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Wrestling: Quinn, Baker Earn All-Ohio Honors

March 4, 2012
By SETH STASKEY , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

COLUMBUS - The motivation for Shadyside's Alex Quinn and Ian Baker was oozing out of them as the final day of the 75th annual Ohio State Wrestling Championship got underway.

Both were able to control their emotions and end their seasons on a high note after Friday night's difficult setbacks in the championship semifinals.

The Shadyside duo continued the Tigers' string of shining moments in the state tournament. For the second straight season, coach Scott Kinemond, who broke out the shirt and tie for the finals, is returning to Belmont County with a pair of all-state grapplers.

"I am really pleased with how the boys wrestled," Kinemond said. "They may have fallen short of the goals they had for themselves, but as a coach, I can't complain. I think there's only been one time since I've been the head coach when we brought someone up here and he didn't place, which says a lot about our kids, our program and my coaches."

The Tigers finished with 30.5 team points.

Quinn - a tough-luck 8-7 loser in the 152-pound semifinals - came back and restarted his mission Saturday morning as seemingly no one was going to stand in his way of finishing with the bronze medal.

"I came into (Saturday) with something to prove," Quinn said. "It was a good day."

While Quinn obviously wishes he could have finished two steps higher on the podium, he was basically a year behind the field after missing last season.

"What really got me going was the fact that I came into he season hungrier than most people," Quinn said. "I didn't have last season, so I came into the season anxious to prove that I hadn't missed a step and wasn't rusty. I wanted to prove that I belong here."

Quinn becomes the Tigers' 15th career bronze medalist in the state tournament. He did so with a pin of Massillon Tuslaw's D.J. Blair in the consolation semifinal and then his second pin of Brookville's David Williams.

During the quarterfinals on Friday, Quinn pinned the Brookville senior in 3:26, but he didn't nearly that long on Saturday.

After building a 4-0 lead, Quinn flipped Williams and was awarded the pin almost immediately.

"Alex had a little hiccup in the semifinals, but he definitely made up for that (Saturday)," Kinemond said.

Quinn, who finished the season with a 40-3 record, doesn't plan on wasting any time toward preparation for next season.

"I've got to keep lifting, training and working to get better," Quinn said. "There's always room for improvement and my goal is to win this next year."

Baker's day didn't start the way he had envisioned when he arrived at the Value City Arena.

Taking part in the consolation semifinals, Baker allowed a takedown with two seconds on the clock to Beachwood's Ryan Harris, who's been wrestling in the consolation round since Thursday evening, and dropped a tough 3-1 decision.

"That second loss (of the tournament) really worked my last nerve," Baker said. "It just set something off in my head and I knew I had to win the last one."

Baker returned to the mat a short-time later against Harrod Allen Easton's Colt Lovejoy for the fifth- and sixth-place match. Baker and Lovejoy met in the championship quarterfinals on Friday morning.

Similarly to Friday, Baker found a way to get it done. Despite trailing much of Saturday's match, Baker pulled out an 8-5 victory. He got the upperhand after executing a five-point move in the middle stages of the third period.

Baker worked for a takedown and then rolled it into three near-fall points before allowing Lovejoy an escape. However, Baker took charge again and finished the deal by garnering another takedown.

"I wanted to close out with a victory and prove that I belong here, and I am not just some guy from southeastern Ohio who's kind of good, but not good enough to get up with the big dogs."

Baker's season comes to a close with a strong 28-5 mark and the win in his final match gave him 100 for his career.

So what do for an encore?

"I want to win 50 matches and win the whole thing next year," Baker said.

Monroe Central junior Zac Potts is headed back to Monroe County with a bittersweet feeling.

Entering the state tournament, Potts set the goal for himself to place.

He achieved that by winning two matches in the consolation round, but he finished his season with back-to-back losses, which places him eighth at 152 pounds.

"It was a great experience making it here because I never would have thought that I'd be here, let alone placing," Potts said.

Potts was handed a tough 5-2 setback by Haviland Wayne Trace's Sawyer Temple in his final match.

"You always want to win your championship match regardless of what place you're going for," Potts said. "Even though eighth is the lowest place you can get, it's still All-Ohio. I just have to work hard and get better and hopefully improve next year."

Caldwell's Jeremy Border - a state runnerup last season - won three consecutive consolation matches to finish fourth at 132 pounds. He earned the bronze by virtue of a 5-1 victory against Liberty Center's Zach Niner.

Senior Kale Rayner was defeated in the seventh- and eighth-place match.

 
 

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