ARCHBOLD – Swanton had a pair of champions, one runner-up finish, and four total placers en route to a fifth place finish at the Northwest Ohio Athletic League wrestling tournament on Saturday.
The Bulldogs took fifth with 76 points.
Wauseon won the title – their fourth straight league crown – with a score of 174.5. Liberty Center took runner-up with 154 points, Delta third at 145.5, and Archbold fourth at 116.5.
Swanton seniors Tyler Gowing and Xavier Wiemken won titles at 152 pounds and 170 pounds, respectively. The Bulldogs’ other finalist was heavyweight Brodie Stevens, a junior, who was defeated by Sammy Sosa of Wauseon 3-2 in an ultimate tie breaker.
“We’ve been working hard to get to this point. They kind of picked it up in the (wrestling) room and it showed here,” said head coach Ernie Ruiz of his three finalists. “We kind of made some moves. We dropped Gowing down from 160 to 152 and he did really well there. I think that’s gonna hopefully help him in his run for the state tournament.”
Gowing won by pin over Winston Nichols of Montpelier and Josh Nofzinger of Archbold in his first two matches. From there he advanced to the final, downing Kaleb Barnes of Delta by a 7-2 decision.
“He wrestled a really solid match,” said Ruiz of Gowing in the final. “Did some really (high) percentage moves and it worked out for him. He kept himself in good position the whole time.”
Wiemken pinned his way to the final against Nate Jokinen of Delta and John Yoder of Archbold. He did the same against Wauseon’s Wyatt Lane in the title match, turning him over in 3:03.
“He’s wrestled tough all year. He’s battled through some injury and stuff like that,” said Ruiz of Wiemken. “Obviously he did really well here. Hopefully that carries into the postseason. This wasn’t too tough a tournament for him, but hopefully next week at sectional he’ll really start to continue to (build on) where he is at.”
Despite Stevens’ loss, coach Ruiz won’t let it deter him heading into the postseason.
“The only kids he’s lost to are like state-ranked kids from Division I, II and III,” said the Bulldogs’ coach. “I thought we could have won that (the match versus Sosa). We got kind of a call that didn’t go our way. I think that match, on another day we could win that match. So just work hard, keep on working hard in the room and hopefully we’ll get that.”
Cody DeKoeyer was Swanton’s other placer, taking fourth at 138 pounds.
Delta took home a pair of titles.
Defending state champion, junior Zack Mattin, was victorious at 113 pounds.
Mattin received a bye to the semifinal where he won by a 20-4 technical fall over Wyatt Armstrong of Archbold. In the 113-pound final, he pinned Damon Molina of Wauseon in 1:48.
Sophomore Austin Kohlhofer won the Panthers’ other title, at 220 pounds. His first match came in the semifinal as he pinned Kyle Huffman of Liberty Center in 3:20. He then won by pin in 2:40 versus Wes Spadafore of Wauseon for the championship.
Runners-up for the Panthers were Carson Chiesa at 120 pounds, Gabe Meyer (126), Jayce Helminiak (138), Barnes (152) and Max Hoffman (182).
Other Panther placers were Rylee Hanefeld (106, 3rd), Dakota Sintobin (145, 4th) and Lucas Jones (160, 4th).
Evergreen had a pair make the finals with junior Logan York winning the 195-pound title.
Following a first round bye, York topped Jack Shema of Wauseon 15-8 in the semifinal. He then won a high-scoring title match, holding off Liberty Center’s Owen Box 16-14.
Brian Floyd took second at 160 pounds for the Vikings. Their other placers were Ayden Gleckler (106, 4th) and Colin Smith (132, 3rd).
The sectional tournament will be held Friday and Saturday at Archbold.
NWOAL Wrestling Meet
Wauseon 174.5, Liberty Center 154, Delta 145.5, Archbold 116.5, Swanton 76, Evergreen 55, Bryan 52, Patrick Henry 41, Montpelier 22.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010