Times Sports Editor
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Wabash Valley Wrestling Club wrapped up the first portion of its season over the weekend with several members competing in the ISWA State Finals in Indianapolis.
Cale McCoy, Justin Sampson and Jacob Hendrich all placed in the tournament that featured many of the top young wrestlers in the state.
McCoy wrestled in the 94-pound class of the Cadet Age Division and came away with a runner-up finish in the tourney.
"Cale had a great semifinal match. He wrestled very smart and stayed in good position to earn a hard fought 2-1 decision," coach Dan Mikesell said of a 2-1 decision over Ben Davis' Daniel McCarty.
McCoy reached the semifinals with a 7-0 win over Valparaiso's Nick Schwartz before falling by the same score in the championship match to New Paris' Blake Blogouski.
Despite the title bout loss, Mikesell was very pleased with how McCoy competed.
"I was real happy with Cale and thought he wrestled pretty well. He was really close to getting a reversal in the finals to make it a 2-2 match, but ended up giving up some back points and that broke the match open. In reality, it was a much closer bout than the score indicated."
Justin Sampson, a junior at Northview High School, also had a very strong tourney as he came away with a seventh-place finish in the Junior Age Division at 285 pounds. Sampson went 4-2 in the tourney to earn a podium spot.
He would roll to three straight victories, beginning with a pin in 4:49 over Muncie's Ben Deslisle and another in 2:18 against Portland's Chris Pfeifer. Sampson completed his run with a 9-1 major decision against Pat Vondersaar of Indianapolis. Goshen's Hayden Schmucker was able to edge Sampson 4-3, but in the final match, Sampson won a 2-1 double-overtime battle.
"It was good to see Justin put together a nice run in the consolation bracket," Mikesell said. "In a tournament of this caliber that is very tough to do. I think he wrestled very smart all day and didn't make a lot of mistakes."
In the Schoolboy 120-pound division, Hendrich finished in eighth-place.
Hendrich found himself in the quarterfinals of the winners bracket by defeating Jacob Schaffer of Frankfort by a 3-1 decision and then topped Knightsville's Cameron Fender by fall in 25 seconds. Hendrich was edged 7-2 by New Palestine's Jared Timberman.
Wrestling from the consolation bracket, Hendrich rebounded to defeat Muncie's Luke Schelliessman by a 10-6 score.
"I was glad to see Jacob place in this tournament. He battled hard all day in one of the toughest divisions," Mikesell said. "He had over 30 kids in his bracket, so to come out eighth is nothing to be ashamed of at all."
The Wabash Valley Club will shift focus to Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling this weekend in Mooresville.