16 local wrestlers headed to state finals


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 10:57 am on Monday, February 20, 2012

Lakeview’s Jordan Betham, left, seen here staring down Tri County’s Brandon Skeel, won the 152-pound class in the Division 3 individual regional tournament Saturday. — File photo

There are 16 local wrestlers who were good enough to make it into the state individual wrestling tournament.

Those 16 will be headed to the Palace of Auburn Hills March 1-2 for the individual finals, trying to bring back a state championship.

Of those 16, six came from Greenville and three were from Carson City-Crystal.

Yellow Jacket wrestlers who are moving on from the Division 2 regional were led by Jordan Thomas, who raised his record to 42-0 with a first-place finish in the 189-pound class at the Mount Pleasant regional.
Second places went to Alec Ward in the 125-pound division and Luke Gilmore at 160. Devon Lehman was third in the 140-pound class and Mike Schmidt (103 pounds) and Carter Magirl (215) were fourth.

“We happened to have a real difficult region,” Johnson said. “The other district we ran into had St. Johns. In fact, St. Johns had a champion at 10 weight classes.”

Greenville had 11 qualifiers for regionals.

“Everyone had to wrestle their best to qualify,” Johnson said. “We just fell a little bit shy of getting the number of kids through that we expected to get through.”

The Eagles claimed two places in one weight class at the Division 4 regional at New Lothrup. Ken Dittenber was the winner of the 103-pound class and Alex Baker was fourth. In fact, the two had to wrestle each other in the regional, and Dittenber pinned Baker in 1:08.

The other placer was Eric Ward, who was second in the 152-pound division.

Montabella’s Division 4 regional was at Manton, and two of their three qualifiers advanced.

Logan Burns was fourth in the 160-pound class, while Jonny Durham was third in the 171-pound division.

“I’m happy they are moving on,” Montabella coach Shaun Balhorn said. “They both worked hard and it’s nice to see they got some payout for their work.”

Balhorn said the regional “was easier than I think the district was. If you got out of the district you had a good chance to make it to state.”

Lakeview had two individuals advance from the Division 3 regional at Otsego. They were Jordan Betham, who won the 152-pound division, and Joe Main, who was second in the 189-pound class.

Belding also had two make it to the state tournament from Otsego with fourth-place finishes. Cody Douglas (152) and Zack Johnston (171) are advancing.

Central Montcalm’s only wrestler to advance was Cody Veltkamp, who was third in the 103-pound division at Otsego.

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