COLUMBUS – Miami East had two wrestlers place at state on Sunday, seniors Cooper Shore and Dustin Winner.
Cooper Shore finished runner-up at 120 pounds, where he dropped his state finals match 6-1 to three-time state champion Max Hermes of Milan Edison.
Shore entered the tournament unbeaten and advanced to the finals with three dominating wins. He pushed the action in the state finals match, but Hermes fended off every takedown attempt by the Viking wrestler.
The match was scoreless at the end of one and Hermes chose bottom to start the second period. Shore elected to give up an escape point to return the match to his feet where he could continue to push the action.
Shore continued applying pressure, which led to a stalling call on Hermes. Moments later Shore went on the attack again and Hermes managed to flip the momentum by taking Shore down straight to his back for a takedown and three back points.
After pushing the lead to 6-0, Hermes surrendered an escape and fended off Shore’s attacks throughout the remainder of the match.
“Of all the kids I have coach, Cooper Shore is probably the one who is the most deserving to be a state champion,” said Miami East coach Rich Randall. “The kid is so coachable. I am really proud of him. It is tough. It is an emotional roller coaster. Cooper’s (finals) match basically came down to one move.”
Cooper Shore ends his career as a three-time state placer and his senior season with a 49-1 record.
Fellow senior Dustin Winner finished seventh at 285 pounds by defeating Cohen Hickman of Geeneview 6-1.
“Dusty is a kid I have been coaching since third grade,” said Randall. “He missed last season with an injury. He was ranked fifth at the beginning of the year and by the time the tournament started, he was ranked around 30th. And he came through and got seventh. He worked his butt off.”