COLUMBUS – Covington’s Chase Vanderhorst and Jericho Quinter secured themselves no worse than sixth place after the second day of the state tournament, while senior Scott Blumenstock and sophomore Michael Hagan came up one win short of earning state medals.
It was a bittersweet morning at the state wrestling tournament for the Covington Buccaneers. The sweet part was the fact that Chase Vanderhorst and Jericho Quinter assured themselves state medals and the bitter part was Michael Hagan and Scott Blumenstock coming up one win short of placing.
In the championship quarterfinals to open the second day of the state tournament, the Buccaneers had a rough go of it as sophomore 113 pounder Jericho Quinter and sophomore 126 pounder Chase Vanderhorst both dropped their matches.
First, Quinter faced Milan Edison’s Max Hermes, who won a state championship last year at 106 pounds. Quinter gave Hermes a battle, but two takedowns and a reversal were the deference as Jericho fell by the score of 6-1.
I just couldn’t get my offense going,” Quinter said. “I have to work on getting to my tie-ups better, so I can get to my shots.”
Just as Quinter’s match completed on mat 6, Vanderhorst’s match against Wesley Wydick of Utica began on mat 4. The Buccaneer sophomore took the action to Wydick, scoring five takedowns to build a comfortable lead midway through the third period. Unfortunately, Wydick surprised the Buccaneer wrestler with a throw to the back for a pin with just 41 seconds left in the match.
“We lacked a little savviness and awareness at the end,” said Covington coach Eric Vanderhorst.
Fortunately, both Quinter and Vanderhorst responded in the second round of consolations to ensure themselves state medals and spots on the podium.
Quinter (33-6) dominated Dylan Ward of Martins Ferry (38-6) with a 9-0 major decision victory.
And the bright lights with thousands of spectators didn’t affect Quinter at all.
Vanderhorst (30-4) followed with a gritty 5-2 decision over returning state placer Jesse Stroud (41-10) of Mechanicsburg. The win makes him the third state placer in the Vanderhorst family, joining his brother Cael – who was a three-time state placer – and his uncle Craig, who finished third in both the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
Then, in the consolation quarterfinals later Saturday evening, both Quinter and Vanderhorst won in impressive fashion.
Quinter (34-6) led Cowin Becker of Northmor (46-9) throughout his match and held on for a 4-3 win after surrendering an point via an escape late in the match. He will face Miami East’s Cooper Shore in the consolation semifinal tomorrow morning.
“I felt confident, even though I’ve never been here (at the Schott) before – even as a spectator,” Quinter said. “It’s cool to be able to wrestle here because I haven’t been in this type of an environment before. My eighth grade year was cancelled because of Covid and last year I got hurt right before sectionals, so my goal was to come here this year and place. I’ve dreamt about being here and it’s kind of what I expected.”
Chase Vanderhorst then defeated Caden Schmelzer (43-7) of Waynedale in dominating fashion 8-2. The win avenged two defeats he suffered to Schmelzer earlier in the year at the Lima Central Catholic Invitational.
“The last time Chase wrestled that kid (Schmelzer), Chase was just getting back from appendix surgery,” explained Coach Vanderhorst. “Chase was leading in both of those matches, but his conditioning wasn’t where we needed to be at that time.”
For Chase, it was a rewarding victory.
“I knew I could beat him because some of the guys I beat, he lost too,” said the Buccaneer sophomore. “I know I wasn’t one-hundred-percent when I wrestled him before, but that’s not an excuses. I just kept telling myself I could beat him.”
Vanderhorst has had his share of adversity as he hadn’t been in a state-type of environment since seventh grade.
“His eight grade year was cancelled because of Covid and he was out his entire freshman year with an injury,” said Coach Vanderhorst. “Chase also had some issues this year with his appendix, so he missed some time that would have benefitted him if he was healthy.”
Next up for the Buccaneer 126 pounder is a consolation semifinal match against Carson Chiesa (41-8) of Delta Sunday morning.
Buccaneer sophomore Michael Hagan was looking to become a two-time state placer, but fell one win short as he dropped his match in the second consolation round to Brock Durbin (36-5) of Mapleton with a second period pin. Hagen finishes his season with a 41-6 record at 120 pounds.
Buccaneer senior heavyweight Scott Blumenstock saw his historic run end one win short of reaching the podium as he dropped his match in the second consolation round via pin to Travis Owen of Black River. Blumenstock ends his senior campaign with a 26-12 record, but more importantly, as an inspiration for those who follow in his footsteps.
In all, Blumenstock is the first heavyweight wrestler in school history to advance to districts three times. He’s also the second Buccaneer heavyweight to advance to state (Dusty Hess in 2003) and the first heavyweight in program history to advance to the second day of the state tournament.
113 – Max Hermes (Mil. Edison) dec. Jericho Quinter (Covington) – 6-1
126 – Wesley Wydick (Utica) pin Chase Vanderhorst (Covington) – 5:19
SECOND ROUND CONSOLATIONS
113 – Jericho Quinter (Covington) maj. dec. Dylan Ward (Martins Ferry) – md9-0
120 – Brock Durbin (Mapleton) pin Michael Hagan (Covington) – 2:03
126 – Chase Vanderhorst (Covington) dec. Jesse Stroud (Mechanicsburg) – 5-2
285 – Travis Owen (Black River) pin Scott Blumenstock (Covington) – 2:39
THIRD ROUND CONSOLATIONS
113 – Jericho Quinter (Covington) dec. Cowin Becker (Northmor) – 4-3
126 – Chase Vanderhorst (Covington) dec. Caden Schmeltzer (Waynedale) – 8-2