Circle. City.

Four local wrestlers will be competing for state championships this weekend at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, starting with this evening’s first round. A look at what’s ahead for each:

Graham Rooks

School: Columbus East

Class: Sophomore

Weight: 120 pounds

Record: 40-3 state rank: 3

Round of 16 opponent: Christian Hunt of Yorktown. Hunt is 41-4 this season and ranked 11th in the state at 120 pounds.

Other potential roadblocks: Rooks could face a semifinal matchup with state No. 1 Drew Hildebrandt of Penn (42-1), who defeated Rooks 12-4 earlier this season. On the other side of the bracket as a possible finals opponent is Brownsburg’s Blake Mulkey (31-0), who defeated Rooks in overtime, 3-1, in the title match at last weekend’s Evansville Semistate.

Noteworthy: As a freshman last year, Rooks finished third in the state at 106 pounds.

Isaiah Peetz

School: Columbus North

Class: Sophomore

Weight: 120 pounds

Record: 36-14 state rank: Unranked

Round of 16 opponent: Hunter Langeloh of Columbia City. Langeloh is 33-1 this season and ranked fourth in the state at 120 pounds.

Other potential roadblocks: Peetz’s likely second-round opponent would be the state’s No. 2 120-pounder, Jeremiah Reitz (33-3) of Griffith. Unbeaten Blake Mulkey of Brownsburg is a possible semifinal opponent, while potential finals opponents on the other half of the draw include No. 1 Drew Hildebrandt of Penn and Columbus East’s Graham Rooks, who defeated Peetz in sectional and regional championship matches.

Noteworthy: Peetz, who finished fifth at the Evansville Semistate, was added to the state finals field this week as an injury replacement for Bloomington South’s Noah Hunt.

Dawson Combest

School: Columbus East

Class: Sophomore

Weight: 126 pounds

Record: 39-4 state rank: 19

Round of 16 opponent: Bellmont’s Jon Becker, who is 37-6 this season and ranked 15th in the state at 126 pounds. Becker won an 8-5 decision against Combest earlier this season.

Other potential roadblocks: In the second round, Combest could face another repeat opponent in state No. 3 Gaige Torres of Portage. Torres (32-4) claimed a 14-4 major decision in an earlier meeting with Combest. Should he reach the finals, Combest could face No. 1 Brock Hudkins of Danville (43-0), who won a 15-5 major decision when the two squared off in a semistate semifinal last weekend.

Noteworthy: With a first-round victory, Combest would become the third Columbus East wrestler to hit the 40-win mark this season, joining Graham Rooks and Sean Galligar.

Sean Galligar

School: Columbus East

Class: Senior

Weight class: 285 pounds

Record: 40-3 state rank: 5

Round of 16 opponent: Austin Dollens of Westfield. Dollens is 25-13 this season.

Other potential roadblocks: Galligar, the highest-ranked wrestler on his half of the bracket, could face No. 11 Givoni Murillo (27-14) of Portage in the second round. A possible semifinal opponent, No. 6 Robert Samuels (41-6) of Lawrence North, is a familiar foe — Galligar has won two of three matches with Samuels this season. Potential finals opponents include No. 1 Shawn Streck (41-0) of Merrillville, No. 2 Cory Klem (38-3) of Gibson Southern and No. 4 Quinn York (41-2) of Franklin. Galligar and York have split two matches this season, with Galligar taking a 9-6 decision in the semistate title match.

Noteworthy: Five of the state’s top 10 ranked heavyweights did not reach this weekend’s state finals.


IHSAA state wrestling finals

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis

When: Friday — first round, 6 p.m.; Saturday — quarterfinals and semifinals, 9:30 a.m.; consolation round, 5 p.m.; championship matches, 7:30 p.m.

Admission: $8 per session, $20 both days.

TV: Championship matches will air live on Fox Sports Indiana.

On the Web: Friday’s first round and Saturday’s quarterfinals and consolations will be streamed at For Saturday night’s championship round, viewers outside of the Fox Sports Indiana coverage area, a live stream will be available at

Author photo
Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2715.