Marysville’s Walker Heard advances in state mat title bracket; Monarchs’ Smegal, NU’s Thompson still alive

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Marysville’s Logan Painter (top photo) tries to avoid a pin against Max Boyle of Harrison in the 195-pound Division I consolation bracket Thursday evening. Painter, a senior, lost the match, 5-3, and was eliminated from the tournament.
(Journal-Tribune photos by Sam Dillon)
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The opening day of the 2019 state wrestling tournament on Thursday was a mixed bag of results for Union County grapplers.
Marysville High School senior Walker Heard was the lone local athlete to win his opening-round match.
In doing so, Heard remained in the running for a possible Division I state championship in the 152-pound division going into today’s competition.
Of the six wrestlers from the county, two others remained alive for possible third-place finishes and a trio was eliminated from further competition.
Heard was well in control of his opening round bout against Brady Linder of Medina Highland.
He blocked an early takedown attempt and took a 2-0 lead with a fireman’s carry takedown.
The Monarch senior carried the two-point edge into the second period and expanded his margin to 5-0 on an escape and reversal.
Heard’s takedown early in the third set pushed him out to a 7-0 lead.
He reached double figures in scoring at 10-0 with a near fall.
Heard climbed to a 12-1 advantage until he pinned Linder with seven seconds left in the match.
“Walker scored points early,” said MHS head coach Shawn Andrews. “The more points you score, the easier your match becomes.”
Ethan Smegal, the Monarchs’ senior 220-pounder, got off to a difficult start.
He dropped his opening round contest to Bradley Smith of Beavercreek, 8-3, on a tiebreaker.
Smith had a decided height advantage over Smegal, but neither athlete could gain a clear advantage throughout the first two minutes of action.
Smegal went up 2-0 early in the second period, but allowed Smith to earn an escape.
The Monarch grappler took a 2-1 margin into the third period, but gave up a takedown.
Smegal tied the score at 3-3 with an escape and that’s how the contest ended in regulation.
A one-minute OT session did not produce a winner.
The pair went at it for another 30 seconds, with Smith tallying a five-point move, including a near- fall to win the tie-breaker.
Smeagal was able to bounce back in his first consolation match.
Once again, he had to look up at the height of Charles Medley from Maple Heights.
Smeagal scored two points in each of the first and second periods on takedowns.
He then finished business by putting Medley to the mat with 17 seconds left in the second set.
“I would have liked Ethan to have had that first match over again,” said Andrews. “I felt he wrestled good enough to win, but I was proud of the way he came back in the consolation match.”
The only other local athlete to win a match was North Union’s Dylan Thompson in Division III’s 220-pound bracket.
Thompson battled Will Bechstein of Bloomdale Elmwood during his opening match.
The NU matman found himself down by a couple of points early, but came back to tie the score at 2-2 with a takedown.
He then trailed, 3-2, at the end of the first period when Bechstein escaped his grasp.
Bechstein notched a couple of escapes and scored points on a near-fall.
As such, Thompson trailed 10-7 by the end of the second set.
Thompson narrowed the gap to 10-9 by executing a single leg takedown.
The Wildcat athlete, however, appeared to tire as the bout progressed.
He finally lost, 17-10, on a takedown.
Thompson also bounced back to win his first consolation bout.
He trailed, 2-0, at the end of the first period against Wellington’s Mike Casella.
Thompson later grabbed a 5-2 lead on a second-period near-fall.
Thompson gradually built his advantage and won the match by putting Casella’s shoulders to the mat at the 3:09 mark.
“This is the fifth consecutive year that we’ve gotten guys to the state tournament,” said Wildcat coach Garrett Andrews.
“Dylan is keeping us alive in Friday’s consolation round,” he said. “If he gets one more win, he will get to the awards podium, which has been his goal.”
The first day of competition did not go as well for three other wrestlers.
All three – NU senior Tarren Riffle, Marysville sophomore Lincoln Heard and Monarch senior Logan Painter – lost two matches and were eliminated from further competition.
Riffle (113) faced a difficult test against Caleb Edwards of Rootstown.
Riffle trailed 9-2 as time expired in the second period when Edwards scored points on a near-fall.
Edwards climbed to a 14-2 margin before pinning Riffle with 36 ticks left on the second period clock.
Riffle (36-10) then fell, 9-2, to Bryce Maynard of Pemberville Eastwood in a consolation bout.
“This was Tarren’s first trip to the state tournament and it was tough to shake off his first match,” said NU coach Andrews. “The second match was closer than the final score indicated, but it’s always tough to come back from being behind.
“Still, Tarren had a great year and great career.”
Lincoln Heard (138) was sent to the consolation round after facing Findlay’s Jonah Smith during the opening round.
Heard (25-20) trailed 5-0 and was then pinned with 18 seconds remaining in the opening set.
Heard gave up a first-period takedown by Mitchell Collica of Macedonia Nordonia in the consolation bracket.
The MHS sophmore’s season came to an end when Collica pinned him with a second left in the first period.
“Lincoln wrestled well last week at the district,” said MHS coach Andrews. “As a sophomore, you hope he was prepared, but I think the moment just got to him.
“He was in a tough weight bracket, but I hope this is something he can build on going into the off-season.”
Painter (195) held a 3-0 advantage early in the third period of his opening match against Micha Clemson of Canton McKinley.
He still led, 5-4, but Clemson scored points on a couple of takedowns and a near-fall to claim a 7-5 triumph.
Painter trailed in his consolation bout against Harrison’s Max Boyle.
He fell behind by a 5-1 count after a second-period near-fall.
Painter (33-15) was able to tally two more points when his opponent was called twice for stalling.
Boyle, though, was able to hang on for a 5-3 victory that ended Painter’s season.
“This was Logan’s first time at the state,” said Andrews. “He gave up some points during his first match.”
Walker Heard, whose record stands at 45-5, was scheduled to compete in the championship quarterfinals this morning.
He was set to face Enrique Munguia of Elyria (39-9).
Smegal (39-6) and Thompson (36-10) were scheduled to continue on in their respective consolation brackets.



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