KETTERING — Senior Jordan Hardrick took 1st place in the152 pound weight class, freshman Austin Mullins placed 2nd at 145 and sophomore Jacob Padilla placed third at heavyweight during the Division I Southwest District tournament at Trent Arena on Friday and Saturday.
Wayne placed 9th overall as a team with 69 points. Cincinnati LaSalle took 1st place with 229.
“It’s fantastic to have three, although you always think about one that you think should have got there too,” Wayne Coach Randy Bitsko said. “I think Jaden Hardrick had the toughest draw on the team at 160, which was probably the toughest weight class at our district. It was fantastic to have a first, a second place and a third. We would like them all to be first place, but getting three out to state… I have never accomplished that as a head coach.”
In the past when Bitsko was part of the coaching staff he has seen more than two Wayne wrestlers qualify for state, but this is the first time since he took over as head coach to have three make it to Columbus.
Jordan Hardrick got revenge against Butler’s Jestin Love, who defeated him last week at sectional to take first place. At district Hardrick scored a solid 5-1 decision to capture the 152 pound title.
Hardrick opened the tournament by scoring an 18-2 technical fall over Tony Dsuban of Oxford Talawanda. In the quarterfinal Hardrick scored a 3-0 decision over Chase Haehnle of Cincinnati Oak Hills. In the semifinal match he scored an 11-5 decision over X-xavier Weathersby of Cincinnati Elder to set up his championship showdown against Love.
“Jordan’s match against Love was fantastic,” Bitsko said. “It was such a solid match. It left no doubt because it could have gone either way and it was a sound victory. It was great to see Jordan comeback as a champion in his senior year at district. I’m looking forward to seeing some big things from him at state.”
In the 145 pound weight class Austin Mullins lost by a fall in 3:45 by Christopher Donathan of Mason to place 2nd.
“Austin got caught by a surprise move that put him on his back to get pinned,” Bitsko said. “Austin was facing one of the top wrestlers in the state and was tied 3-3, so the fact that he was in the match says a lot for the quality of wrestler that he is.”
Mullins scored a 20-4 technical fall over Ezra Marlow of Western Brown in the tournament’s first round. In the quarterfinal he scored a 19-8 major decision against Matt Lewis of West Clermont and a 3-2 decision over Amar Thomas of Fairfield in the semifinal match.
Jacob Padilla scored a pin (1:36) in the opening round of the tournament against Josh Walls of Beavercreek. In the quarterfinal Padilla had the tables turned on him when he lost by a fall (4:25) to Alec Moore-Nash of Cincinnati Elder. That kicked Padilla into the second consolation round where he bounced back with a 5-0 decision over Kevin Stone of Cincinnati Anderson. In the third consolation round Padilla scored an 8-2 decision over Jon Hardin of Miamisburg. Padilla went on to pin Jacob Goetz of Centerville in the consolation semifinal in 1:12. In the battle for third place Padilla won a hard-fought 1-0 decision over Paul McKnight of Cincinnati Winton Woods. Both Padilla and McKnight advanced to state as only the top four placers from each district advanced.
“The heavyweight class is tough to get out of and advance to state,” Bitsko noted.
The mad flurry of tournaments leading up to state has both wrestlers and coaches alike fairly exhausted, but Bitsko is looking forward to the trip to Columbus.
“As crazy as this week is and as many hours as you put in you are always glad as a coach to be in the state tournament,” Bitsko added. “It was an excellent team performance. Jared Kleff and Jaden Hardrick did a good job with their matches getting some points for the team. At one point we had won seven of seven matches, and that is pretty good to have seven wins before suffering your first loss. Our district this year is very tough. It is solid. I think there has been a couple of years where people said our district has been down, but I think in all the weight classes this year it was very solid. It’s fantastic to get three out to state. If you had told me at the beginning of the season that I would have three going to state I would have been ecstatic with that, but when you get there it is great.”
team final scoring
1. LaSalle 229.0; 2. Elder 156.0; 3. Mason 132.0; 4. Butler 128.0; 5. Fairfield 99.5; 6. Harrison 95.5; 7. Western Brown 79.5; 8. Moeller 75.5; 9. Wayne 69.0; 10. Springboro 49.0; Winton Woods 49.0; 12. Northmont 46.5; 13. Miamisburg 39.0; 14. Princeton 33.0; Fairmont 33.0; 16. Beavercreek 32.0; 17. Centerville 27.0; 18. St. Xavier 26.0; 19. Little Miami 23.0; 20. Oak Hills 22.5; 21. Springfield 20.0; 22. Lak. East 18.0; 23. Lak. West 16.0; Tre. Edgewood 16.0; 25. Milford 14.0; 26. Sycamore 12.0; 27. Turpin 11.0; 28. Loveland 7.0; Cin. Northwest 7.0; Troy 7.0; 31. Talawanda 6.5; 32. West Clermont 6.0; Middletown 6.0; Lebanon 6.0; Tecumseh 6.0; 36. Fairborn 4.0; Kings 4.0; Xenia 4.0; 39. Hamilton 3.5; 40. Piqua 3.0; Colerain 3.0; Anderson 3.0; 43. Sidney 0.0; Western Hills 0.0;
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind