Centerville 285-pound senior Conan Jennings knew what he was up against in Loveland’s Andrew Alten at the state wrestling tournament Saturday night at the Schottenstein Center.
The meeting was the sixth of the season between two and Alten entered the match with 3-2 advantage.
“We know each other a little bit,” Jennings said with a laugh. “I’ve seen him a few times.”
Jennings finished 2-4 against Alten after dropping a 3-2 Division I decision.
“I knew his style,” Jennings said. “He likes to get up one and then stall the rest of the time and that is not my style. This time they weren’t calling the stalling. All I could do was keep wrestling. I would have preferred to have no idea who I was wrestling.”
Jennings became the sixth Elks wrestler to finish second.
“This has been amazing,” Jennings said of his run through the tournament. “I wouldn’t give up this experience for anything. Sure, it’s a bummer (I didn’t win), but when I went out for the Parade of Champions it hit me … to go through that and hear all the yelling and screaming and the atmosphere — there is nothing like it.”
Fairmont senior Josh Parrett also just missed a state title in D-I, falling to defending state champ David Bavery of Massillon Perry 3-1 in overtime.
“I felt great for the match,” Parrett said. “I gave it my best, he beat me. I felt prepared.”
After a 1-1 deadlock after three periods, Parrett looked to end the match in the first overtime, but Bavery countered for the 126 title.
“I knew he was getting tired,” Parrett said. “I could feel his arms weakening and I tried to surprise him and he reacted well.”
Carlisle High School senior Jimmy Sandlin’s quest to claim a state title came up short as well.
Sandlin fell 5-1 in the D-II 170-pound title match to Tiffin Columbia’s Seth Williams, falling just short of becoming the school’s second state champ. Tyler Savage claimed a state title in 2006 in D-III.
“If you look at it, he lost to the Division I state runner up (A.J. Kowal of Princeton) and the Division II state champ,” Carlisle coach Brian Carter said. “I don’t care how you look at, that’s a successful year.”
Sandlin trailed 2-0 after the first period and 5-0 heading into the third period.
Williams let Sandlin loose in the third period, but Sandlin could not find the equalizing points.
“We knew we had to get him moving on his feet,” Carter said. “We had to create some angles. In the state finals, they are going to be tough, so you may have to try other things … you have to adapt. He was a tough kid, that’s why he was undefeated.”
This was Carlisle’s first year in D-II after moving up from D-III.
“You got to be proud of him. He had a great run,” Carter said. “Really, our team had a great run. To finish second in the district tournament in our first year at D-II when we were seeded eighth in our sectional … I am very proud of the kids.”
Greeneview senior Armani Robinson led defending champ Travis Linton 2-0 late into their D-III 182 title, but fell 3-2 after letting Linton go and giving up a takedown just inches from being out of bounds.
“I told Armani in his whole high school career, that is the best match I have ever seen him wrestle,” Greeneview coach Mike Sizemore said. “We just had a five- to seven-second lapse that cost us. At that level, they want that gold medal. He said maybe it is a sign of bigger things to come, and I believe that 100 percent.”
National Trail freshman Ben Sullivan was second at 220 in D-III. Chaminade Julienne senior Lyle Plummer (132) and Bellbrook junior Cameron Kelly (126) were also second, in D-II.
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