MARCH 12, 2023
COLUMBUS – Chase Vanderhorst closed out his junior season in style with a 3-2 victory over Wyatt Hinton (44-4) of Norwood to earn fifth place and his second straight state medal.
The victory over Hinton was extremely gratifying because it avenged a defeat in the district final last week.
“Just a gritty effort where he had to battle back,” said Covington coach and Chase’s father Eric Vanderhorst. “I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Vanderhorst faced projected state champion Dakota King (47-6) of Barnesville in the consolation semifinal and came up short advancing to the consolation final in a 3-1 loss.
“Chase wrestled well against a kid who was predicted to be the state champion,” Vanderhorst said. “He stayed in solid position through the entire match except for when he (King) got the takedown. That was the difference.”
Chase had little time to refocus prior to stepping back into the mat against Hinton.
But he was able to stay mentally strong and controlled the match from start to finish.
The match was scoreless at the end of the first and Hinton chose bottom to start the second. Vanderhorst worked well on top, but surrendered an escape. Chase then recorded a quick takedown and surrendered another escape.
With the score deadlocked at 2-2 to start the third, Vanderhorst chose bottom and quickly got away to take a 3-2 lead. From there Chase stayed solid on his feet to preserve the one-point victory.
“He stayed in solid position, which is what needs to happen against this level of competition,” Vanderhorst explained.
Finishing on the podium for the second straight year is an amazing accomplishment for Chase after having his entire freshman season taken from him due to an injury and several other unfortunate circumstances that were out of his control.
“Yeah, Chase has been through a lot,” said Vanderhorst. “He had four surgeries, a broken collar bone, appendicitis, a hernia – you name it. Just a lot of unfortunate things that cost him a lot of mat time over the last few years.”
Overcoming the adversity makes earning a second straight state medal gratifying for Chase.
“It is great to place,” said Chase. “To be able to battle through everything and get on the podium feels good. Sure, I wanted to finish higher, but I was happy to win my final match of the season.”
Chase has another year to pursue more goals, one joining his older brother Cael as a three-time state placer.
“Hopefully I can finish higher than fifth,” Chase said. “I’m going to continue to work hard and don’t take any breaks. I’m going to travel more to see different wrestling styles and hopefully that will make me even better.”