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Valencia brothers reach Ironman finals; Blair also sends four
CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — Blair Academy will send four wrestlers to the finals of the 2013 Walsh Ironman on Saturday night and will also enter the final round with a 26.5 point lead over No. 2 St. Paris Graham in the 20th annual event of this prestigious tournament.
Reaching the finals for Blair will be Matthew Kolodzik (126), Joseph McKenna (138), Mason Manville (152) and Dylan Milonas (160).
Meanwhile, the Valencia brothers of St. John Bosco in California, also reached the finals as Zahid — a two-time Ironman champ — will meet Brock Ervin (Union County in Kentucky. His older brother, Anthony, will take on Myles Martin of McDonogh School, in what will be the final and featured bout of this year’s Ironman.
The following is a weight-by-weight listing of all the finalists for the Walsh Ironman, which will begin at 6 p.m. EST. The rankings listed before each wrestler is where they appeared in WIN’s ratings.
106 — Jay Renteria (Oak Park River Forest) vs. No. 16 Tyler Warner (Claymont Uhrichsville)
Renteria opened Saturday’s action when he upset the tournament’s No. 1 seed Logan Grass of Huntington, W.Va., then put no doubt in his talents when he needed just 12 seconds to pin Tanner Smith of St. Paris (Ohio) Graham High School.
Warner meanwhile continued his “fall” approach by pinning everyone one of his foes at Walsh; first flattening Paxton Rosen of Edmond North (Okla) in 6:00 of the quarters, then pinned his semifinal foe Alan Hart of St. Edward (Ohio), in 1:25.
113 — No. 1 Spencer Lee (Franklin Regional) vs. Anthony Bosco (Marmion Academy)
The top-ranked Lee scored in double-digits in both his quarterfinals (Hayden Lee of Marysville, 12-2) and semifinals (Jack Mueller of Trinty Christian, 15-0).
Bosco became a surprise finalist when he rallied to beat No. 2 seed Dustin Warner — ranked 20th nationally by WIN — (Claymont Uhrichsville), 2-1, in the semifinals. Earlier, Bosco went the distance before to edge TK Megonigal (McDonogh School) in an ultimate tiebreaker, 1-1.
120 — No. 5 Brent Fleetwood (Smyrna) vs. No. 6 Ke-Shawn Hayes (Park Hill)
Fleetwood built up a 5-1 first period lead over Blair’s Charles Tucker before prevailing 8-7 in his semifinal. Earlier, the No. 1 seed majored Alex Mackall (Walsh Jesuit), 11-1.
Hayes, meanwhile, used a tough tight waist in the second period of his semifinal against Austin Assad (Brecksville) to score back points and eventually prevail, 6-1. In the quarterfinals, Hayes scored a major win overe Thayer Atkins (Trinty Christian), 12-2
126 — No. 4 Matthew Kolodzik (Blair Academy) vs. Eli Seipel (Graham St Paris)
Kolodzik, who finished second in last year’s Ironman, scored major decisions in both his quarterfinal victory (Dom Forys of N. Allegheny), 9-1) and semifinal win (Dalton Macri of Canon McMillan), 15-5).
Seipel won a pair of close matches on Saturday to reach the finals. First he defeated a fellow Ohio state champ David Bavery (Massillon Perry), 4-3, in the quarterfinals, then blanked Trae Blackwell (Union County), 3-0, in the semifinals. Blackwell became a surprise semifinalist when he pinned No. 2 seed Johnny Jimenez (Marmion Academy), 1:01, in the quarters.
132 — No. 3 (@126) Zahid Valencia (St. John Bosco) vs. No. 5 Brock Ervin (Union County)
Valencia, who won the Ironman at 113 pounds in 2012, first needed to beat a fellow Californian in Jeremy Thomas (Santiago) 9-3, in the quarter. Once in the semifinals, the two-time Ironman champ continued his offensive approach to beat Jordan Kutler (Blair Academy), 10-4.
Ervin, meanwhile, defeated somewhat of a giant killer in Wade Hodges (Wauseon), 4-1, in his semifinal. Hodges surprised the tournament field and especially No. 2 seed Bryce Meredith by pinning the Cheyenne, Wyom., wrestler in 2:20. In his quarterfinal, the Kentucky wrestler scored a 12-6 win over Aaran Gessic (Perry).
138 — No. 5 Joseph McKenna (Blair Academy) vs. No. 4 (132) Michael Kemerer (Franklin Regional)
McKenna, who missed last year’s Ironman because of a shoulder injury, advanced to the finals when he defeated Mike Longo (Santiago) 7-3, in the semifinals. Earlier, the Blair senior had a tougher quarterfinal and barely edged isaiah white (Oak Park River Forest) 3-2).
Kemerer defeated Colton Adams (Scottsbluff), 6-2, in the semifinals after beating Vince Turk (Montini Catholic) 10-4)
145 — No. 3 (@138) Micah Jordan (Graham St Paris) vs. No. 13 (@138) Alfred Bannister (Bishop McNamara)
The fact that Jordan made the finals considering the No. 1 seed and 2012 Ironman runner-up first blasted a talented Larry Early (Oak Park River Forest) 12-6, in the quarterfinals before beating Solomon Chishko (Canon McMillan) 7-1, in the semifinals.
Bannister was more of a surprise even though he won the Beast of the East Tournament in 2012. But to reach the finals, Bannister first had to beat No. 3 seed Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh C. Catholic) 5-4, in the quarters, then needed overtime to edge the No. 2 seed Grant Leeth of Kearney, Neb., 4-2.
152 — No. 5 Jacob Danishek (Dayton Christian) vs. No. 6 Mason Manville (Blair Academy)
Both of these finalists turned in a workmanlike effort in both of their matches on Saturday to reach the finals. Danishek first defeated Colston DiBlasi (Park Hill) 9-2, in the quarters before clamping down on Phil Downing (Broomfield), 8-3, in the semifinals.
Manville, meanwhile, edged Nick Reenan (Wyoming Seminary) 3-1, in the quarterfinals before defeating Josh Shields (Franklin Regional), 2-1, in the semifinals with an effective ride to end that match.
Shields, earlier, had one of the longest matches in the Ironman, when he defeated Casey Sparkman (Massillon Perry), in an ultimate 8-8 tiebreaker … in a match that lasted well over 30 minutes because of multiple blood timeouts. By the time their match ended, the 195-pound weight class had already began its quarterfinal matches.
160 — No. 3 (@152) Dylan Milonas (Blair Academy) vs. No. 4 (@152) Alex Marinelli (Graham St Paris)
Milonas, who won the Ironman in 2011, reached the finals when he defeated Austin Reese (Mechanicsburg) 5-2, in the semis. But it was Milonas’ 7-6 quarterfinal victory over Tony Dailey (Massillon Perry) that was more impressive as the Blair wrestler had to overcome a 4-1 deficit.
Marinelli, the No. 2 seed, put both of his Saturday opponents on their back to advance; first pinning Zach Walton (Edmond North) 3:51, then he earned back points to end his semifinal match with Xavier Montalvo (Montini Catholic), 5-1.
170 — No. 9 (@152) Anthony Valencia (St. John Bosco) vs. No. 5 (@160) Myles Martin (McDonogh School)
In what turned out to be the most talented of all the weight classes, these top two seeds advanced with impressive semifinal victories. No. 1 Valencia first defeated No. 4 seed Davonte Mahomes (Oak Park River Forest) 6-3, while No. 2 Martin scored a 12-5 win over No. 3 Josh Llopez (St. Mary`s Ryken). Earlier Valencia, the older brother of 132-pound finalist Zahid Valencia, defeated Brandon Dallavia (Blair Academy) 6-1, in the quarterfinals, then Martin scored a 15-5 major win over Ryan Harris (Beachwood).
182 — No. 2 (@170) Bo Nickal (Allen) vs. Rocco Caywood (Perrysburg)
Just when it looked like top-seeded Nickal might pin his way to the finals — making Jack Harris (Urbana) 1:28, his third straight first-period fall victim in the tournament — the future Penn State wrestler got a scare in the semifinals from seventh-ranked Corey Griego (Sultana), as Nickal barely held on to win 6-5. Caywood, who was one of the last entries into this year’s Ironman, continued to be the surprise at this weight class. After knocking off the No. 2 seed Joel Dixon of Edmond North in a tiebreaker on Friday night, Caywood first pinned Zach Stodden (Broomfield) 3:05, then upset No. 3 seed JaVaughn Perkins, 9-2, in the semifinals. Perkins, No. 3 seed, entered the tournament ranked No. 2 by WIN at 160 pounds.
195 — No. 8 Derek White (Edmond North) vs. Tegray Scales (Colerain)
The top-seeded White had no problem reaching the finals, winning by majors over Michael Rogers (Wyoming Seminary) 15-6, in the quarterfinals and then against Zach Smith (N. Allegheny) 9-1, in the semifinals.
Scales, meanwhile, barely edged L.J. Barlow (Haverford Prep), 8-7, in tiebreaker , then upset second-seed Josh Murphy (Brecksville) 3-2 in another tiebreaker to reach the finals.
220 — Austin Pfarr (Marysville) vs. No. 17 Edgar Ruano (Montini Catholic)
Pfarr first defeated top-seed Andrew Dixon, 5-4, in a tiebreaker in the quarterfinals before knocking off Steven Allen of Broken Arrow, 4-1. He will meet Ruano, the No. 2 seed, who defeated Mike Smith (McDonogh School) 5-1, before edging Jerry Thornberry (Archbishop Moeller) 6-4 in sudden victory of their semifinal.
Hwt — No. 4 Michael Johnson (Montini Catholic) vs. Cale Bonner (Perrysburg)
The top-seeded Johnson recorded a 12-4 major decision over Nate Jackson (Dayton Christian), to reach the finals. Bonner came out of the bottom bracket, first beating the No. 3 seed Jake Scanlan of Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), then edging Wyatt Cook (McDonogh School) 2-1 in sudden victory. Cook, earlier pinned Kevin Vough of Elyria, who had won his previous three bouts by fall, including a first-round pin against Jake Pinkston of Robinson, Va.