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 unneccessary risks. He stopped the other kid’s top game, which is his best position.”
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.”
Covington junior Michael Hagan was looking to secure his second state medal with a victory in the second consolation round.
Unfortunately, Hagan got caught on his back in the first period against Joey Romano (45-4) of Mentor Lake Catholic, a returning state placer from a year ago.
“Michael was wrestling really good, but the kid caught him in a bear hug where he trapped Michael’s arm and Michael couldn’t get out,” said Covington coach Eric Vanderhorst. “It could have went either way, but things happen at times when you reach this level.”
It was a stunning move in a match where Hagan went out aggressive and nearly recorded a takedown at the start – only to end up out of bounds. On the restart, Hagan once again went after Romano, which led to a scramble for position where Hagan ended up getting stuck in 32 seconds.
“It was a tough one to lose in the blood round,” Vanderhorst said. “But this was Michael’s third year winning matches at state. Not many kids can say that.”
Although coming up short of becoming a two-time state placer as a junior, Hagan has another year ahead of him to add to his wrestling legacy.
Wrestling resumes Sunday morning at 9:30am.