TROY – The Covington Buccaneers matched a school record by qualifying five wrestlers to the state meet with senior Scott Blumenstock making heavyweight history once again during the Division III District Wrestling Tournament at Hobart Arena in Troy.
First, sophomore Carson Taylor advances to state by taking fourth at 106 pounds – a weight class that was loaded with outstanding wrestlers. Taylor advanced to the semifinal with two wins on Friday, but dropped into the consolation bracket with a close 4-0 loss to Gage Murphy of Reading in the semifinal. Taylor rebounded in the consolation semifinal with a 2-1 win over Brandon Day of Springfield Shawnee to secure his spot at state. In the consolation final, Taylor came up short 3-0 against Corbin Kimmel of Wayne Trace in a match that could have gone either way.
At 113 pounds Jericho Quinter opened the second day of districts in the semifinal after winning his first two matches on Friday. He faced Eli Campbell of Legacy Christian and dropped a close 5-0 decision in what was also a match that could have gone either way. In the consolation semifinal, Quinter dominated Kyler Walsh of Carlisle with a pin in 40 seconds and then cruised to a 16-1 technical fall win over Khadyn Jacobs of Brookville in the consolation final to finish third.
Returning state placer Michael Hagan also advanced to the semifinal by winning his first two matches on Friday, but was pitted against nationally ranked Dillon Campbell of Legacy Christian in the semifinal. Hagan dropped into the consolation bracket with a loss to Campbell, but he didn’t go down easy. The Buccaneer sophomore responded with a 5-0 victory over Czar Dickson of Indian Lake and an 8-3 victory over Ramakrishna Gandhi of Reading to finish third at 120 pounds.
The district weekend was extremely sweet for sophomore 126 pounder Chase Vanderhorst, who had his entire freshman season taken from him due to a serious knee injury. Vanderhorst showed what hard work and mental toughness will do for a young athlete as he rolled into the finals with a 5-2 win over returning state placer Jesse Stroud of Mechanicsburg. This was after he captured back-to-back wins on Friday, one via pin and another with an 8-4 win over eventual third place finisher Logan Attisano of Legacy Christian. In the finals, Vanderhorst faced Max Shore of Miami East, who won a state title a year ago at 120 pounds. The match was much more competitive than the eventual 10-3 score where Vanderhorst came up short of becoming a district champion.
The final Buccaneer to qualify for state was senior Scott Blumenstock at 285 pounds, which was extremely gratifying to those who know Scotty and the type of person he is – a person who goes out of his way to give praise to his opponents, win or lose.
Blumenstock’s path to state was the longest and hardest path a wrestler could take as he dropped his opening match on Friday to the top ranked wrestler in the state. Scott advanced through the blood rounds with a pin on Friday and then a 4-3 overtime win over Logan Johnson of Spencerville. Blumenstock then pinned Patton Johnson of Reading, who was the sectional champion out of Reading Sectional, in 2:59 of the consolation quarterfinal. In his go-to-state match in the consolation final, Blumenstock won by an injury default over Middletown Madison’s Austin Skinner, who was the sectional champion out of the Covington Sectional. Blumenstock dropped his consolation final match to Will Fox of Coldwater, but history was made as he became just the second heavyweight wrestler in school history to qualify for state – joining Dusty Hess (2003).
In all, Blumenstock (25-10) is the first Buccaneer heavyweight in school history to compete at districts three times and the second heavyweight to qualify for state.
Two Buccaneer seniors saw their seasons and careers come to an end on the second day at districts – Connor Sindelir and Jensen Wagoner. Both dropped their second consolation round matches.
Covington finished tied for 6th in the team standings with Allen East.