TROY — Ben Sullivan, the 220-pound grappler from National Trail, earned his third consecutive trip to the state wrestling tourney when he took third place at the district finals at Hobart Arena in Troy on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26-27.
Sullivan had a good day overall but lost a tough overtime match to his Carlisle opponent, Reece Human, in the semifinal round. Human went on to win first place in the 220-pound class.
“The most important takeaway from this weekend is what we can do to prepare for state. While a big loss is never fun to deal with, the more important thing is taking what we learned and fixing it, getting better, and moving on,” said Trail head coach Michael Eyler. “Ben is an excellent wrestler, and he has big goals. The way he wrestled after the loss was huge. His offense was much more aggressive and he went after his opponents with a lot of energy. Hopefully, we can continue that attitude into the state tournament this Thursday.”
Sullivan made it to the semifinals by earning two pins before falling in the overtime match. After that loss, he also pinned his next two opponents to earn his way back to Columbus.
He earned his four pins in times of 1:42, 3:16, 2:49, and 4:44, respectively.
Trail also had two other wrestlers at Troy, sending juniors Josh Cook (145) and Dylan Hager (285) to the district meet. They each went 1-2 overall in their first district tournament.
“I was proud of both of them as they made it through the first day and got to wrestle on Saturday, which can be difficult. But, unfortunately, they both lost out on Saturday and their season ended,” said Eyler. “Both Josh and Dylan have come a long way this year. Josh seems to have discovered the potential within him and really stepped it up this year. Dylan, for a second year wrestler, has come a long way. Now that they’ve seen what the district tournament is all about they should be prepared for next year. We’ve already begun talking about the off-season, and what we can do to prepare for next season.”
Sullivan is scheduled to start competing in the state tournament on Thursday, March 3 beginning at 3 p.m. at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus.