BY YANEEK SMITH
COLUMBUS — After losing his first wrestling match in the Division III state tournament, Cade Petersen could have panicked. Instead, the Oak Harbor senior rebounded and won three consecutive matches and four out of the next five to earn a fifth-place finish at 144 pounds.
The Rockets finished 50th with 10 points while Legacy Christian, which is located in Xenia, won with 136 points. The event took place at the Schottenstein Center after three-year absence.
Petersen lost to Barnesville’s Ayden King by fall in 3:22 in the first round. He then defeated South Range’s Jacob Richardson, 5-2, Mohawk’s Jace Margraf, 3-1, and Monroeville’s Hunter Vogus, 3-1. Petersen then lost, 7-2, via sudden victory to Wayne Trace’s Jarrett Hornish before recovering to beat the No. 1 seed, Smithville’s Michael Harris, 3-1, to place fifth, handing him just his third loss of the season.
“Each match was different but I just stayed focuesed on my tie-ups and kept moving my feet,” Petersen said. “If I’m on their legs, they can’t be on mine, so that’s what I did.”
Petersen, who also played football, talked about his experienced wrestling for the last four years.
“Wrestling has definitely been the most fun part of being in high school for me,” he said. “Being with my friends, duals meets and going to tournaments with the team are definitely all great memories and it’s a little sad to think it’s over now, but I’d say it ended right.”
Petersen was one of two Rockets to compete at the tournament.
Junior Owen Miller (138) won his first match in close fashion, defeating Pleasant’s Anwar Ali, 5-3, in the first round before losing to Legacy Christian’s Camron Lacure the eventual-state champion, 14-7, in the quarterfinals. Miller then lost by fall in 4:22 to Tuslaw’s Zach Lyons, coming up just one match short of reaching the podium.
Unfortunately, Hayden Buhro (150) did not pass the skin check, and was unable to wrestle.
Petersen, who finished eighth at 145 in Div. III last year, comes from a very athletic family and talked about his brothers and sisters.
“I think after watching my siblings do good in p[ast years, it was sort of just what I expected. It made me love sports and figure out how to work hard in them,” he said. “My main goal was to always be better than my brother Rhett — we both got fifth our senior year, but I placed in my junior year. So the debate is still in the air, but I say I’m better.”