No matter the championship match or weight class, there was always an interesting story taking place at the IHSAA Wrestling Individual Championships on Saturday night.
The finals began as perfectly as possible, as defending 103 champion and Union County Sophomore Cody Phillijps (45-0) steam-rolled over Hanover Central's Paul Petrov for an 8-3 decision. Phillips second 103 championship extended his perfect IHSAA career record of 94-0.
The 112 Finals saw what would be the first of many "Region" titles throughout the night, as Lake Central Sohpomore Kyle Ayersman (40-1) defeated Mishawaka Senior Paul Beck (47-2) in overtime by the score of 2-0. As soon as the whistle was blown for the extended period, Ayersman was on top of Beck, driving at his neck and legs, and ultimately taking him down for the victory.
In the 119 Finals Lawrence North Senior Brandon Nelsen (44-1) ended his high school career by defeating Knox Senior Daniel Bradley (40-1) by the final of 6-2. Nelsen feel behind in the opening period, but fought his way back in what turned out to be a very impressive performance.
Crown Point Sophomore Jason Tsirtsis captured his second IHSAA individual title, moving up from his 125 championship last year to the 130 division with a perfect 42-0 record. Yorktown Sophomore Devon Jackson (53-1) pushed Tsirtsis out of his comfort zone, but ultimately came away with the victory.
"I knew I needed to hit my offense," said Tsirtsis. "I couldn't wait since there was only a minute to score. So I went for it, got it, and won the match."
Fort Wayne Carroll Senior Brock Norton (39-0) made an escape with 1:50 left over Anderson Highland's Mason Berryman (36-1) that padded a 3-1 lead to a state title in the 135 weight class.
"It's incredible, it is just all of my hard work put together in one moment," said Norton. "It just pays off and it is an amazing feeling."
However nobody had a better night than Hobart Senior Francisco Porras (42-1). The Brickie Francisco defeated Leo Senior Justin Beck (36-3) for his second IHSAA wrestling title, this time in the 140 weight class, and at the end of the night was named the recipient IHSAA Mental Attitude Award.
"All of my life I have been taught that athletics is not everything and to make sure you keep your academics up," said Porras, who has a 3.9 GPA and will be attending Purdue University in the fall of 2010. "It proves that all of that work has paid off not only for wrestling but also for grades, and it shows that people appreciate it."
Tied at 3-3 with a minute left in the match, Crown Point Junior Eric Roach (41-0) completed a perfect season by defeating Castle's Doug Welch (48-1) in a 5-3 decision in the 145 finals.
"I have been training for this my whole life," said Roach. "So something to get off of my shoulders, I feel great about it."
The 171 finals saw what was most likely considered to be the biggest upset of the night, as Princeton Junior Drake Stein (44-2) held off defending champion in Union County Senior Michael Duckworth (49-1) in a 4-1 decision.
In what turned out to be the longest match of the night, the 215 finals saw three overtimes as Lowell Senior Nathan Cleveland (42-0) defeated Mishawaka Senior Christian Lentz (46-3) by the score of 2-1.
"He is a great wrestler, I respect him," said Cleveland. "It was really close, we were brawling, hand fighting, and it was a close match this time. Just real tight, that's about all I can say, and that it came down to conditioning."
Hobart's Porras Wins Mental Attitude While Other Titles Are Captured
Check Out The Remaining Highlights And Interviews From Saturday Night's IHSAA Wrestling State Individual Finals From Conseco Fieldhouse.
- 112 Finals: LC Kyle Ayersman def. M Paul Beck
- 119 Finals: LN Brandon Nelsen def. K Daniel Bradley
- 130 Finals: CP Jason Tsirtsis def. Y Devon Jackson
- Crown Point Sophomore Jason Tsirtsis After 130 Championship
- 135 Finals: C Brock Norton def. AH Mason Berryman
- Carroll Senior Brock Norton After 135 Championship
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