KENTON — Jaden Heitkamp lifted both arms above his head, pointed to his family in the bleachers and smiled wide after capturing the Western Buckeye League title at 160 pounds with a perfect run through the bracket.
The St. Marys junior dominated in the championship match for a 9-4 decision over Bath’s Zach Garrett to highlight a good day for the Roughriders on the mats at Kenton High School on Saturday.
“It means everything,” Heitkamp said. “I’ve been working for it since my eighth grade year. I show up really early in the morning and work with coaches. We work hard before and after practice, too. It’s always been one of my dreams to be on top of that podium.”
Heitkamp reached the championship with a pin of Van Wert’s Chandler Adams in the round of eight at the 1:18 mark, followed by a win over Defiance’s Zach Botek in the semifinals.
Heitkamp led all the way through his championship win. “I just wanted to get ahead and then not be too aggressive and get thrown or anything,” Heitkamp said.
St. Marys finished fifth in the tournament with 81 points, and the Roughriders had three wrestlers reach the championship round. Defiance won the tournament with 220 points and captured the WBL title while Bath took second with 154 points and Wapakoneta was third with 151 points. Shawnee finished fourth with 87.5 points.
The Roughriders’ Garrett Hower finished second at 113 pounds. Elida’s Blaine Hunter won a 6-3 decision over Hower in the championship match. Hower got to the title round with a first-round bye, followed by a 17-2 technical fall over Celina’s Austin Hines and a default win over Wapkoneta’s Jayden Hefner.
St. Marys’ Austin Quellhorst finished second at 126 pounds. Riley Zipfel of Defiance pinned Quellhorst at the 2:30 mark. Quellhorst pinned Van Wert’s Jacob Durden in the round of eight and then won a decision over Aaron Crites of Celina.
St. Marys’ Justin Nedderman captured third place with a 4-2 win in overtime over Bath’s Kobe Cunningham. Nedderman worked his way back through the brackets aftera loss to Hunter Lucas of Shawnee in the semifinals with a pin of Cunningham followed by the extra-time win. Nedderman beat Cunningham his first of three times in the quarterfinals via a pin.
The Riders’ Boston Hensley finished third at 138 pounds with a 5-3 decision over Bath’s Jacob Horstman. Hensley had a first-round bye before being pinned by Wapakoneta’s Dylan Plaugher at the 3:59 mark in the semis. Hensley worked his way through the consolation bracket with a pin of Celina’s Kodi Schmidt at the 2:33 mark.
St. Marys’ Eddie Reier took fourth at 120 pounds. Reier was pinned by Wapakoneta’s Drew Robenalt in the third-place match at the 1:28 mark. Reier had a first-round bye before losing to Defiance’s Ryan Lantow via a tech fall 15-0. Reier pinned Elida’s Malik Morris to advance to the third-place match.
Celina finished sixth with 72 points, Elida was seventh with 53.5 points, Van Wert was ninth with 40 points and Kenton took 10th with 18 points.
Hunter Lucas (Shawnee, 106 pounds), Blaine Hunter (Elida, 113 pounds), colin Ingram (Bath, 120 pounds), Riley Zipfel (Defiance, 126 pounds), Tre’ Wheeler (Bath, 132 pounds), Cisco Chavez (Defiance, 138 pounds), Derek Kuhlman (Shawnee, 145 pounds), Robbie Bowers (Defiance, 152 pounds), Jaden Heitkamp (St. Marys, 160 pounds), Dylan Hefner (Shawnee, 170 pounds), Landon Hall (Wapakoneta, 182 pounds), Tyler Smith (Elida, 195 pounds), Jarred Carpenter (Wapakoneta, 220 pounds) and John Seibert (Defiance, 285 pounds).