Graham High School wrestling coach Jeff Jordan loves the atmosphere of a dual meet. And you can count 170-pounder Garrett Jordan, his nephew, among those who are fans of the Ohio High School Athletic Association state duals tournament.
The Falcons claimed their third consecutive Division II title with a 49-12 win over Toledo Central Catholic in the finals Saturday night at St. John Arena.
“It is great being here as a team,” Garrett Jordan said after going 3-0 on the day. “Why not have fun if you are doing it with the guys you love most. It is nice to do this as a team and be as good as we are.”
It didn’t take the Falcons long to get on the board. Justin Stickley opened with a 8-5 win at 106 as Graham ran off the first 24 points.
“I told Justin right before he went on the mat that he does a great job getting our team started,” Garrett Jordan said. “When he wins, it just starts building up through the entire team.”
The Falcons clinched the title when Alex Marinelli claimed a 26-10 technical fall at 160 for a 38-3 lead with five matches remaining.
But building the lead was not easy for the three-time champs.
Graham got a 9-2 decision from Eli Seipel (126) and a 6-3 win from Kyle Lawson at 152 to set up Marinelli’s clincher.
“We have wrestled them the last two years in the semis and we knew there were going to be some great individual matchups,” Jeff Jordan said. “This dual meet state tournament is fun.”
Graham moved into the state finals with ease, claiming a 66-6 win over new Lexington and a 58-15 win over Lexington.
“I was real happy with how we wrestled the first two rounds,” the coach said. “We had some tough matchups, but we got on a roll.”
Mechanicsburg falls: Cameron Doggett never gave up hope on his Mechanicsburg team in the Division III state duals semifinals.
Facing a 32-15 deficit heading into the last three weight classes, Doggett still believed his group could find a way.
“I believed the whole time,” Doggett said after his third-seeded Indians fell to second seed Dayton Christian 35-27. “We needed to have a pin in there to get the match back in perspective, but I’m extremely proud of the guys.”
Mechanicsburg advanced to the semis with a 50-24 win over Kirtland. Tyler Wetzel, Tanner Smith, Nick Miller, Joe Ziegler, Kaleb Romero, John Samples, Eyn Stapleton, Dillon Hurst and Dylan Hartman recorded wins in the quarters.
The Indians had a hard time getting on track in the semis.
Dayton Christian won the first seven matchs to take a 29-0 lead before Mechanicsburg received back-to-back forfeits at 152 and 160.
“That’s how dual meets are,” Doggett said. “Once a team gets on a role, it is hard to stop. I am proud of them though because we came out and went after them.”