COLUMBUS — The coach told his elated wrestler to put on a sweatshirt. Archbold’s Logan Day needed to keep sweating — and shed pounds for an impending weigh-in — after his semifinal match in the Division III state tournament Friday night.
There was just one problem.
“I didn’t sweat,” Day replied.
The Archbold junior pinned his 138-pound opponent in 26 seconds — a result that turned heads throughout the Schottenstein Center and led Day to exclaim over and over, “This doesn’t feel real.”
Who could have forecasted this?
Day (51-1) did not qualify for the state tournament last year and braced for a grinding match against Amanda-Clearcreek’s Jared Dilley. Blue Streaks coach Brian Becher instructed Day to stay on the offensive but avoid swinging for an “early home run,” so as not to get caught out of position against a senior challenger who had pinned his way to the semifinals.
PHOTO GALLERY: State wresting championships Day 2
“You expect a hard-fought six minutes where you’re battling for every single point,” Becher said.
Besides, Day was a couple pounds over the threshold required to compete in his weight class today. “The plan was to lose the weight in the match,” he said.
Yet there were his best-laid plans going sweetly awry as he felled Dilley (42-8) with a fireman’s carry to the mat in the opening seconds. Afterward, Day threw his hands skyward and roared.
“It’s just amazing, a dream come true,” he said. “All the hard work is paying off.”
And with that, Day was off to the training room on the arena’s concourse level. “I’m going to have to lose the pounds, but it’s a great problem,” he said.
Day highlighted a day that featured six area wrestlers advance to today’s Division III finals but also dealt a blow to Delta’s hopes of bringing a state wrestling title to Northwest Ohio for the first time in 14 years.
By most standards, the Panthers enjoyed a strong day. Four of their wrestlers advanced to the semifinals while freshman Jake Spiess and senior Jared Mattin will vie for individual titles. This year, though, it may not be enough for the team title.
The Panthers, who led after Day 1, closed Friday in second place with 63.5 points — 13 behind Troy Christian, which has three wrestlers in the finals.
In other semifinal matches, Kyle Keller dropped a 7-4 decision to Troy Christian’s Garrett Hancock at 120 pounds, and defending state runner-up Tyler Fahrer fell 8-4 to New Lebanon Dixie’s Matt Buxie at 160. Freshman Dustin Marteney lost in the quarterfinals but won his second-round consolation match to assure no worse than a sixth-place finish.
“You can’t help but be a little bit greedy when you know you can do it,” Delta coach Anthony Carrizales said. “There’s some bitter but there’s also some sweet.”
He added: “Being able to put two in the finals for any program is awesome.”
Spiess (44-4), a two-time Ohio junior high champion, opened the 106-pound quarterfinals with the fastest pin of the afternoon across all levels before earning a 7-1 decision over Black River’s Sebastian Vidika in the semifinals. He will wrestle for the title against Woodmore’s Evan Ulinski (49-3), who advanced with a 2-0 decision against Dayton Christian’s Hunter Bray.
It was not lost on Spiess that his 16-second quarterfinals fall approached a state record. Delta’s Rob Sintobin holds the Division III mark for the fastest pin at states with an 8-second win in 1989.
“Yeah, I think I could,” Spiess said when asked if he could vanquish an opponent so swiftly. “I have a few close that year.”
Mattin, the Panthers’ other finalist, rallied for a 9-7 overtime win against Creston Norwayne’s Kurt Moore at 160 pounds. Down 7-6, Moore tied the match with less than 20 seconds left on a stalling call against Moore and scored an early takedown in the extra period. Mattin (39-7) will wrestle Beachwood’s Ryan Harris in the finals.
“It’s a great feeling. but I’ve still got one more to go,” he said. “My season’s not over until I get that one.”
Fostoria’s Tony Reynolds and North Baltimore’s Dalton Ishmael will also represent the area in the championships. Reynolds (41-6) won 8-3 over Nelsonville-York’s Zach Mays at 170 pounds while Ishmael (45-1) earned a 6-1 decision over Loudonville’s Ryan Weber at 195.
Van Buren’s Chase Sonnenberg fell 13-6 in the 160-pound semis.
Contact David Briggs at: email@example.com, 419-724-6084 or on Twitter @ DBriggsBlade.