By David Fong and Rob Kiser
COLUMBUS — Miami East went 2-2 in the opening rounds of the Division III state wrestling championships, with two-time state placers Shore (120 pounds) and Alex Isbrandt (132) both picking up victories.
Shore got things rolling for East with an 18-8 major decision victory over Brooklyn’s Andrew Zarins. Shore, 50-1, will face Genora Area’s Julian Sanchez, 48-3, in today’s championship quarterfinals. Shore placed seventh at state as a freshman and third last year.
“It feels good to be back,” Shore said. “I was ready to go.”
Shore said the nerves are there every year.
“Maybe not like my freshman year,” he said. “They know who I am now. They will take potshots at me because of that. They have nothing to lose. So, you have to be ready for anything.”
Isbrandt — who placed seventh as both a freshman and a sophomore — opened with an 11-2 major decision over Rossford’s Tanner Krotzer to improve to 49-6. He’ll meet Garrettsville Garfield’s Logan Kissell, 37-2, in today’s championship quarterfinals.
“I felt pretty good, pretty normal,” he said. “You’ve got to treat this like a regular tournament. Now I need to come back and wrestle stronger the next time.”
Isbrandt said it is always good to get the first match out of the way.
“It always feels good to get that first one,” he said. “He gets you in the tournament. I felt like I could have pinned him a couple different times. In the first period and again in the third period.”
A pair of Vikings suffered losses in the opening round. At 113 pounds, Kaleb Nickels lost a 10-4 decision to Johnstown Northridge’s Klay Reeves.
Nickels, 30-9, bounced back with a 10-6 win over Jordan Bowers of Defiance Tinora in the consolations.
Nickels opened a 7-2 lead early in the third period, before Bowers closed within 7-6.
But, Nickels had an escape and takedown to finish off the win.
He will wrestle the loser of the match between Dylan Burns, 45-11, of Milan Edison and Greg Quinn, 48-1 of Shadyside, in the Friday morning consolations.
At 138 pounds, Zane Strubler lost a 5-4 heartbreaker to Galion Northmor’s Conan Becker in the first round.
Strubler stayed alive with a 3-2 win over Trey Combs of Cuyahoga Heights.
Strubler, 45-10, was down 2-0 when he got a take down to tie it in the second period and added an escape in the third period for the win.
He will wrestle the loser of Gavin Stika, 44-2, of Creston Norwayne and Chase Sumner, 39-3 of Ada in the consolations Friday morning.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.