High School Wrestling

Takeaways from the Ohio State Tournament: Kaleb Romero Wins His Fourth State Title

Kaleb Romero - Mechanicsburg

Photo by Bryant Billing

After three grueling days of competing against the best from Division III in Ohio, Kaleb Romero of Mechanicsburg achieved his longtime dream of becoming the 29th grappler in the state to win four consecutive state titles. His finals opponent was Brett Vonderwell of St. John’s, the same opponent, he faced in the finals of the Troy District tournament. Romero didn’t waste time against Vonderwell as he obtained a takedown in 10 seconds and the fall in 52 to win the fourth and final state title of his prep career at 170-pounds.

Romero capped off a perfect 52-0 season and was awarded the Division III Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. Romero’s victory, along with Alex Rhine (132) and Tanner Smith (145), helped Mechanicsburg win its first OHSAA individual wrestling state championship in school history.

State Record for The Eagles

No other wrestling team in the Buckeye State is as dominant as St. Edward. The Eagles, who are led by legendary coach Greg Urbas, won their third consecutive Division I team state championship and their 31st in school history.

The Eagles have won 19 of the last 21 Division I individual tournaments, with the setbacks being 2010 and 2014. St. Edward, who brought 13 of the possible 14 wrestlers to Columbus, finished with 151 points and eight state place winners. The lone state champion for St. Edward was Jared Campbell at 220. Campbell pinned his way through the state tournament, including ending his match with Midview’s Spencer Berthold in 1:05 to become St. Ed’s 106th individual state champion. Campbell, who will wrestle at Missouri, finished his senior season with a 41-1 record.

Bryce Hepner (113), Allan Hart (132), and Dakota Howard (195) advanced to the finals of the state tournament but finished second in their respective weight classes. Hart, who will also be competing with Campbell at the University of Missouri, finished as a four-time Ohio state medalist.

The Drought Has Ended

An interesting story in Division II took place this weekend as freshman Payton Burgdorf of Firelands, ended the 50-year drought of not having a Falcon earn a medal in the state tournament. A Mansfield District runner-up, Burgdorf lost his opening match 12-2 and got sent to the consolation bracket on the first day of the state tournament.

Nevertheless, Burgdorf won four consecutive matches before falling to St. Paris Graham’s Tanner Jordan, 15-2, to wind up fourth in the 106-weight division. Burgdorf also did another amazing thing no other Falcon had done in 22-years when he became a state qualifier! The last qualifier for the Falcons was Matt Kovach in 1995.

One, Two, Three

The 80th Annual Ohio state tournament saw four wrestlers claim their third state championship. In Division I, Massillon Perry junior David Carr won the 152-weight bracket and earned the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. Division II saw Mitch Moore win the 132-pound state bracket and finishing the season with a 38-1 record. Division III wrestlers Tommy Hoskins of Xenia Legacy Christian (120) and Drew Mattin of Delta (126) claimed their third consecutive state championship as well. Hoskins, Mattin, Moore and Carr became the 65th, 66th, 67th and 68th three-time OHSAA wrestling state champions, respectively. Next season, Hoskins, Moore, and Carr will get the opportunity to become the 30th, 31st, and 32nd, four-time state champions in the Buckeye state.

Nick Kiussis ends high school career with a state championship

At last, Brunswick’s Nick Kiussis can claim to be an OHSAA state champion. The past three state tournaments haven’t been kind to Kiussis as he ended up as the runner-up at the Division I tournament as a freshman, sophomore, and junior. However, this year was different for the senior as he defeated Elyria’s Brendan Price, 10-3, in the state finals. Kiussis, a West Virginia commit, completed his high school career as a state champion and finished the season with a 41-3 record. By winning the tournament, he avoided becoming the first ever four-time runner-up at the OHSAA state tournament.

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