BY YANEEK SMITH
ROSSFORD — There were some close calls, but ultimately, three Oak Harbor wrestlers earned their way to the Division III state tournament.
The Rockets finished 12th with 57.5 points in a 50-team field. Edison won with 136 points.
Owen Miller, who wrestled at 138 pounds, finished third in his weight class, winning his first match by fall in 2:52 against Delta’s Landon Lintermoot and then taking the next one by default. He was defeated by Monroeville’s Ashton Homan, 6-1, in the semifinals, before winning his final two matches — a 5-2 victory over St. Paul’s Aiden Naseman and an 11-0 win over Patrick Henry’s Jeff Camp.
Cade Petersen (144) won his first two matches and lost by fall in 3:03 to Archbold’s Brodie Dominique in the semifinals. Petersen easily defeated Eastwood’s Xavier Escobedo by major decision, 15-4, to ensure himself a spot in the state tournament. Petersen then lost in the third-place match in a rematch with Margraf, 3-1, via sudden victory.
Hayden Buhro (150) won his first match by major decision, 11-3, over Monroeville’s Ian Patchen before losing, 7-3, to Liberty Center’s Xander Myers. Buhro rebounded to win three straight matches, two by a combined six points and one by major decision, and then lost his rematch to Myers, 3-1.
“Obviously, you feel bad for the kids that don’t make it, that’s most kids’ goal to make it to state,” said Oak Harbor coach George Bergman. “You’re always disappointed for guys who fall short — it wasn’t for a lack of effort, they all wrestled their hearts out.”
Miller, Petersen and Buhro all won their consolation semifinal matches to get to the third-place match.
“We call it the blood round,” Bergman said. “The intensity is at an all-time high. We had three guys wrestle there — going 3-for-3 is incredible. You’ve got to be mentally strong in that match.”
Four other Rockets competed but failed to advance — Jack Zeitzheim (157) and Scott Smith (190) won two matches apiece, Christian Paul (165) won one match and Ethan DeTray (132) fell just short of winning a match.