CUYAHOGA FALLS — National Trail’s Ben Sullivan, the 13th ranked wrestler in the nation at 220 pounds, placed sixth at the prestigious Walsh Jesuit Ironman tournament on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Sullivan started the tournament — which included four of the nation’s top 13 wrestlers, including the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked wrestlers — with a win over David Aranda of St. John Bosco, California, pinning him in 4:46. Sullivan followed that up with a 5-0 quarterfinal win over Ben Goldin from Lake Highland Prep.
In the championship semifinals, Sullivan came up against Chase Singletary of Blair Academy, the No. 1 ranked 220 pound wrestler in the country.
According to National Trail coach Michael Eyler, it was a tough match, with Sullivan losing 5-0.
In the consolation semifinals, Sullivan suffered a tough 5-4 loss to Jeffrey Allen of Amherst County High School, Virginia. He dropped his final match to Dillon Thorp of Oak Harbor 6-4.
“Placing at Ironman is quite an accomplishment, and the tournament was pretty loaded this year. I know Ben wanted to place higher, but he should still be proud of his accomplishments,” Eyler said. “The biggest thing is that this now gives him some more determination to make it to Columbus and repeat his championship, which I have no doubt is in his future. We’ll use what we learned this weekend to continue to improve and push ourselves as a team.”
Dylan Hager joined Sullivan in competing at the tournament. Hager competed at 285 pounds and finished 1-2 on the weekend.
“Dylan went 1-2 at 285, which is quite an accomplishment for a third-year wrestler,” Eyler said.
In the first round, Hager battled No. 6 seed Jake Levengood of Vacaville High School in California. Eyler said Hager wrestled well, but got caught late in the third period and was pinned.
In the first round of the consolation bracket, Hager pinned DT Badley of St. Christopher’s out of Virginia. The next round was a heartbreaker, as he lost in a close 1-0 match against Ruff of Lake Highland Prep, Florida.
“Dylan has really come a long way since he started wrestling. A third year wrestler getting to compete at Ironman, the toughest tournament in the country, is almost unheard of. And to win matches there, and be competitive, is a great accomplishment,” Eyler said. “This is exactly the experience Dylan needs to prepare for state this year, which I know is his biggest goal. I think this is a good indicator that he’ll have a lot of success this season.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH