MICHIGANTOWN – Unlike last year, there was no drama in Saturday’s Hoosier Heartland Conference Meet.
Host Clinton Central put nine of its 14 wrestlers in the championship round, winning five titles en route to 239 points and the team title. The Bulldogs were 91 points clear of second place Carroll (148).
In last year’s conference meet, Central was initially awarded the title but a fixed scoring error awarded Tri-Central the title over the Bulldogs two days later. There were no such worries this year.
“We wrestled hard all day,” said Central head coach Austin Faulkner. “My hat’s off to them. The goal was to get to the finals and we’d be hard to beat as a team. We had a couple kids do that and seal the deal for us from a team standpoint.”
Central’s win ends Tri-Central’s string of five straight titles.
The Bulldogs had five conference champions: freshman Caleb Archibald (120), junior Wyatt Lucas (126), junior Jeff Scott (170), junior Adam Miller (182) and junior Tristan Shaw (285).
“We’ve been busting our tails,” Miller said. “Considering last year how we thought we had it … we made sure this year there was no doubt. It means a lot to us.”
Also winning conference titles from the county were Rossville sophomore Adam Easterday (132) and Clinton Prairie senior Tyler Casey (195).
As a team, Rossville finished fifth (92) and Prairie sixth (86).
Lucas, Scott and Miller took care of business efficiently in their title matches with pins. Lucas pinned Carroll’s Dakota Underwood in 52 seconds, Scott pinned Carroll’s Tallis Bowers in 1:43 and Miller pinned Sheridan’s Larry Eidson in 2:54.
“I just manipulated all parts of his body, got his legs in position and once his hips were in position it all fell into place,” Miller said.
Easterday earned his conference title by earning a major decision over Central’s Conner Mullin, 11-2. Mullin had pinned Easterday in 4:34 in the county meet.
Casey won his second HHC title in three years in come-from-behind fashion. Casey, who beat Sheridan’s Jacob Eidson in a regular season dual meet, trailed him 6-3 after two periods thanks to a 2-point reversal right at the first-period horn and a takedown in the second period.
But Casey, starting the third and final period on bottom, pulled a reversal and then immediately put Eidson in pinning position, getting the whistle in 5:13.
“He was a lot more aggressive this time, trying to get at me before I had a chance to set back into a defensive position,” Casey said. “I just had to catch him off-guard. He thought I was done. I found what I had left and threw it at him all at once.
“I was gassed pretty good. I just had to keep fighting for it. I knew I wanted it. It’s my senior year. I had to work for it as hard as I could.”
Archibald had some last-second dramatics as well. After Tri-Central’s Tommy Turner scored an escape to make it 10-8 late in the third, Archibald sealed the match with a two-point takedown to earn a 12-8 win.
“He’s hungry, he’s not afraid to work, he’s got a lot of pride and he’s not going to quit,” Faulkner said. “He’s got a chance to be a 4-time (conference champion). That’s a pretty elite group here. He has an opportunity to be one of those kids.”
Shaw and Sheridan’s Dale Musgrove entered the 285-pound title match having split two regular-season contests. Shaw ended the first period leading 5-4, scoring an escape late in the period after both traded 2-point near falls in a matter of seconds.
The score stayed that way until the third period when Musgrove scored an escape to tie the match at 5. Shaw then tallied a takedown to go up 7-5, followed by another Musgrove escape to make it 7-6.
Shaw then closed the match with a takedown and a 3-point near fall to win 12-6.
“He knew he could beat him. It’s a confidence thing with Tristan. Now he understands and believes he can compete with about anybody. He went out and did what it took,” Faulkner said.
Tri-Central had four champions: Trez O’Neal (106), Clay Shaffer (113), Garrett Kelley (145) and Darius Stanley (220). Carroll wrestlers won the other three titlists: Bradley Leonard (138), Nick Gamel (152) and Gavin Hancock (160).
Hoosier Heartland Conference Meet
Team scores : 1. Clinton Central 239. 2. Carroll 148. 3. Sheridan 126. 4. Tri-Central 123. 5. Rossville 92. 6. Clinton Prairie 86.
106 : Championship: O’Neal (TC) pin Ty Fadness (RV), 1:52. Third: McDaniel (CC) FF.
113 : Championship: Shaffer (TC) pin Mennen (CC), :45.
120 : Championship: Archibald (CC) dec. Turner (TC), 12-8. Third: Walker (CP pin Soiseth (RV), :28.
126 : Championship: Lucas (CC) pin Underwood (CA), :52.
132 : Championship: Easterday (RV) maj. dec. Mullin (CC), 11-2. Third: Carmaci (CA) pin Wallsmith (CP), 1:38.
138 : Championship: Leonard (CA) maj. dec. Campbell (CC), 9-1. Third place: Fadness (V) maj. dec. Miller (SH), 13-1.
145 : Championship: Kelley (TC) dec. Pickett (CA), 13-12. Third: Matt Delph (SH) pin Jenkins (CP), 3:13.
152 : Championship: Gamel (CA) dec. Moore (CP), 10-4. Third: Hughes (RV) pin Jones (CC), :32.
160 : Championship: Hancock (CA) dec. Petty (CC), 10-9. Third: Owens (SH) pin Krogstie (TC), 5:48.
170 : Championship: Scott (CC) pin Bowers (CA), 1:43. Third: Hoover (SH) pin Martin (RV), 5:02.
182 : Championship: Miller (CC) pin Eidson (SH), 2:54. Third: Turnpaugh (CA) pin Byrd (CP), :43.
195 : Championship: Casey (CP) pin Eidson (SH), 5:13. Third: Snell (CC), forfeit.
220 : Championship: Stanley (TC) pin Hoover (SH), 4:53. Third: Manchester (CC) pin Dotson (RV), 1:38.
285 : Championship: Shaw (CC) dec. Musgrove (SH), 12-6. Third: Plank (CA) maj. dec. Blades (TC), 9-1.