By Rob Kiser
CENTERVILLE — Piqua wrestlers’ Tristan Hostetter (126) and Sam Herndon (132) re headed back to the Division I district wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday at Trent Arena.
Matt Blankenship (160) is an alternate.
Hostetter and Herndon lived up to their seeds finishing second at the Centerville I sectional Friday and Saturday, while Blankenship earned alternate status by finishing fifth.
Hostetter, 30-14, won by a 14-1 major decision over Chase Edmonds of Springfield, before facing Michael Maas of Centerville in the semifinals.
Hostetter was leading by a point when he pinned Maas at 5:07 of the match.
“He was facing a kid from Fairmont who was a solid wrestler,” Kaye said. “Tristan (Hostetter) did a good job of being patient and taking advantage of his mistake when he made it.”
In the finals, he faced top seed Joe Pascale, 38-3, of Troy.
Pascale showed why he is the top seed, recording a 13-1 major decision.
“Joe (Pascale) is a solid, strong kid,” Kaye said. “He doesn’t make any mistakes. It was a tough match for Tristan (Hostetter).”
Herndon, 30-9, recorded a 19-4 tech fall over Blake Brown of Springfield, matching him up against Evan Overholser of Fairmont in the semifinals. In a close match, Herndon came away with a 3-0 victory.
“Again, another solid wrestler from Fairmont,” Kaye said. “Sam (Herndon) did a good job of taking advantage of his (Evan Overholser’s) mistakes when he made them.”
Herndon faced top seed Andrew Knick, 36-8, of Northmont for the title.
Knick recorded a takedown in the final 10 seconds of the first period to go up 2-0 and had a reversal in the second period to go up 4-0. Knick went on to record a 10-2 major decision.
“He gave up the takedown late in the first period,” Kaye said. “Sam (Herndon) lost to him in the GWOC late. We had figured out what he likes to do. Most of his (Andrew Knick’s) points came shooting off the whistle.”
Blankenship, 10-14, opened with a 6-5 win over Mason Sigler of Northmont.
After a loss by pin to Sean Mondello of Talwanda, needed a win over Alex Canida of Beavercreek in consolations to place and recorded a 15-10 decision.
He lost his go-to district match to Mark Calcaterro of Springboro 7-2, before winning by forfeit over Shane Shoop of Troy to earn the alternate spot.
“It is has been a tough season for Matt (Blankenship),” Kaye said. “He has had some injuries. This is a really good tournament for him. He got his hand raised in finals and it is going to be great for him to get to experience district week this next week.”
Also competing for Piqua were Brian Wintrow (120), Isaac Bushnell (145), Zavier Penny (170), Bryce Short (195) and Lance Reaves-Hicks (220). All are freshman.
“They were in weight classes that had a lot of upper classmen this year,” Kaye said. “Hopefully, they understand there is work to be done in the off-season before next year.”
While Hostetter, Herndon and hopefully Blankenship still have some work to do this year.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.