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  • Val T.

Rochester wins 3rd straight TRC wrestling title

Gard: ‘I still think we can accomplish all of our postseason goals’


Sports Editor, RTC

BUNKER HILL — The bus ride home from Franklin Community High School was eerily quiet.

Nobody from the Rochester wrestling team had much to say. They had come to win a Class 1A state championship at the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Team State duals at Franklin Community High School on Jan. 7, but they finished third after falling to eventual champion Tell City in the semifinals.

They came back to practice two days later. Those who were there said the intensity in practice picked up.

Two weeks later, the Zebras got a big trophy Saturday, winning their third straight Three Rivers Conference title in the conference meet at Maconaquah.

Rochester scored 272 points, which was 62 more than runner-up Maconaquah. Tippecanoe Valley placed sixth with 93 points.


Rochester wrestlers won seven individual weight class titles; the other nine schools had seven individual champions combined.

Now comes the state tournament and sectionals next week at Peru.

“I got on them, I think, once last week a little bit,” Rochester coach Clint Gard said of the practice atmosphere after the trip home from Franklin. “They’re teenagers, so you’ve got to rein them in and keep them focused on … they’ve got their phones and they’ve got girls and boys … they’ve got everything going on.

“Listen, we got third in the state, and we were disappointed. It was a tough bus ride home. And our kids really wrestled pretty well. Tell City’s freaking good. … I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not upset with them about it other than just correcting some of those mistakes. … I still think we can accomplish all of our postseason goals.”

The Zebra individual champions were Layne Horn (106), Ethan Holloway (120), Aaron Swango (126), Greyson Gard (152), Alex Deming (195), Brady Beck (220) and Carlos Orduňo (HWT).

Horn (No. 1), Beck (No. 2), Deming (No. 6) and Holloway (No. 8) are all ranked in the top 10 in the state in their weight classes, per the rankings of Jan. 17.

Gard is No. 11.

Freshman Brant Beck, ranked No. 10 at 160, finished second after losing 10-6 in the final to second-ranked and undefeated Logan Farnell of Maconaquah.

Gavin McKee took second at 182. He lost by fall in overtime to Maconaquah’s Austin Ringeisen in 6:23 after once leading 6-2 in the second period.

No Rochester wrestler finished worse than fifth in his weight class.

Swango also earned his 100th career win Saturday. He is the fourth Rochester wrestler to reach triple digits this season, joining Holloway, Gard and Brady Beck.

“I think Aaron knows he has put in a lot of real hard, good work, and I think he’s very confident,” coach Gard said. “He gets going, and all of a sudden, elbows and legs and arms are flying everywhere, and I’d like to see him just wrestle a little bit more solid, but at the same time, that’s what makes him good. So while we’ve got to rein him in a little bit, I don’t want to rein him in too far because that’s what gets kids tired, and that’s how he wins matches. … Aaron is a fine example of what hard work will absolutely do for a kid. Just hard work and desire to be the best he can be and really wanting to do well at this sport. We’re very proud of him. He’s a great kid.”

Maconaquah finished second on their home mats with 210 points.

The most pleasant surprise might have come in the day’s final match when Orduňo won the heavyweight title. The No. 4 seed coming into the tournament, Orduňo won by fall over Wabash’s Caden Carmichael in the first round, beat top-seeded Trevi Hillman-Conley of Peru 6-3 in the semifinals and then beat third-seeded senior Camron Montgomery of Maconaquah 9-3 in the final.

Orduňo, who at 255 pounds is considered midsized compared to his beefier competition, later said winning TRC was “something I can’t even describe.”

“Best win of all, probably by best match ever,” a beaming Orduňo said of his win over Hillman-Conley. “He’s ranked fourth in the state, and I’m not ranked. It feels good to beat someone that’s bigger than you. It feels good to be the underdog.”

Orduňo and Brady Beck often face off in practice and watch video of other wrestlers to discuss strategy.

“I think wrestling Brady Beck really helps a lot,” Orduňo said. “He’s always pushing me to be my best, and I’m always pushing him. So it’s always great to wrestle him.”

Horn went 4-0 on the day and improved to 30-0. He finished his day with a 10-0 win over Manchester freshman Rex Moore in the final. Already leading 2-0 after one period, Horn got a reversal and a near-fall before getting a takedown in the third period. Moore had lost just once prior to facing Horn.

Holloway and Peru’s Brayden Gibson were the only seniors at 120, and they met in the final. Holloway got three takedowns and led 7-1 before a finishing move led to a fall in 2:29.

“It was just a whipover,” Holloway explained. “We don’t really practice it a lot, but he left his arms hanging a lot. He tried to go off his fakes, but I could tell they were coming, so when he faked, I just got on top of him, put him in a whipover and finished it, and that was about really it.”

Swango won his second straight TRC title with an 8-0 win over Maconaquah’s Alex Ousley in the final.

Greyson Gard won his third TRC title with a first-period fall over Northfield’s Layne Denton and a 15-4 win over Manchester’s Isaiah Burlingame in the final. It marked Greyson Gard’s third win over Burlingame this season.

Deming improved to 33-0 after beating Maconaquah’s Aaron Ringeisen 17-5 in the semifinals and North Miami’s Austin Smith 13-6 in the final. All six of Smith’s points came on escapes after Deming takedowns, which just gave reason for Deming to continue with a series of wrenching shots on Smith’s hips and midsection.

Brady Beck is now 32-0 after three wins Saturday. He pinned Whitko’s Bryson Shepherd in 1:27 in the quarterfinals, defeated Valley’s Dalton Alber 12-0 in the semis and beat Wabash’s Elias Cressell 10-2 in the final. Brady Beck did allow a reversal to Cressell in the third period but quickly escaped and followed with his fourth takedown of the match.

The most anticipated match might have been the match between Farnell and Brant Beck. Beck got a pair of escapes and attacked Farnell’s legs for a takedown that tied the match 4-4, but the undefeated Farnell, a University of Indianapolis recruit who finished sixth at last year’s state finals, got an escape with 10 seconds left in the second period to take the lead.

Farnell chose the down position to start the third period, but Beck chose neutral, surrendering a point but hoping at the same time to get Farnell back on his feet. Farnell, however, got two more takedowns in the third period.

The loss was just Brant Beck’s second of the season. The other was to Penn’s A.J. Steenbeke, who is also a former state qualifier.

“Every time Brant tied up, Farnell was getting elbow control,” coach Gard said. “And we’ve got to stay out of his elbow control. We’ve got to keep our elbows in. He’s got good ducks to both sides. He’ll shoot and he’ll miss it, and then our elbows are out, and he’s hitting his duck-unders to both sides. The easiest way to do it is take him down. We got one takedown in the match, but if we can get two or three and we’re wrestling in our positions, then we’ve got a shot against him. But he’s a tough kid. We all knew that. He’s a tough kid. But we did take him down once, and we were able to get away from him. We can wrestle with him, and we can certainly give him a little better match next week.”

Tippecanoe Valley

Valley had no individual champions on the day. The best individual finisher was senior Galvin Shambaugh, who took second at 132.

Shambaugh started his day with wins by fall over Whitko’s Lincoln Koser and Maconaquah’s Nate Hanes, and he had a 3-0 lead through two periods against Wabash freshman Carter Booth in the final before Booth won by fall in 4:21.

Bazle Owens placed third at 182. He lost 6-4 to Austin Ringeisen in the semis but came back to pin Peru’s Alex Smithers and win a 13-2 major decision over Whitko’s Cody Adkins.

TRC final results: Rochester 272, Maconaquah 210, North Miami 204, Peru 133, Manchester 112.5, Tippecanoe Valley 93, Wabash 67, Northfield 66, Southwood 56, Whitko 29

Rochester individual results

106 – Layne Horn – champion, 113 – Zyler Baughman – fifth, 120 – Ethan Holloway – champion, 126 – Aaron Swango – champion, 132 – Joey Spencer – fourth, 138 – D.J. Basham – third, 145 – Declan Gard – third, 152 – Greyson Gard – champion, 160 – Brant Beck – second, 170 – Colin Weiand – fourth, 182 – Gavin McKee – second, 195 – Alex Deming – champion, 220 – Brady Beck – champion, HWT – Carlos Orduňo – champion

Valley individual results

106 – Thad Shambaugh – fifth, 113 – Jake England – seventh, 120 – Joseph Lybarger – sixth, 126 – forfeit, 132 – Galvin Shambaugh – second, 138 – Remington Rickel – fourth, 145 – Denver Wilson – sixth, 152 – Colton Crabb – fifth, 160 – forfeit, 170 – Diego Gonsalez – sixth, 182 – Bazle Owens – third, 195 – Kolyn Grossman – sixth, 220 – Dalton Alber – fifth, HWT – forfeit

TRC individual champions

106 – Layne Horn (Rochester), 113 – Braylon McIntire (North Miami), 120 – Ethan Holloway (Rochester), 126 – Aaron Swango (Rochester), 132 – Carter Booth (Wabash), 138 – Cooper Baldwin (Peru), 145 – Hartley Hoover (North Miami), 152 – Greyson Gard (Rochester), 160 – Logan Farnell (Maconaquah), 170 – Ethan Farnell (Maconaquah), 182 – Austin Ringeisen (Maconaquah), 195 – Alex Deming (Rochester), 220 – Brady Beck (Rochester), HWT – Carlos Orduňo

The Rochester wrestling team won the Three Rivers Conference title at Maconaquah Saturday with 272 points. Individual conference champs from Rochester included, from front left, Layne Horn (126), Alex Deming (195), Brady Beck (220), Aaron Swango (126), Ethan Holloway (120), Greyson Gard (152) and Carlos Orduňo (HWT).

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