Many people might consider three seconds just the blink of an eye in the whole scheme of time. But to Northview senior Corey Grigsby, that amount of time had to seem like an eternity during Saturday's 130-pound sectional title match.
Facing top seeded Bloomington South's Tony Withrow, Grigsby was bloodied just moments into the first period of his match. In an exchange near the edge of the mat, Withrow toppled onto Grigsby who nearly had one of his teeth cut completely through his lip.
The match was stopped while trainers stopped the bleeding from Grigsby's mouth and cleaned the mat as well. IHSAA rules mandate that a wrestler receives a maximum of five minutes of blood cleanup time during a match. Action soon resumed but quickly, blood became apparent once more on Grigsby after an exchange between the two competitors. The match would he halted five times in a scoreless first period, each time using more of the precious five allotted minutes.
In the second period, Grigsby took the lead on an escape and a takedown for a 3-0 lead, but once more the match was halted to stop bleeding in Grigsby's lip. Leading 3-1 heading into the final period, Grigsby's lead was narrowed to 3-2 on an escape from Withrow.
Grigsby would answer with a takedown to take a 5-2 lead as time wound down. With the match already halted once in the third period, there was little blood time left for Grigsby. Leading 5-2, with the just seconds left until victory, officials spotted more blood on the Northview senior. The clock showed just 3.2 seconds left, but the real concern was quickly getting the blood stopped before Grigsby lost via disqualification. Trainers finished in moments and Grigsby was able to finish off the victory and his second consecutive sectional title.
"I'm glad we got through that," said coach Dan Mikesell afterwards. "What a gutsy effort from (Grigsby). I can't say enough about him. He's worked so hard and to repeat (as sectional champion) is awesome. This will set him up well for (regionals) next week."
Only after the match would Grigsby find out just how close he was to running out of time. According to officials, he had just 2.43 seconds left before being disqualified. "I knew it was pretty close," said Grigsby after improving to 30-5. "I swallowed a lot of blood. I just tried to tough it out as much as I could. I really wanted to win for my friend Jeremiah who couldn't wrestle today. I knew he'd tough it out so I wanted to win this one for him."
The teammate Grigsby was referring to was senior 215-pounder Jeremiah Allen whose season came to a close after learning that he had re-injured a knee after the WIC meet after missing a month of the regular season. Allen, a football teammate of Grigsby's, finished the season at 22-2 and was the second seed headed into the sectional. However, he couldn't receive medical clearance from doctors to compete.
Even despite missing valuable team points without Allen, the Knights placed just out of second place behind champion Bloomington South who crowned eight individual champions on the way to 282 points. Bloomington North was a distant second with 175 points with Northview third with 165. Terre Haute North was fourth and Owen Valley rounded out the top five.
Though Grigsby was Northview's only champion, the Knights qualified seven wrestlers to advance to regional competition next Saturday at Bloomington South High School.
At 112 pounds, Northview junior Austin Nicosin battled Bloomington South's Reece Freeman who was 33-2 coming into the final match. Nicosin, sporting a sparkling 30-3 mark of his own, fell behind 2-0 in the first period on a takedown. In the second period, Freeman added another takedown and a third in the final period for a 6-0 advantage.
Nicosin wasn't able to mount an offensive charge against Freeman who was ranked third in the state in the class heading into postseason action. Nicosin would come up just short of a title, falling by that final 6-0 score but will continue on to regional competition with his second place. The top four individuals in each weight class advance to regionals.
The Knights also got a second place finish from Chris Dean who advanced to the sectional final before dropping a 10-3 decision to fourth-ranked Kurt Kinser (37-0) of Bloomington South at 145 pounds. On the way, Dean dropped Owen Valley's Casey Bybee in the semifinals with a close decision. The win was Dean's second over Bybee this year, his only two losses of the season. Dean improves to 26-10 this year.
At 152 pounds Northview's Brent Withers will also advance after placing third after a 4-1 decision over Kelley Deckard in the third place match on Saturday. Withers advances to 26-11 this season.
Gatlin Ferro qualified for a trip to Bloomington with a 14-7 decision over Ryan McKalip of Owen Valley in the third place match. Despite losing his first match on the day, Ferro won his next three matches to earn his berth to regional action.
In perhaps the toughest class in the tournament, Terre Haute North's LaShawn Tyler (29-4) defeated Sullivan's Tom Nero (27-4) in a superb battle for the sectional title. The matchup, between the state's sixth and seventh ranked wrestlers at 275 got started quickly as Nero took down Tyler just nine seconds into the match. Nero held a 5-4 lead after one period and 8-6 after the second period.
The Arrow senior held the lead until just 42 seconds remained. Tyler struggled to break free of Nero's grip and finally got loose to close within 8-7 and took a 9-8 lead when he toppled Nero with just 18 seconds left. Tyler would finish off a 12-8 victory to the title.
Northview's Tony Sanabria clinched third place and improved to 35-4 despite falling to Nero in the semifinals. Sanabria went to double overtime versus Terre Haute South's Richie Hammond before securing a 3-1 victory. Sanabria owns victories over both Nero and Tyler and could get a shot at them in regional competition. "Tony was a little emotionally down (after losing to Nero)," said Mikesell. "But sometimes you have to win matches like that. He's had a great season. Our sectional is so tight that I wouldn't be surprised if all three (Nero, Tyler and Sanabria) go to semistate."
Greg Stultz also will advance to the regional after placing fourth after a 1-0 defeat to Mike Moore of Owen Valley. Stultz improves to 27-9 with a pair of victories.
Those who advanced will compete at the Bloomington South Regional on Saturday morning beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Northview Wrestling Sectional
Team Wrestling Scores (Top 2 advance to Seymour Regional): Bloomington South 282, Bloomington North 175, Northview 165, Terre Haute North 154.5, Owen Valley 152, Edgewood 122, Terre Haute South 115.5, West Vigo 104.5, Sullivan 96
Individual Results (Top Four Advance to Seymour Regional)
103 -- Championship: Chris Head (BS) fall over Chris Lindauer (EW), 1:19; Third Place: Wilson Stahly (BN) maj. dec. over Carl Bowling (OV), 12-0; Fifth Place: Josh Longo (Nv) dec. over Eli Hendricks (WV), 6-2.
112 -- Championship: Reece Freeman (BS) dec. over Austin Nicosin (Nv), 6-0; Third Place: Trevor Gregory (THN) inj. default over Hillei Sapir (BN); Fifth Place: Craig Baker (WV) fall over Brandon Smitley (THS), :29.
119 -- Championship: Brandon Dyer (BS) maj. dec. over Cody Snodgrass (OV), 11-0; Third Place: Shane McNeeley (Sl) pin over Bryan Wathen (BN), 1:39; Fifth Place: Beau Pingleton (Nv) dec. over Andrew Bledsoe (THN), 4-2.
125 -- Championship: Dustin Bruce (BN) fall over Nick Samaro (BS), 3:46; Third Place: Jared Snyder (EW) maj. dec. over Chase Snodgrass, 11-2; Fifth Place: Lucas Boyd (Nv) fall over Andy Jackson (WV), 2:41.
130 -- Championship: Cory Grigsby dec. over Tony Withrow (BS), 5-2; Third Place: Derek Doti (THN) maj. dec. over Daniel VanGilder (WV) 13-5; Fifth Place: John Goodall (OV) fall over Jake Ferguson EW) :20.
135 -- Championship: Josh Pope (BS) tech. fall over Kyle May (EW), 18-3; Third Place: Ryan Thomas (OV) maj. dec. over Daniel Wilson (WV) 11-1; Fifth Place: Chris Duncan (THS) fall over Hans Nowak (THN), 1:40.
140 -- Championship: Tyler Goble (BS) maj. dec. over Michael Borgnini (THN) 15-1; Third Place: Kyle Woolard (EW) fall over David Hedden (Sl), 2:20; Fifth Place: Paolo Balmaseda (THS) fall over Sean Gillenwater (BN), 50.
145 -- Championship: Kurt Kinser (BS) dec. over Chris Dean (Nv), 10-3; Third Place: Casey Bybee (OV) maj. dec. Ben Miller (THS), 14-4; Fifth Place: Justin Cox (Sl) pin over Ian Cage (EW), 1:58.
152 -- Championship: Seth Teeters (BN) maj. dec. over Nick Schaefer (THS) 12-4; Third Place: Brent Withers (Nv) dec. over Kelley Deckard (BS), 4-1; Fifth Place: Tony Merchant (OV) fall over Steve Anderson (EW) :55.
160 -- Championship: Paul Young (BS) dec. over Anthony Black (BN), 7-1; Third Place: Mike Moore (OV) dec. over Greg Stultz (Nv) 1-0; Fifth Place: Patrick Bemis (THN) fall over Dirk Keller (WV), 1:41.
171 -- Championship: Dustin Eads (BS) dec. over Chris Wojciechowski (BN), 8-4; Third Place: Gatlin Ferro (Nv) dec. over Ryan McKalip (OV), 14-7; Fifth Place: Parris Rubinacci (WV) dec. over Blake Reed (THN), 5-3.
189 -- Championship: Bill Pierson (Sl) dec. over Christopher Jewett (WV), 5-3; Third Place: Charles Manwarring (THN) maj. dec. over Graham Bennett (THS), 13-3; Fifth Place: Peter Venegas (OV) fall over Levi Pepper (BS), :18.
215 -- Championship: Eric Atterson (THN) dec. over Brandon Walls (EW), 9-6; Third Place: Wayne Harden (BN) fall over Cale Madsen (THS), 3:54; Fifth Place: Shaun Overton (WV) fall over Josh Bedwell (Sl), 1:19.
275 -- Championship: LaShawn Tyler (THS) dec. over Tom Nero (Sl), 12-8; Third Place: Tony Sanabria (Nv) dec. 2OT over Richie Hammond (THS), 3-1; Fifth Place: David Stines (BS) dec. over PJ O'Heran (BN), 1-0.