The Covington wrestling team claimed a sectional championship on Saturday in their home gymnasium by compiling 187.5 team points – edging runner-up Brookville, which tallied 179.5 team points.
Three Buccaneers won individual championships and a total of nine wrestlers qualified for next week’s Division III District Tournament at Hobart Arena in Troy.
Sophomore 113-pounder Jericho Quinter claimed his championship with a 16-0 technical fall win over Khadyn Jacobs of Brookville. He advanced to the finals with a :26 pin of Grant Driskill from Springfield Shawnee. In all, it was an extremely gratifying day for Quinter as his freshman season a year ago was ended right before sectionals with a serious injury.
At 120 pounds, returning state placer Michael Hagan dominated his way to a sectional championship with pins in a total of 2:00. Hagan won his semifinal match via 1:46 pin of Jacob Taser of Triad and then took just 24 seconds to pin Evan Carpenter of Ben Logan in the finals.
Much like his sophomore classmate Jericho Quinter, Chase Vanderhorst had an extremely gratifying day at sectionals after having his entire freshman season taken from him due to an injury suffered in football. Vanderhorst won the 126-pound weight class with a 16-0 technical fall victory over Levi Griffin of Middletown Madison in the finals. Vanderhorst didn’t allow a single point to any of his sectional opponents.
Three Covington wrestlers advanced to the finals, but had to settle for runner-up.
Carson Taylor, a sophomore 106 pounder, advanced to the finals with a 1:21 pin of Charles Neer of Ben Logan and a 6-0 victory over #2 seed Brandon Day of Springfield Shawnee. Taylor was leading top-seeded Kyle Schroer of Troy Christian in the finals before Schroer was able to record a pin in the second period.
Buccaneer senior Connor Sindelir advanced to the finals at 157 pounds with a :39 pin of Jackson Conner of Dixie and a :27 of Levi Rehmert of Arcanum. Sindelir then dropped his championship match to Pebble Shawnee’s Brayden Doran, who entered the tournament as the top seeded wrestler at 157.
Fellow senior Jensen Wagoner also advanced to the finals at 190 pounds with a :56 pin of Preble Shawnee’s Aiden Walters and a :26 pin of Tucker Webb from Triad. In what was an extremely competitive championship match, Wagoner came up short against top-seeded Lee Burkett of Troy Christian in the finals by a razor thin 2-1 margin.
Qualifying for districts with a third place finish was sophomore Jackson Shiverdecker, who entered the tournament as an unseeded wrestler at 138 pounds. After dropping a 9-1 decision to eventual champion Troy Kennedy of Troy Christian, Shiverdecker battled through the consolation bracket with a 4:38 pin of #5 seed Logan Harper of Triad and a 3:51 pin of #3 seed Kaiden Neely of Carlisle. Shiverdecker then defeated #4 seed Kaden Sarbaugh of Middletown Madison via 1:52 pin in the consolation final.
Two Buccaneers qualified for districts by taking fourth place, freshman Aveyen Meek and senior Scott Blumenstock.
Meek won his first match with a 2:54 pin of National Trail’s Henry Toschlog, but dropped his second bout to #2 seed Harper Huling of Northrdige. The Buccaneer freshman then won a close 11-9 decision over Dalle Coffey of Southeastern to punch his ticket to districts. In a rematch from his open match of the tournament, Meek dropped his consolation final match to Henry Toschlog of National Trail, 9-3.
Buccaneer senior heavyweight Scott Blumenstock opened up the tournament with a :27 pin of Christopher Parker of Preble Shawnee, but dropped his next bout to #2 seed Jeremiah Carter of Northridge. Blumenstock responded in the consolation rounds with a 4-2 win over #5 seed James Barker of National Trail to secure a spot at districts. He then dropped his final match to #4 seed Noah Rutherford of Carlisle.
Blumenstock’s top-four finish makes him the first heavyweight in school history to qualify for districts three times.
One Buccaneer wrestler will head to districts as an alternate after finishing fifth, senior Caleb Miller at 150 pounds. In what was the toughest and deepest weight class in the tournament, Miller won his opening match 10-4 over Preble Shawnee’s Garrett Campbell before dropping a very close 6-3 decision to David Stumpff of Troy Christian. Miller followed with a 4-3 win over #6 seed T.J. Meeks of Springfield Shawnee and then pinned Beau Creekbaum in the consolation quarterfinal. Unfortunately, Miller dropped his match to secure a district birth to Ben Logan’s Kendal Plikerd in overtime, 10-8. Miller then defeated Garrett Campbell 5-3 to become a district alternate.
Also wrestling for Covington and contributing to team points were freshman 132 pounder Kaden Thompson and senior 215 pounder Ricky Stephan. Thompson recorded a big win over Evan Ballard of Springfield Shawnee via pin in 3:22. Stephan, who battled through injuries all year, finish his career by coming up just short in the consolation rounds.
COVINGTON DISTRICT QUALIFIERS:
106 – 2nd Carson Taylor 10, Covington (36-6)
113 – 1st Jericho Quinter 10, Covington (27-4)
120 – 1st Michael Hagan 10, Covington (36-3)
126 – 1st Chase Vanderhorst 10, Covington (25-2)
138 – 3rd Jackson Shiverdecker 10, Covington (9-12)
144 – 4th Aveyen Meek 9, Covington (15-18)
157 – 2nd Connor Sindelir 12, Covington (34-10)
190 – 2nd Jensen Wagoner 12, Covington (31-8)
285 – 4th Scott Blumenstock 12, Covington (21-8)