Chase Vanderhorst pinned his way to a sectional championship at 132 pounds. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

COVINGTON – Saturday’s sectional tournament at Covington High Schools was loaded with returning state placers and qualifiers in nearly every weight class, which made it that much more gratifying to see the Buccaneers finish fourth as a team with 137 points and advance six wrestlers to the district tournament, plus two more as alternates.

Chase Vanderhorst led the Buccaneers by winning a sectional title at 132 pounds. Vanderhorst opened the tournament with a 1:08 pin of Gunner Weldy of Miami East and followed with a 2:24 pin of Zechariah Jones of Stivers. He advanced to the finals with a 38 second pin of Zack Creager of National Trail and then pinned #2 seed Jacob Griffith of West Liberty-Salem in 14 seconds in the championship match.

Finishing runner-up in their respective weight classes were Carson Taylor at 106 pounds and Caleb Ryman at 138 pounds. Taylor advanced to the finals with back-to-back pins over Beau Garrett of Preble Shawnee and Brandon Lewis of Miami East. He dropped his championship match to top seeded Kyle Schroer of Troy Christian, 11-3.

Caleb Ryman pinned Quinn Bostic of Troy Christian, Ben Jaynes of Northwestern and Max Rudolph of West Liberty-Salem to advance to the finals at 138 pounds. He dropped his championship match to #1 seed Brayden Brown of Legacy Christian.

Michael Hagan and Jericho Quinter finished third in loaded weight classes consisting of several state placers. At 120 pounds, Hagan fell to #2 seed Nathan Attisano in the semifinal, but bounced back by recording back-to-back pins over Tyler Legge of Northwestern and #4 seed Nolan Earles of Preble Shawnee.

Jericho Quinter, a junior 126 pounder, showed amazing grit and toughness as he overcame and injury to keep his quest of returning to state alive. Quinter was forced to default by injury in the semifinal, but managed to grit out back-to-back wins via pin in the consolation rounds over Garrett Fine of Miami East and Wyatt Schwartz of Arcanum.

The final Buccaneer to qualify for district was freshman Christian Clark, who entered the tournament as an unseeded wrestler at 113 pounds. Clark dropped his opening match to #2 seed Sulaiman Muhammad of Northridge, but battled his way through the blood rounds with a determined effort. His big victory came in the consolation semifinal as he defeated #4 seed Asher Garman of Dayton Christian via injury default in a match where Clark was leading 11-7 when the match was ended with one second left on the clock. Clark then dropped his consolation final match to Zarrin Walton of Preble Shawnee, 13-7.

Aveyen Meek (150 pounds) and Jack Blumenstock (165 pounds) earned district alternate status by taking fifth place in their respective weight classes.

The district tournament will be held next Friday and Saturday at Hobart Arena in Troy.

Carson Taylor finished runner-up at 106 pounds. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Caleb Ryman gets a pin on his way to a second place finish at 138 pounds. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Michael Hagan finished third at 120 pounds. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Christian Clark advanced to districts at 113 pounds. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Jericho Quinter overcame serious pain to advance to districts at 126 pounds. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo