Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette Garrett junior Clayton Fielden wrestles against Southern Wells Jacob Duncan in the 160 weight class during the IHSAA Semi-State Wrestling Tournament at the Coliseum on Saturday.
Saturday, February 09, 2019 10:00 pm
Garrett wrestler overcomes pain for ticket to state
MARK SCHUTTE | For The Journal Gazette
Clayton Fielden was on his way to a potential fourth pin of the day late Saturday afternoon when he felt – and everyone else heard – his ankle pop.
Fielden, a Garrett junior searching for his first berth to the state finals, immediately thought … well, we can’t say exactly what Fielden thought in print.
“I was like, ‘Well, I’ve still got to win,’ ” he said. “I just kept staying in as good a position as I could and took my ankle out of danger. I just kept wrestling the way I knew I could.”
Fielden overcame his bum ankle as well as Rochester’s Zane Gilbreath to claim a 9-6 decision and the championship at 170 pounds at the New Haven Semistate at Memorial Coliseum.
In his first matches, Fielden needed only 1:56 in total time to pin his first three opponents, so having to work a little bit harder and overcome some pain was not a big deal.
“I had to do whatever I had to do to win,” Fielden said. “All that matters in semistate is winning, it doesn’t matter by how much. I’m happy with how the day went. (Semistate) is not the goal, state championship’s the goal.”
Fielden will vie for a state championship beginning at 6 p.m. Friday in Banker Life’s Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. He will be joined by a bevy of other wrestlers from the area.
Ethan Hicks of Carroll (152 pounds) and Huntington North’s Charlie Agnew (195) each had four pins in sweeping their way to semistate titles.
Agnew’s Huntington teammate Preston Teusch (113), Logan Macklin of Adams Central (145), Bellmont’s Jon Ruble (160) and Levi Leffers of Central Noble (220) also won semistate championships.
Five area wrestlers earned runner-up ribbons: Isaac Ruble of Bellmont (106), Norwell’s Kade Zadylak (113), Logan Mosser of Adams Central (132), Jake Jenkins of Homestead (145) and Leo’s Jaylen Elwood (220). A total of 28 areas wrestlers won at least two rounds to place in the top four in their weight class and earn a berth at the state finals.
For the first time since 1992, Huntington North is sending four wrestlers to Indianapolis as Cody McCune (152) and Christian Graft (220) joined Teusch and Agnew.
The Vikings narrowly missed their first semistate team championship, finishing with 64 points, just behind first place Jimtown with 64.5. Yorktown, which had won six straight semistate titles, finished third, followed by Central Noble, Oak Hill, Carroll, Bellmont and Adams Central.
“That’s a great accomplishment for the kids and for the program,” Huntington North coach Neil Teusch said. “It feels good. Of course, Yorktown’s dominated for a long time and Jimtown’s got some really, really good kids. It feels good to compete at that level. As a team the kids did a great job.”
Agnew was seeded No. 1 entering the day and left with four resounding pins totaling 10:24, a performance Neil Teusch called “dominant.”
“It means the world; I’ve never been happier,” Agnew said. “It’s something I’ve worked for since I was a kid. To be here is just like, it really is a dream come true.”
The fact Agnew will have three teammates going with him to Banker’s Life makes the dream even bigger.
“I think it shows Huntington North is a great program,” Agnew said. “We started out young. Every person who’s going to state has been there since we were kids. We’ve always worked with each other. I think it just shows that Huntington has a great program. The coaches are awesome; they’re so supportive. It means a lot.”
Carroll will send three to state, including Owen Krider (132) and Scottie Savoie (145), but no one had as seemingly easy a day as Hicks, a senior making his second straight trip to state.
Hicks needed just 6:28 to win his four matches and the final match against Eric Hiestand of Yorktown was over in 1:37.
“I didn’t think it was going to go that quickly,” said Hicks, whose ticket-round match took just 25 seconds. “I was confident, but I knew not to overlook anybody because everybody here is really talented, and I knew it was going to be a tough match regardless.
“Today I felt really good and I got my momentum going early.”
Carroll coach Tim Sloffer was equally surprised at the quickness of Hick’s semistate path to state.
“It’s unbelievable,” Sloffer said. “I’m giddy about it, I’m not gonna lie. It seems very rare for me to get four pins. So yeah, it’s pretty cool. He’s a kid that’s put in the work from the time he was little to his senior year. Just real excited for him and all our guys who are moving on.”
The IHSAA will announce the state pairings at 4 p.m. today.