46. Did not place.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.