The key to a good tournament run at the state wrestling championships, as Beavercreek senior Bradley Smith will tell you, is past that first match. A win in the first round of the championship bracket lets wrestlers relax for the night. Losers have to come back and wrestle again to stave off elimination.
“I feel like that’s key,” Smith said. “You get a good night’s rest and you’re ready for tomorrow.”
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Smith likely slept well Thursday night. His first-round match was a hard-fought 8-3 victory in tie-breaker overtime at the Schottenstein Center. Smith and Marysville senior Ethan Smegal were tied after regulation and sudden victory overtime. Next up was a pair of 30-second OT periods with each wrestler starting on the bottom once.
Smith scored in the first overtime and held on in the second.
“He’s a strong kid. I knew going in he was going to be tough because its the state tournament. I kept wrestling and pulled it out,” Smith said. “The first one always has a little bit of high tension. This is my senior year so I have to wrestle every match like it’s my last.”
Smith qualified fourth in his district meet while Smegal entered as a district champion. That Smith had experience with Smegal helped. Smith beat him 4-2 during the regular season last year.
“I think I can win. I got a really good draw,” Smith said. “Everyone else from my district is on the other side of the bracket. I think I can pull it out and make it to the semis, maybe the finals.”
D-I: In addition to Smith, five other area wrestlers remained in the championship bracket after Thursday. Northmont junior Andrew Knick (145), Beavercreek junior Gavin Bell (152), Fairmont junior Nevan Snodgrass (170), Northmont senior Bryan Heyward (220) and Wayne junior Jacob Padilla (285) all won.
D-II: Chaminade Julienne led the way with a pair of wins from junior Isaiah Wortham (126) and senior Hunter Johns (182). Eaton senior Wade Monebrake (138), Alter senior Nathaniel Armstrong (220) and Preble Shawnee junior Ty Stevenson (285) also advanced in the championship round.
D-III: Troy Christian advanced five wrestlers into the championship quarterfinals, good enough to put them in second place with 20 points after the first day. Genoa leads with 22.5 points.
For Troy Christian, junior Caleb Schroer (106), junior Ethan Turner (126), senior Ryan Whitten (145), junior Craig Montgomery (170) and Nick Baker (220) all won in the first round.
Covington and Legacy Christian both won three championship matches, while Miami East won two. Sophomore Kellan Anderson (106), sophomore Cael Vanderhorst (113) and senior Keringten Martin (152) won for Covington. Matt Ellis (106), freshman Camron Lacure (120) and freshman Gavin Brown (126) all scored wins for LC.
National Trail junior Peyton Lane (138), Brookville junior Chase Dyer (182) and Preble Shawnee junior Ty Stevenson (285) also advanced to the quarterfinals.
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