Brandon Hahn leads Eastwood to top 10 team finish

J. Patrick Eaken

Eastwood wrestling has been finishing second fiddle to other teams all season, like in the Northern Buckeye Conference, where they were runner-up to Elmwood.

Yet, the Eagles can brag that they are No. 10 in the state — something many of those other programs cannot say.

Eastwood has five solid wrestlers, including four state qualifiers and one state alternative, who have combined for 235 wins this year — that is 47 wins per wrestler. 

Two placed at state, and that led Eastwood to a 10th place finish, scoring 34½ points, during the Division III meet at Marion Harding High School.

“Normally at the state tournament they only put the top 10 on the board and every team’s goal is to be on the board. So, we got the 10th spot,” Eastwood coach Joe Wyant said.

Leading the way was 120-pound senior Brandon Hahn (53-2), who is state runner-up. Hahn was pinned in 2:37 by Casstown Miami East junior Max Shore (17-0) during the state championship match.

“He wrestled a good tournament,” Wyant said. “In three matches he wrestled excellent and the fourth match in the finals, the kid was the real deal and a real stud. But his accomplishments for this year and all four years are great accomplishments.”

To get to the final, Hahn pinned Mapleton freshman Brock Durbin (34-7) in 1:34, won a 7-3 decision over Dayton Legacy Christian junior Logan Attisano (37-9) in the quarterfinals and defeated Kirtland junior Will Davidson (29-4), 7-4, in the semifinals.

Eastwood junior Gavin Owens (50-6) finished fifth at 132. Even though he was a district runner-up, he ran into some hefty competition in Legacy Christian junior Camron Lacure (35-2) and Wayne Trace junior Hunter Long (45-4).

“The way the bracket got turned around, and he wrestled the best and maybe the second-best kid in the weight class. That’s why he got beat,” Wyatt said. “The second one who beat him, he then hurt his knee and defaulted and could not wrestle enough to get third and fourth. I think for Gavin, the best he would have been was probably third or fourth and he probably could have. But the bracket, the way it was, (Nos.) one and three beat him, but really it was probably (No.) one and the second-best kid were his only losses.”

Owens started great, winning a 17-0 technical fall over Norwayne senior Jarrison Moore (25-7) and then pinned Greenon junior Arlie Benson (39-5) in 3:23 to reach the semifinals. There, he lost a 13-5 major decision to the eventual state champion, Lacure. In the consolation semis, Owens fell to Long, 3-1. For fifth place, Owens defeated Edison freshman Kohen Horvath (44-13), 4-2. 

At 160, Eastwood sophomore Bryce Hesselbart (42-12) had a similar issue — the draw. As a result, he did not place. Hesselbart lost to Versailles junior Carson Bey (46-4), 5-1, in the consolation opening round, and Bey went on to finish fifth.

“The problem was the two guys who beat him — he got beat by the guy who took second and then the other guy took fourth or fifth. His draw was terrible,” Wyant said. “He only lost 5-1 to the guy who took fifth, but that guy from Versailles beat him earlier in the year and it didn’t look good then. But Bryce gave him a good match.”

Eastwood’s other state qualifier was 170-pound senior Jimmy Recknagel (46-7), who did win one match, defeating Martins Ferry senior Kameron Hughes (37-10), 2-0. However, Recknagel then lost two consecutive and was out, while Hughes went on to finish eighth.

“Recknagel won one match and probably should have won more. He made a couple mistakes and he really should have been a placer,” Wyant said.

Waiting as an alternate to take the mat was 113-pound senior Bryce Maynard (45-5), but that did not happen.





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