ALLIANCE — Wayne had three wrestlers place at the annual Top Gun Wrestling Invitational hosted Jan. 12 and 13 by Alliance High School.
Sophomores Jaden Hardrick (160 pounds) and Jacob Padilla (285) placed sixth and senior Jordan Hardrick (152) placed seventh.
“For only having eight wrestlers I thought we fared well,” said Wayne Coach Randy Bitsko, whose team placed in the middle of the final standings. “We missed having Austin Mullins points, who didn’t make the trip, but the team overall did pretty well against some tough competition. There were state champs from West Virginia, All-Division Ohio state champs and state placers, so this was a really great, tough tournament. We kind of took some lumps and we are a little beat up now, but we are looking forward to our match with Carroll on Thursday night where we hope to get things back together and back on track before we head to Eaton.”
Jaden Hardrick opened his Top Gun experience by scoring a pin in 2:32 over junior Zack Corp of McDowell. He then scored a 6-2 decisio9n against senior Alex Kurpil of Alliance and a 7-5 decision against junior Clayton Stewart of Huntington. Hardrick next scored a 2-1 decision over junior Jacob Lloyd of Ft. Leboeuf before eventually losing a 7-4 decision to senior Luke Reicosky of Hoover.
Saturday Hardrick faced Stewart again and lost by a fall in 2:44.Hardrick then lost a 3-2 decision to junior Brandon Daniels of Carrollton.
Padilla opened Top Gun by scoring a pin in 57 seconds against freshman Cole Kager of Hoover. He also scored a pin in the second round in 1:08 vs. Tavis Rutledge of Carrollton. In the third round Padilla lost a 9-2 decision to junior Tyler Connolly of Marysville. On Saturday Padilla scored a 3-1 decision against senior Brayden Phillips of Tuslaw and won by a fall in 1:37 against senior Tyler Petry of Austintown. Padilla forfeited his next two matches to finish sixth.
Senior Jordan Hardrick (152 pounds) opened the tourney winning by a fall (1:51) against junior Evan Gonzalez of Northwest. He then scored an 8-2 decision over sophomore Logan Bell of Alliance before losing a close 3-2 decision to sophomore David Cumberledge of St. John School. On Saturday Hardrick scored a 19-4 technical fall (victory by 15 points) against junior Richard Edwards of Huntington. In his next match Hardrick lost a 4-3 decision to junior Ty Mcgeary of West Allegheny. Hardrick went on to score an 8-4 decision over senior Trenton Pace of Ft. Leboeuf to place 7th overall.
Other Wayne wrestlers that participated at Top Gun included freshman Ryder Pierce (132), senior Jon Hoover (145), sophomore Tyler Stevens (170), sophomore Jacob Dotson (195) and senior Jared Kleff (220).
Pierce lost in the first round of the tourney 6-5 to junior Colton Kielar of McDowell. Hoover lost a first round match by a fall (5:02) to junior Jacob Potok of St. Vincent St. Mary.
After a first round bye Stevens lost by a fall (0:38) to junior Isaiha Casto of St. Albans. Stevens then lost by a fall (4:58) in consolation to sophomore Mason Sutander of Delaware Hayes.
Dotson, after a first round bye, lost by a fall (0:27) to senior Luke Woolf of West Branch.
Kleff also had a first round bye. In the second round Kleff scored a 10-4 decision over senior Nick Caraballo of Boardman. Kleff then scored a 3-2 decision against sophomore Jay Thompson of Kilbourne before losing by a fall to senior Rocky Mcgeary of West Allegheny. IN Saturday’s consolation rounds Kleff lost a 5-3 decision to junior Kole Aubiel of Claymont to end his tournament experience.
After their dual match on Thursday at Carroll the Warriors will participate in a state dual on Wednesday, Jan. 24 (TBA) and then participate in the Eaton Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 26 & 27.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@AimMediaMidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind