MEDINA — The Medina Invitational Tournament has been a way of life for Ian Senz and Brady Chrisman for as long as the Bees seniors can remember.
That’s why it would mean the world to them if they could join teammate and returning MIT placer Lee Coleman (285 pounds) on the top step of the podium.
All three reached the semifinals Wednesday and are assured a top-six finish. But it’s that No. 1 spot they crave.
Chrisman (170) reached the semifinals last year in an eventual third-place finish and Coleman was eighth, while Senz (138) missed the podium.
That’s why the romp to the round of four had Senz buzzing long after his day was done.
He’ll have top seed and returning state runner-up Alex Isbrandt of Miami East this afternoon, but hasn’t lost sight of just how special it is to be part of the 43rd annual field.
“It would mean the world to me and my family because every year I’ve pulled up just a little bit short of what I’ve wanted to do,” Senz said. “Every day I’ve looked for ways to push myself, whether it’s going for a run as fast as I can and as long as I can or if it’s drilling with the best kids in the room.
“This tournament is something I’ve always looked up to. It’s making it on the podium for the MIT and getting my name on the banner for state.”
Chrisman knows the drive as well, as he used to run the bout sheets from the floor to the head table up top.
His run at the MIT has been tough at times, as he finished a round from placing as a freshman, got hurt as a sophomore and fell a few steps short as a junior.
Back for his swan song, the Kent State signee wants to join Matt Hammer (2011), Mike Griffith (2009) and Mark Balog (1995) as the only Bees to win this tournament.
While returning state champion Emil Soehnlen of Massillon Perry likely sits on the other side, Buckeye’s Jarod Setliff stands in his way in the semifinals.
“This is my home gym,” Chrisman said. “I love wrestling here. I have friends and family from all over. Winning this one and ending my last tournament here and my last matches here would mean so much to me. It’s leaving a legacy that I set out to make when I started here as a freshman. This would be the cherry on top for me.”
Wadsworth’s Joey Baughman (182) has tasted the top at many levels as well and the MIT is one of those success stories.
Second to Brunswick’s Nick Kiussis as a sophomore, Baughman wrestled the premier match last year at the MIT and knocked off Kiussis by a point.
While the tournament isn’t the be-all, end-all of the wrestling season, it showed the three-time state placer exactly where he wanted to be.
He’s got Genoa’s Xavier Beach in the semis with a probable final against St. Vincent-St. Mary state placer David Heath.
“There’s a lot of tough teams, a lot of tough opponents here,” Baughman said. “It sets you up for state because that’s all you’re going to see there.
“You definitely measure yourself at a tournament like this and learn from the mistakes you make. Not everyone is perfect. A lot of the good kids make mistakes at this point of the season, but after this is when you kick it on.”
Joey Baughman joins teammates Logan Messer (132), Luke Baughman (138), Michael North (145), Clay McComas (220) and Jordan Earnest (285) in the semifinals today as the Grizzlies look to defend their team championship.
Brunswick has Logan Heil (120) and Matt Fields (132) alive up top, while Cloverleaf will pin its hopes on Cory Stallings (195).
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
MEDINA — Results from the 43rd annual Medina Invitational Tournament at Medina High School:
Teamstandings: 1. Wadsworth 127; 2. Massillon Perry 122; 3. Harrison 89; 4. Genoa 86.5; 5. Louisville 83; 6. St. Vincent-St. Mary 81.5; 7. Lancaster 74; 8. Miami East 73.5; 9. Olentangy 70.5; 10. Beaver 69; 11. Olmsted Falls 67.5; 12. Medina, Napoleon, Galion Northmor 65; 15. Buckeye, Cloverleaf, Perkins 64.5; 18. Brunswick 63; 19. New Lexington 60.5; 20. Upper Arlington 57.5; 21. Austintown-Fitch 56.5; 22. Bay, Richmond (Mich.) 55.5; 24. Beavercreek 53; 25. Westerville North 51; 26. Hilliard Darby 50; 27. Firelands 46.5; 28. Oak Harbor 44.5; 29. Copley 39; 30. Dayton Carroll, Smithville 38; 32. Gahanna Lincoln 35; 33. Mayfield 34; 34. Highland, Northridge 29; 36. Lorain 24; 37. Olentangy Orange 23; 38. Green 22; 39. Norwayne, Wellington 19; 41 Elmwood 15; 42. Lutheran West, Miami Trace 13; 44. River Valley 7.
Semifinalpairings: 106: Payton Burgdorf (Fir) vs. Max Orpzadek (Per); Caleb Hernandez (Nap) vs. Garrett Lautzen Heiser (Lou). 113: Logan Agin (Lan) vs. Mitch Herren (UA); Ryan Jakubiak (Lou) vs. Jacob Sherman (Ole). 120: Graham Shore (ME) vs. Cameron Dickman (OH); Logan Heil (Bru) vs. Cole McComas (Bea). 126: Klay Reeves (Rid) vs. Micah Norwood (Lan); Justice Freeman (NL) vs. Kyle Gruber (Per). 132: Dylan D’Emilio (Gen) vs. Caleb Graber (Gre); Logan Messer (Wad) vs. Matt Fields (Bru). 138: Alex Isbrandt (ME) vs. Ian Senz (Med); Luke Baughman (Wad) vs. Luke Wymer (SVSM). 145: Josh Jaeckin (OF) vs. Alexander Gore (Ole); Conan Becker (NG) vs. Michael North (Wad). 152: Brett McIntosh (Har) vs. Conor Becker (NG); Jax Leonard (Lou) vs. Trenton Mathew (Smi). 160: James Limonji (GA) vs. Michael Ferree (Fit); Forest Belli (Rid) vs. David Carr (Per). 170: Emil Soehnlen (Per) vs. Simon Shirley (Har); Jarod Setliff (Buc) vs. Brady Chrisman (Med). 182: Joey Baughman (Wad) vs. Xavier Beach (GA); AJ McRitchie (Lan) vs. David Heath (SVSM). 195: Max Boyle (Har) vs. Jarin Curtis (Per); Cory Stallings (Clo) vs. Matthew Cover (Bay). 220: Colton McKierman (Ric) vs. Clay McComas (Wad); Cameron Sauerwein (Har) vs. Adam Luster (Per). 285: Jordan Earnest (Wad) vs. Lee Coleman (Med); Jacob Cover (HD) vs. Adam Neil (SVSM).