by JOHN Howley / sportingpumpkin.com
COLUMBUS — Teays Valley has locked up two spots on the awards’ podium at the Division I state wrestling championships.
Senior Camden McDanel won a 13-1 major decision to move on to the 190-pound semifinals and senior Joey Thurston had to come back in the consolation round two secure a spot at heavyweight.
McDanel (40-2) moved on by beating Centerville senior Gunnar Pool (38-10) Saturday morning.
“He dominated that kid who’s probably ranked top-five in the state,” TV coach Todd Nace said. “He was a big strong kid.
“I think he sees the Springboro kid (Myles Johnson) next, who he’s beaten already. We got to stay in shape, stay in position and be ready to go for that match in the semis.”
Johnson (50-2) advanced to the semis with 12-5 and 5-2 decisions.
They’ll face off about 7:30.
Thurston had to wrestle twice in Saturday’s opening session. He lost a 3-1 overtime matchup with Archbishop Moeller’s Lucas Stuerenberg and came back in the consolation bracket to beat Connor Garren (42-7) of Olentangy Orange 3-1.
“I just went out there and tried to wrestle the way I’ve been wrestling and keeping my energy. All it was was win two matches and now I’m placing and will go for another step,” Thurston said. “It was just staying calm and listening, waiting for him to make a mistake. Just wrestling the way the coaches keep telling me to and never giving up.
After losing in that consolation second round the past two years, moving to the quarterfinals guarantees Thurston a spot on the podium.
“It’s been my goal for the last four years to make it on the podium and I wasn’t going to let him stop me from that,” Thurston said.
“Joey did a great job. We’ve been preaching to him about being patient,” Nace said. “Zero-zero in the first period is OK, he gets an escape and we’re up 1-0. He gets that takedown, it’s huge.
“His riding was way better this match than it’s been in a couple matches. He had more pressure on the kid and the kid had no answer for him. He was in great position; he was listening and he deserves this match.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity for him to be on the podium.”
Thurston will take on Mustafa Woodi (36-5) in tonight’s consolation quarterfinals, which will be one of the final matches of the night.