COLUMBUS — Hillsboro Senior Wrestler Lane Cluff broke through at the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Wrestling tournament Thursday with his first win at the event and finished in eighth place in the 285 pound weight class for Division II.
Brennan Knueve pinned Cluff just 34 seconds into their Consolation Quarterfinals match Friday evening to set up his seventh place match on Saturday against Jacob Petit of Akron Archbishop Hoban.
Cluff lasted nearly a round and a half with Petit but was pinned at the 2:41 mark of the D II seventh place match and finished in eighth place.
Cluff finished the season with an individual match record of 50-6 including his five matches at the State Tournament and finishes his high school wrestling career with a 2-7 record at State.
Cluff returned the the Schottenstein Center on Friday for Day two of the event and took on defending the State Champion at 285 pounds Jack DelGarbino of Girard in the Championship Quarterfinals.
Cluff was pinned in his match against DelGarbino at the 2:13 mark and was moved into the Consolation bracket.
Cluff won his Consolation round two match over David Hooks via 2-1 decision and secured a spot on Saturday’s podium as a top eight finisher at the event.
As The Times-Gazette previously reported Cluff traveled to the Schottenstein Center on the campus of Ohio State University and competed in the OHSAA Individual Wrestling State Tourament on Thursday for the third time and broke through with his first win at the State Tournament when he pinned Daniel Wirth of Lisbon Beaver at the 4:28 mark of their Championship preliminary match.
In Cluff’s two previous trips to the State Tournament he was eliminated on day one of the tournament after losing in the Championship preliminary round and consolation round one.
This year it was a different story for Cluff in the Championship preliminary round as he established himself in the first period and controlled the action despite trailing 2-1 at the period buzzer.
In the second period Cluff was able to take control of Wirth and score a take down for two points and earned another point by escaping Wirth in the period. Cluff added a second take down in the second period as time was winding down and took a 6-2 advantage into the third period.
It was apparent to start the third period that Wirth was winded but, the same was not true for Cluff as he realized his opponent was compromised and took advantage to earn the pin fall victory at the 1:32 mark of the third period.
“Coach is always on us that whoever is in the most shape at the end of the match is going to get the win. All the extra running after matches and everything that coach has us do, had us ready to wrestle for six minutes, not give up and capitalize on mistakes,” said Cluff following his first match Thursday.
Cluff reflected on his first career win Thursday at the State Tournament and said, “It’s amazing. It’s amazing to not have to look up into the stands to all the fans who have traveled with you all season and not have to disappoint them or feel like you could have done better. We all get to come back tomorrow, wrestle two more matches at least and win one of them we’re on the podium.”
The senior also took the time to mention his coaches and the work and effort they put in to help him achieve his goals.
“I just want to thank coach for all of the hard work and dedication he gives me in the room and time that both of them give me and I’m going to get on that podium this year,” Cluff said Thursday.
Ryan Applegate is the Sports Editor for The Times-Gazette. Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.