Connor Ryan works for a takedown at the holiday tournament in Vandalia.

Covington put in an outstanding performance during the first day of the Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association (GMVWA) Holiday Wrestling Tournament, advancing a school-record eight wrestlers to the second day of competition. The Buccs advanced 5 wrestlers into the quarterfinals with another 3 moving on to the fifth consolation round. Covington is currently tied for 5th place out of the 55 schools competing, with 70.5 points.

Connor Ryan (106 lbs) advanced with a first round bye and consecutive pins over Marcus Marshall of Versailles and Jacob Edwards of Troy Christian. Jarred Ganger (132) advanced with a bye and pins over Justin Lillard of Simon Kenton, Ky., and Annan Mohamud of Dublin Coffman.

Ryan Ford (138) received a bye, then earned a technical fall over Kory Florence of Tippecanoe and a pin over Evan Gottis of Glen Este. Lance Miller (152) advanced with a bye and pins over Zach Bowman of Columbus Bishop Hartley and Robert Speaks of Watkins Memorial.

Ben Miller (182) won a 3-1 decision over Quinton Mincy of Walnut Hills, followed by consecutive pins over Noah Arnett of Defiance and Marvin Bennett of Watkins Memorial.

Also advancing to the second day, but through the consolation rounds, were Jarred Ford (113), Gage DeHart (160) and Brandon Magee (170). Ford advanced with a bye and pin over Isaac Coey of Athens, then fell to the no. 2 seed Kristopher Hill of Columbus Bishop Hartley, before rebounding with a major decision over Thomas McGraw of Chaminade-Julienne.

DeHart earned a bye and a decision over Nate Walden of Kenton Ridge, fell to the no. 1 seed Alex Marinelli of Graham, then pinned Princeton’s Zach Johnson. Magee had a bye then lost to the no. 8 seed Keegan Driscoll of Hilliard Bradley, before rebounding with a pin over Van Wert’s Chandler Adams and a victory by decision over the no. 3 seed Ruben Rojas of Moore Traditional, Ky.

Deron White (145) went 2-2 on the day with wins over Morgan’s Travis Johnson and Troy’s Ricky McVety. Coleman Ryan (120) also competed well for the Buccs.

Covington concluded a fantastic weekend at the GMVWA Holiday wrestling tournament, putting five wrestlers on the podium, and finishing as the tournament runners-up at the 55 team event. The second place finish sets a school record, as the Buccs finished behind perennial power Graham, but ahead of all other teams, including 26 Division 1 programs. Covington’s previous best was an 8th place finish during last year’s outstanding season. Their five placers – Connor Ryan, Jarred Ganger, Ryan Ford, Lance Miller and Ben Miller – also tops their previous record of 3 placers which the Buccs had achieved multiple times in the past.

Jarred Ganger (132) and Ryan Ford (132) both advanced to the finals and finished as runners-up at the prestigious event. Ganger started the second day with a technical fall victory in the quarter finals over Brandon Smith of Glen Este and a major decision over Andrew Lieb of Watkins Memorial, before falling to former state champion Cameron Kelly of Bellbrook in the finals Ford opened with a 5-2 decision over Tyler Copeland of Wapakoneta and a 6-4 decision over Cody Ohnmeiss of Troy Christian, before dropping a 6-3 decision to Graham’s Ryan Thomas in the finals.

Connor Ryan (106) and Ben Miller (195) both finished in 4th place overall. Ryan dropped his quarterfinal bout to Drew Saunier of Springboro, before rebounding with three consecutive victories over Devin Johnson of Pickerington Central, Ben Sherrill of Bellbrook and Alec Schopfer of West Branch. He then dropped his final match to Brandon Lucas of Western Brown. Miller pinned Troy Christian’s Tristan Devlin in the quarterfinals then dropped a semifinal decision to Elijah Miller of Simon Kenton. He rebounded with a victory over Steven Major of Indian Lake, before dropping his final bout to Chris Martinez of Delaware Hayes.

Lance Miller (152) fell to Kyle Lawson of Graham in the quarterfinals, then pinned Nick Fonrshell of Lebanon. He then earned a major decision over Logan Calvert of Sidney, before dropping close decisions to Jon Belk of Ryle, Ky., and Gabe Callicoat of Tippecanoe.

Jared Ford (113), Gage DeHart (160) and Brandon Magee (170) each dropped their 5th consolation bouts.

The Buccs compete next at the Troy Invitational on Saturday, January 3.

Lance Miller put together a great performance at 152 pounds.
Jarred Ganger finished runner up at 132 pounds.