COLUMBUS: Rootstown senior Travis Linton and St. Vincent-St. Mary senior Aaron Adkins concluded their high school wrestling careers in exciting fashion Saturday night.
Wrestling on mats right next to each other, Linton and Adkins each emerged victorious in the closing seconds of their 182-pound state championship matches in Division III and Division II, respectively, at Value City Arena in the Schottenstein Center.
The wins gave both standouts their second state title in a row.
Linton (49-2) defeated Jamestown Greenview senior Armani Robinson 3-2 with three points in the final 15 seconds of the third period.
Adkins, who won two Division III state titles on the St. V-M football team, upped his record to 46-5 by beating Urbana sophomore Jack Harris 5-4 with an escape with 24 seconds to go in the third period.
Perry won the Division I team state title with 185 points. Coach Dave Riggs said 10 Panthers placed in the top eight, including three champions – seniors David Bavery (51-5), Casey Sparkman (51-5) and Tony Dailey (43-4). Bavery beat Kettering Fairmont senior Josh Parrett 3-1 at 126, Sparkman won 11-8 over Elyria sophomore Ben Darmstadt at 152 and Dailey beat Cincinnati Princeton senior A.J. Kowal at 160.
Two Walsh Jesuit wrestlers won Division I titles, sophomore Alex Mackall (40-7) at 120 and senior Michael Kostandaras (40-6) at 138. Mackall won 7-4 over Perry junior Jake Newhouse and Kostandaras won 6-4 over Perry junior Nick Steed.
Other area champs were: Wadsworth sophomore Noah Baughman (Div. I, 106, 47-3), Black River senior Sebastian Vidika (Div. III, 106, 43-1), CVCA senior Tyler Maclellan (Div. II, 195, 39-5) and Manchester senior Jacob Hanzel (Div. III, 285, 36-3).
Hanzel, who beat Fremont St. Joseph Central Catholic senior Corey Durbin 6-0.
Baughman won 6-3 over Perry senior Tommy Genetin (44-7).
Adkins and Linton both shared a hug in the hallway and spoke about their triumphs with each other.
Linton scored an escape with 15 seconds left in his match and a takedown with nine seconds to go.
Perry wrestlers who finished second were Genetin at 106, junior Jose Rodriguez (28-3) at 113, Newhouse (40-10) at 120 and Steed (29-6) at 138.
Other wrestlers who placed second were: Brunswick freshman Nick Kiussis (Div. I, 132, 32-5), Rootstown senior Zack Ladich (Div. III, 152, 45-8), Norwayne junior Kollin Moore (Div. III, 160, 50-1), Northwestern senior Joey Meek (Div. III, 170, 48-4), Crestwood senior Kenny Jackson (Div. II, 195, 38-6) and West Branch senior Logan Sharp (Div. II, 285, 34-4).