Friends, rivals battle it out for sectional wrestling title

Covington senior Keringten Martin and Milton-Union senior Dylan Schenck have become good friends during their high school wrestling careers. Their matches? They’re even closer.

In their fourth meeting of the season – and there will likely be a fifth – Martin outlasted Schenck 3-2 to win the 152-pound title at the Division III sectional tournament Saturday at Covington High school. Martin was one of Covington’s school-record tying four champions. The Buccs also advanced 10 wrestlers to next week’s district tournament.

»RELATED: Saturday’s high school scoreboard

“We know what we both do. He knows my moves. I know his moves,” Martin said. “It’s tough to score on somebody you’ve wrestled four times in the same season, let alone four years of high school.”

Martin improved to 46-2. Schenck is 37-4. Yes, all four loss have come to Martin.

The match was tied 1-1 with 1:40 left in the third and final period. Martin scored a takedown with about 15 seconds left for the 3-1 lead. Schenck made it 3-2 on an escape a few seconds later, but Martin held on for the win.

The two are projected to meet in the finals of next week’s district tournament, too.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it. It’s fun,” said Schenck, one of six Bulldogs to qualify for the district meet. “It’s going to be a meat grinder every single time.

“Losing to the same person four times in season you kind of get a mental block. I guess I gotta get over that. … If anything it pushes me to be better. To get over that obstacle.”

Martin ran into a pair of obstacles himself last season. He went 0-2 at the state tournament, but his losses came by a combined five points to wrestlers who finished third and fourth on the podium. That’s been added motivation this season.

“I came in ready. I made my mind up I’m not losing,” Martin said. “I knew what I needed to do. I just need to attack and get it done.”

In addition to Martin, Covington also celebrated sectional championships from sophomore Kellan Anderson at 106, sophomore Cael Vanderhorst at 113 and senior Gavin McReyonlds at 182.

The Buccaneers finished second in the team standings with 195.5 points. Mechanicsburg won the sectional championship with 204.

Troy Christian qualified eight wrestlers to the sectional tournament and had three champions with junior Ethan Turner at 126, senior Ryan Whitten at 145 and senior Nick Baker at 220.

Also on Saturday:

Butler won the Centerville 1 sectional with 230.5 points, topping runner-up Springboro 223.5. Butler and Springboro both qualfied 11 wrestlers to next week’s district tournament, but the Aviators had five sectional champions. Fairmont advanced seven with four champions.

Beavercreek won the Centerville 2 sectional behind four sectional champs and 10 district qualifiers. Centerville also won four classes and qualified 11. Northmont won three individual titles and Stebbins had a pair.

Chaminade Julienne finished second to Graham at the Graham 1 sectional. The Eagles had a pair of sectional champs among their nine district qualifiers. Carroll advanced five.

Eaton won the Graham 2 title behind nine district qualifiers and two champions. Valley View qualified seven and won three titles. Oakwood qualified seven and had one champion and Greenville advanced six with one champion.

Versailles topped Miami East at the Lehman sectional. Both qualified 10 wrestlers overall. Miami East had three sectional champs to two for Versailles. Lehman led with four invidual champs among its five qualiiers. Brookville qualified nine and Preble Shawnee had a sectional champ.

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