COLUMBUS — Peyton Lane has no reason to hang his head after falling in the Division III 138-pound state championship match to one of Ohio’s all-time great high school wrestlers.
The National Trail junior lost Dylan D’Emilio of Genoa Area by pin at the 82nd Annual OHSAA Wrestling Individual Tournament on Saturday, March 9, in the Schottenstein Center.
Lane is just the second wrestler from Trail to finish as a state runner-up and only the seventh placer all-time.
With the win D’Emilio, who was ranked nationally, became the 32nd four-time state champion in OHSAA history. D’Emilio finished his senior season with a 54-3 record, bringing his high school career record to 210-6 and placing him tied for ninth all-time in career wins. D’Emilio led Genoa to its second-straight individual tournament team championship. The Comets have now won back-to-back titles in the OHSAA dual team and individual wrestling state tournaments.
“It was crazy. It was an honor to be out there with one of the best in that’s in Ohio,” Lane said. “It’s a crazy opportunity that I got. I wasn’t supposed to be there and I worked my way to get to that spot. I’ve been in a lot of championships but that was definitely the best one.”
He said he was hoping to pull the upset.
“I had it in the back of my mind of catching him and doing something to upset the whole entire (night),” Lane said.
For Lane it was ride that wasn’t supposed to happen and almost didn’t happen.
Lane, who was projected to finish sixth, suffered a serious leg injury in late January during a practice session and wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to return to the mat. After a few weeks of rest, he returned and was almost better than he was prior to the injury.
“It’s been a whirlwind year,” he said. “It started out slow. I was heavier than I wanted to be and once I started getting in wrestling shape and got better that’s when I got hurt. Then coming here and doing stuff that was not predicted at all and changing up a lot of people’s plans felt real good.”
Lane (34-6) won sectional and distinct titles before pulling off a pair of upset wins to reach the final.
Trail coach Bobby Clark was proud of Lane’s tournament run.
“It was fantastic,” Clark said. “Rankings don’t matter. But we shocked the world. ‘Who’s Peyton Lane?’ was kind of my thing and to come in here against Dylan D’Emilio, four-time state champ, I’m tickled to death. I’m happy as can be.”
In the title match, Lane took a shot early, but D’Emilio blocked it and soon took Lane down and eventually won by pin in the first period.
“I stopped for that extra second and a good wrestler like that is going to take advantage of that extra second,” Lane said. “And he did and that’s what happened,”
Clark said Lane has been “stronger than ever” battling back from his injury.
“I’m not a bit disappointed. I’m proud as can be with how he’s wrestled this weekend,” Clark said.
Lane looked impressive in during his run.
In his first round match he beat Garrett Dozier of Toronto 16-1 on Thursday.
In the quarterfinal match, Lane got a bit of revenge, beating Parker Watson of Rocky River Lutheran West 8-3. Watson beat Lane in the first round last year at state on his way to a fourth place finish.
In the semis, Lane knocked off last year’s sixth place finisher at 126 pounds Logan Hursey of Newcomerstown, 15-5. Hursey entered the state tournament with a 49-1 record.
“To be here and for it to be his third sport is amazing,” Clark said of Lane who was an all-state baseball player last year. “The kid’s a warrior.”
After he left the mat he was met by his parents.
“They said no matter win or lose that match they were proud,” Lane said. “I wasn’t supposed to be there anyways so no reason to be ashamed.”
Next year he won’t be the unknown.
“The good thing is we’ve got one more year,” he said.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH