Chase Vanderhorst ha his arm raised after claiming fifth place at state. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2023
COLUMBUS – Chase Vanderhorst opened up the state tournament in a loaded 132 pound weight class, which fields six returning state placers and several more who are returning state qualifiers.

One of the multiple state qualifiers was the first opponent for Vanderhorst, Jesse Maple of Ridgewood, who entered the tournament with a 41-4 record.

Vanderhorst waisted little time in setting the tone as he recorded an early takedown and scored two back points on a tilt.

“Chase wrestled an experienced senior who is a multi-state qualifier and ranked in the state,” said Covington coach Eric Vanderhorst. “He went out there and got a nice takedown and rode hard on top for a tilt and back points.”

Maple surprisingly chose top in the second period and Vanderhorst quickly got away to push his lead to 5-0.

“That kid’s best position is on top and he chose top in the second period,” said Vanderhorst. “Chase did a good job of getting an escape quickly to take away his strength.”

Chase chose bottom in the third period and escaped again for a 6-0 lead and then stayed in solid position to capture a 6-2 win.

“At that point (leading 6-0), Chase did a good job of staying solid on defense,” Vanderhorst said. “The talent here is so good you have to wrestle smart in situations like that and that’s what Chase did.”

Chase advances to the quarterfinal where he faces another talented wrestler, two-time state placer Brock Christian (45-9) from Perry.

“He has a two-time state placer tomorrow,” Vanderhorst said. “His weight class is tied for the most returning state placers, so he needs to take it one match at a time because every match will be good kids from here on out.”

Vanderhorst is also a returning state placer and holds a record of 39-3, so the level of competition is something Chase Vanderhorst is accustom to seeing.

Chase Vanderhorst locks up a cradle for three back points in a 7-1 win over Anden Ankney of Tinora on Saturday. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

COLUMBUS – Covington junior Chase Vanderhorst became the 10th wrestler in Buccaneer history to earn multiple state medals as he ensured his spot on the podium Saturday morning with a victory in the second consolation round.

Vanderhorst opened the second day of the state tournament in the quarterfinals against Brock Christian (46-9) of Perry, a returning two-time state placer who took third last year at 132 pounds and seventh in 2021 at 120 pounds.

The match was a battle for both wrestlers, but Christian was able to gain an advantage on his feet with two takedowns that led to a 5-2 loss for Vanderhorst.

“That kid was very good left handed and he got a left handed single leg,” explained Covington coach Eric Vanderhorst. “It was tough for Chase to defend that. Chase put himself in position to win in the end, but ran out of time.”

Chase rebounded in the second consolation round with a very impressive 7-1 victory over Anden Ankney (43-10) of Tinora. Vanderhorst took control of the match early with a takedown and three back points and then followed with another takedown to secure the win.

“Chase shot in and the kid tried defending the single leg a little too long and Chase was able to lock up the cradle for a 5-0 lead,” Vanderhorst explained. “After that Chase just wrestled a really controlled match and didn’t take any unnecessary risks. He stopped the other kid’s top game, which is his best position.”

Chase Vanderhorst catches Brian Luft of Newark Catholic on his back for a pin in 52 seconds. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

Vanderhorst then faced Brian Luft (21-4) of Newark Catholic in the third consolation round Saturday evening and came away with a pin in 52 seconds.

“We had a pretty good scouting report on him (Luft),” said Vanderhorst. “We saw a position we felt we could take advantage of and Chase drilled that position with Cael (his brother) during warm-ups. Chase executed it perfectly during the match, which is why it looked easier than it actually was.”

Next up for Chase in the consolation semifinal is Dakota King (46-6) of Barnesville, who entered the tournament as the projected state champion.

“Yeah, Chase is facing the projected state champion who got upset in the semifinal,” Vanderhorst said. “But at this level everyone is good. Chase needs to wrestle his match and stay in position of his own strength and not the strength of his opponent.”

Wrestling resumes Sunday morning at 9:30am.

Covington coaches Eric Vanderhorst (right) and Lance Miller (left) give instructions to Chase Vanderhorst works to finish a takedown during the state meet. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

MARCH 12, 2023
COLUMBUS – Chase Vanderhorst closed out his junior season in style with a 3-2 victory over Wyatt Hinton (44-4) of Norwood to earn fifth place and his second straight state medal.

The victory over Hinton was extremely gratifying because it avenged a defeat in the district final last week.

“Just a gritty effort where he had to battle back,” said Covington coach and Chase’s father Eric Vanderhorst. “I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Vanderhorst faced projected state champion Dakota King (47-6) of Barnesville in the consolation semifinal and came up short advancing to the consolation final in a 3-1 loss.

“Chase wrestled well against a kid who was predicted to be the state champion,” Vanderhorst said. “He stayed in solid position through the entire match except for when he (King) got the takedown. That was the difference.”

Chase had little time to refocus prior to stepping back into the mat against Hinton.

But he was able to stay mentally strong and controlled the match from start to finish.

The match was scoreless at the end of the first and Hinton chose bottom to start the second. Vanderhorst worked well on top, but surrendered an escape. Chase then recorded a quick takedown and surrendered another escape.

With the score deadlocked at 2-2 to start the third, Vanderhorst chose bottom and quickly got away to take a 3-2 lead. From there Chase stayed solid on his feet to preserve the one-point victory.

“He stayed in solid position, which is what needs to happen against this level of competition,” Vanderhorst explained.

Finishing on the podium for the second straight year is an amazing accomplishment for Chase after having his entire freshman season taken from him due to an injury and several other unfortunate circumstances that were out of his control.

“Yeah, Chase has been through a lot,” said Vanderhorst. “He had four surgeries, a broken collar bone, appendicitis, a hernia – you name it. Just a lot of unfortunate things that cost him a lot of mat time over the last few years.”

Overcoming the adversity makes earning a second straight state medal gratifying for Chase.

“It is great to place,” said Chase. “To be able to battle through everything and get on the podium feels good. Sure, I wanted to finish higher, but I was happy to win my final match of the season.”

Chase has another year to pursue more goals, one joining his older brother Cael as a three-time state placer.

“Hopefully I can finish higher than fifth,” Chase said. “I’m going to continue to work hard and don’t take any breaks. I’m going to travel more to see different wrestling styles and hopefully that will make me even better.”

Chase Vanderhorst controls Jesse Maple of Ridgewood en route to a 6-2 win. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo