Columbus East coach Chris Cooper knew Columbus North would be forfeiting three of the lighter weight classes, so he bumped up six of his top wrestlers a class to get them a match.
The move didn’t faze the Olympians. They won by pin at five of those weight classes on their way to a 62-12 victory Wednesday night at North.
“We have four seniors in the lineup, and I thought it would be nice for them to be able to get a match in their last East-North dual, so we made that move,” the Olympians coach said. “That’s definitely the strength of our lineup, anyway. I have tons of faith in those guys bumping them up a weight and them being able to handle it.”
The match began at 160 pounds. Corban Pollitt, a returning state qualifier who has been wrestling 152 for the Olympians (19-3) this season, won by a first-period pin.
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Another first-period pin at 170 by Nick South, who is ranked No. 5 in the state at 160, gave East an early 12-0 lead.
“(The higher weight class) wasn’t any different,” Pollitt said. “I knew the team needed me to bump up, so I did. I just wrestle the same way I always do. I didn’t think it was super important to start us off with a win because I knew we were going to win anyway, but it was good for me to get a win like that.”
The Bull Dogs won the next two matches to cut the lead to 12-9. Brigham Kleinhenz won a 12-6 decision against Andy Davidson in a match between wrestlers who normally compete at 170. North’s Tay Wells then scored a first-period pin at 195.
The Olympians used a decision from Jacob Bolte at 220 and a first-period pin from Dalton Anderson at 285 to take a 21-9 lead. Morgan Smith then gave the Bull Dogs their final points with a decision at 106 to make it 21-12 at the midway point.
After that, it was all East.
The Olympians’ Jeremy Clark won by technical fall at 113. East then took three consecutive forfiets with Joey Gordon at 120, Cayden Rooks at 126 and Jacob Box at 132. Cayden Rooks is the defending state champion at 120 and is ranked No. 2 at 126.
Graham Rooks, a three-time state medalist and top-ranked 132-pounder, won by second-period pin at 138. Dawson Combest, a two-time state medalist and No. 4-ranked 138-pounder, won by second-period pin at 145. Jake Schoenegge, a returning state qualifier and No. 7-ranked 145-pounder, won by first-period pin at 152.
“We wrestled pretty solid,” said North coach Justin Cooper, who’s not related to Chris Cooper. “Obviously, they have five or six guys that are elite wrestlers, and we’re working our way to compete with them.”
Chris Cooper also was happy with the way his team competed.
“There’s always a lot of emotion involved anytime it’s East vs. North, whether you’re better than the guy or whether it’s going to be a close match,” Chris Cooper said. “I think think some of our guys were a little bit amped up and maybe a little bit out of character because of the atmosphere, but all in all, I think we wrestled really well.”