TROY – Miami East has had a successful run of qualifying wrestlers to the state meet over the past several years and this weekend the Vikings had three wrestlers punch their tickets to the state meet by finishing in the top four of their respective weight classes and two more earned state alternate status by taking fifth at districts.
Senior Cooper Shore advanced by winning a district championship at 120 pounds. He advanced to the finals with three straight pins over Ethan Beam of Columbus Grove, Kyler Walsh of Norwood and Nolan Earles of Preble Shawnee. In the finals, Shore put together a dominating performance in a 7-2 victory over Nathan Attisano of Legacy Christian.
At 190 pounds junior Drake Bennett put together a stellar effort by placing second in his weight class. Bennett defeated Ethan Stover of Versailles 12-5 to open the tournament and followed with a 10-5 victory over Jett Daniels of Greeneview. He then got some payback from a previous defeat earlier in the season to Owen Pummel of Indian Lake by capturing an 8-7 victory in the semifinal to secure his spot at state. In the finals, Bennett dropped a close 12-8 decision to Lee Burkett of Troy Christian in a rematch from the finals in the Covington sectional.
Dustin Winner was the third Viking to secure a birth at state as he took second in the 285 pound weight class. Winner recorded three straight pins to advance to the finals over Trenton Brooks of Brookville, Chasen Allison of Blanchester and Noah Rutherford of Carlisle. On the championship bout Winner faced the projected state champion Eli Criblez of Allen East and gave a great effort in a narrow 3-0 defeat.
The two Viking wrestlers who placed fifth to earn alternate status were sophomore Aaron Mills at 144 pounds and junior Hunter Randall at 165 pounds.
Overall, Miami East finished tied with Brookville for fourth place out of 57 teams with 99 team points.