WHEELING - The 60th annual Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament opened in grand fashion Thursday evening on the floor of WesBanco Arena.
Much like most expected, a two-horse battle between three-time defending champion Parkersburg South and Steubenville, which has been chasing the Patriots since they entered the conference, is well under way after one round.
The Patriots find themselves sitting on top with 54 points, while Big Red is second with 49 tallies.
Hobie Howiler, the No. 3 seed at 120 pounds, defeated Indian Creek’s Tyler Gaydosh by
15-0, Thursday night during the opening round of the 60th annual Ron Mauck OVAC?Wrestling Tournament at Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena. Action continues today.
ABOVE: Union Local’s Zac Sowers controls River’s Chase Young before pinning him during their 132-pound bout. Sowers is seeded seventh.
Bridgeport’s Carlos Kusic locks up with his opponent during a pig-tail match Thursday night. The Bulldog grappler lost.
The pins, tech falls and major decisions were coming at a fast and furious pace, but a few upsets of the top eight seeds were sprinkled in as well, adding to the excitment of the three-day mat extravaganza, which continues today.
Action resumed today at noon with second-round championship bouts and then first-round consolation matches will get under way. The second round of consolation will also be staged in the afternoon session.
The evening session is slated for a 6 p.m. start and that'll feature championship quarterfinals and additional consolation bouts.
The Patriots went a perfect 14-for-14 on the first day, while Big Red was 13-of-14, which caused the five-point differential.
St. Clairsville, which was the top team from the local area after the first day, had a strong first day with 26 points. The Red Devils got a nice lift from Alex Timko at 113 pounds. Unseeded, he knocked off Toronto's Donnie Starkey, the eighth seed, 6-2.
Barnesville's Collin Wilson recorded the first upset of the tournament when he defeated eighth-seeded Theo Zoumpoulidis of Martins Ferry, 8-6.
River's Brett Rosen also posted an upset in the first round at 195 pounds when he took down Beallsville's Preston Bier by pin in 52 seconds.
His victory helped springboard the Pilots to the Class 3A lead after the first round. River finished with 24 points.
Wheeling Park's Cody Amos, who is in search of his third consecutive OVAC title, set the pace for the quickest pin. He was on the mat for just seven seconds before pinning his opponent at 182 pounds.
Steubenville's top seed at 220 pounds - senior Greg Moray - made quick work of his first opponent. He was a winner by pin in 11 seconds.
Caldwell's Kale Rayner had the third quickest pin. The 170-pound top seed was a victor in just 16 seconds.
Steubenville Central closed the first day with 24 points, which was five better than Shadyside to lead the Class 1A/2A title chase.
The Tigers' trio of top seeds had little trouble. Combined, the Tigers' leaders were on the mat for just 2:28. Defending champion Alex Quinn recorded a pin at 152 pounds in 41 seconds.
Ian Baker - the top seed at 145 pounds - pinned his opponent in 28 seconds at 145 pounds and senior Chase Kinemond, who missed last year's conference tourney because of a knee injury, was on the mat for 1:19 before recording the pin.
THE 195 pound and 220 pound weight classes had all pins in the opening round matches.
STEUBENVILLE'S Charlie Keenan, East Liverpool's Frankie Williams and Parkersburg South's Jordan Quiocho all recorded their 100th career victories in the first round.
LOU COFFLAND, a native of Cadiz, was presented with the Larry Deaton Official of the Year Award prior to the start of the tournament.
FOUR TEAMS in the field didn't register a victory in the opening day.
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