Wrestling: Kyle Ayersman gets ring but Lake Central loses
By John O’Malley Post-Tribune correspondent January 9, 2013 11:08PM
Updated: February 11, 2013 7:37AM
ST. JOHN — Three-time state champion Kyle Ayersman was honored and presented his state championship ring before Lake Central’s match with Merrillville.
While Ayersman’s appearance undoubtedly provided some inspiration for the Indians, the Pirates (17-3, 5-1) still managed to put a damper on LC’s Senior Night.
Merrillville won the last three matches to turn a tenuous 28-21 lead into a 40-21 Duneland Athletic Conference win Wednesday night.
“We were winning the match at 126, but then got pinned,’’ lamented LC coach Rod Wartman, after the Pirates’ Mike Martin stuck Josh Vandas in 4:24.
“I thought we wrestled well. Matt Lechowicz’s loss (5-3 to Adam Garcia) was a tough one.’’
The Indians (16-7, 2-4) also came up short at 132 as Jacob Covaciu edged LC’s Darius Arriaga (3-1) with a takedown 18 seconds into overtime.
The most interesting match was LC’s Gelen Robinson moving up to heavyweight to wrestle talented Merrillville freshman Shawn Streck.
Robinson, ranked No. 1 in the state at 220, improved to 31-0 with an 8-3 win.
“Bumping Gelen was good for my heavyweight,’’ Pirates coach Dave Maldonado said. “He needs those kinds of battles. That’s only going to help him. Gelen bumped up to wrestle Shawn because he knew he’d have a good match that’s competitive. That’s a sign of respect.’’
Robinson, third in the state at 220 last year, said the match was good for both wrestlers.
“He’s definitely one of the best wrestlers in his weight class, and one of my toughest matches this year,’’ he said. “I had some thoughts in the back of my mind about it, but no doubt I could do it. I trained really hard this week. I just went out there and did my best. I tried to get as many points as I could for my team.”
“The match is only going to help him. He’s really good. I can’t wait
to see him in a couple of years.’’