The ninth-ranked Columbus East wrestlers were looking forward to a senior night showdown against No. 2 Brownsburg in Friday night’s regular-season finale.
The showdown, however, never materialized. The Bulldogs sent mostly junior varsity wrestlers, and the Olympians dominated in a 79-0 victory.
“We’re not happy that their varsity couldn’t come, but I think we represented East pretty well tonight,” said Josh Schrader, one of 10 seniors honored prior to the match. “We still have a few kinks to get out of the way, but we’re going to get there.”
Schrader’s first-period pin at 195 pounds kick-started the Olympian romp. His was followed by first-period pins from Tommy Morrill at 220 and Ashton Hartwell at 285 and a forfeit win from Dominic Baker at 106, giving the Olympians a quick 24-0 lead.
Braden Isbell, filling in for an ill Liam Krueger at 113, won a 10-0 major decision. A second-period pin from Noah Lykins at 120 and a third-period pin from Bo Wagner at 126 made it 40-0.
Nate Anderson won a 17-0 technical fall at 132, and Reece Fisher followed with the quickest match of the night, a 40-second pin at 138 for a 51-0 advantage.
“It’s really awesome on a night like senior night in my last home dual,” Fisher said. “We found out last night that we wouldn’t be wrestling their varsity, and we can’t change it.”
Kenton Wilson scored a second-period pin at 145. Eli Pollitt then put together a pin in 47 seconds at 170, giving East a 63-0 lead.
“I thought our team wrestled really well tonight,” said Pollitt, another senior. “It just (stinks) that their actual varsity team couldn’t come. We still have some stuff to work on, but we’ll be good for sectional.”
Kade Law came through with a second-period pin at 160, and Tristan Statler won an 11-3 major decision at 170. Jaden Durnil finished the match with a third-period pin at 182.
Cooper said Brownsburg’s 160 and 182-pounders were varsity wrestlers, but the rest were JV.
“All we can do is wrestle who they send,” East coach Chris Cooper said. “They came out and represented really well.”
Along with Schrader, Fisher and Pollitt, the match was the final home contest for Hartwell, Lykins, Wilson, Law, Statler and Durnil, as well as Tony Ruiz-Tapia, who won the lone JV bout prior to Friday’s varsity match.
“I thought they did a great job,” Cooper said. “I told them right after warmup, wrestling is a lot of grinding, and it’s a lot of time by yourself, and there’s a lot difficulty to it. There’s not a ton of recognition, so they need to enjoy the recognition they got tonight.”
The Olympians, who won the Class 3A state duals two weeks ago and finished second in last week’s Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament, now are off until Jan. 29, when they will compete in the Jennings County Sectional.
“We’re getting everybody healthy at the right time and getting over illness,” Cooper said. “It will be nice to be at full strength.”