North Union High School senior Dylan Thompson is assured of Union County’s highest placement at the conclusion of the 2019 state-wrestling tournament.
Thompson split a pair of 220-pound matches during Thursday’s opening day of the Division III tournament.
All three divisions are competing on the state level at The Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center.
After dropping his opening match, Thompson used the momentum from his consolation-round victory on Thursday to shine during action on Friday.
The NU matman told the Journal-Tribune after his Thursday triumph that he just wanted to prove that he belonged on the state tournament stage.
He certainly alleviated any doubts that anyone might have had.
Thompson opened the second round of consolation action with a 3:25 pin over Newbury’s Alex Piczer.
That set up Friday evening’s rematch with Hunter Braithwaite of West Jefferson.
Braithwaite had defeated Thompson by an 8-2 verdict during last week’s district semifinals.
The pair locked up during Friday evening’s first period and neither was able to gain much of an advantage.
Braithwaite went up 1-0 with an escape in the second period.
The match was tied 1-1 after the Rough Rider was whistled for stalling.
Thompson took his first lead at 2-1 with an escape early in the third period.
With 50 seconds left in regulation, Thompson took Braithwaite down for a 4-1 lead.
Braithwaite cut his deficit in half with an escape and tallied a point when Thompson was called for a stall.
That was not enough, however, as Thompson won the match, 4-3.
The NU senior was scheduled to face another rematch bout at 10 a.m. this morning in the consolation semifinals.
Thompson was set to battle Will Bechstein of Bloomdale Elmwood.
The pair squared off during Thursday’s opening round in a match that Bechstein won, 17-10.
The winner of this morning’s match will then battle for third place and the loser will contend for a fifth-place spot.
Friday proved to be a difficult day for a pair of Marysville High School seniors during the Division I tournament.
Walker Heard, who won his only 152-pound match on Thursday, went down in defeat during Friday’s championship quarterfinals. He dropped a 1-0 verdict to Enrique Munguia of Elyria.
That loss toppled Heard into the consolation bracket.
“Walker couldn’t get a takedown in that match,” said MHS head coach Shawn Andrews.
Heard rebounded when he edged Amar Thomas of Fairfield by a 3-2 decision.
In doing so, the Monarch standout kept his hopes alive for a third-place finish.
Those hopes, however, were dashed during the consolation quarterfinals.
Gavin Bell of Beavercreek scored the first two points of that match on a takedown.
Bell’s lead continued to grow during the second and third periods. He went on top, 10-2, on a near fall and finished with a 10-3 verdict.
Heard’s loss put him into today’s match for seventh and eighth place.
He was scheduled to tangle with Paul Twarog of North Royalton.
Ethan Smegal, the Monarchs’ 220-pounder, split two matches on Thursday.
He edged Bryan Heyward of Clayton Northmont by a score of 5-4, during his first consolation match on Friday.
Smegal’s dreams of a third-place finish were also thwarted when he lost to Barberton’s Paul Zentiska, 4-1 last evening.
Smegal was scheduled to compete this morning for seventh or eighth place against Bradley Smith of Beavercreek. Smith beat Smegal, 8-3, in a tie-breaker during Thursday’s opening round.
“This was a rough day,” said Andrews. “Both Walker and Ethan had high expectations.
“Tonight’s round was difficult. They are hurting and we as coaches are hurting for them.”
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