Genoa’s Jay Nino, a 220-pound junior, set a state season record for victories by beating Ben Sullivan.
Two-time Division III state wrestling dual team champion Delta wanted to make the individual tournament a memorable extension of an otherwise historic wrestling season for the Panthers’ program.
Genoa's 220-pound junior Jay Nino wanted to win a title and make his own history.
Both were successful.
PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view photos from the state meet.
With a team-record 12 state qualifiers, the Panthers had visions of collecting multiple individual titles en route to the team title. The Panthers were shut out of individual titles on Saturday at Value City Arena, but they still showed plenty of depth to finish atop the standings with 141 points, followed by Dayton Christian with 122.5 points.
Nino found his way to the top step of the awards podium by pinning New Paris National Trail's Ben Sullivan at the 5:03 mark. Nino's win improved his record to 65-2, which put him in the state record books for most wins in a single season. The previous record was 64 wins by Archbold's Jordan Cowell during the 2011-12 season.
"I'm so excited that I don't really know what to say," Nino said. "It's the best feeling I've ever had."
Nino trailed Sullivan 2-1 during the third period before coming up with a reverse move and eventually turning it into a match-ending pin.
"He was running an arm bar and it was loose, and I just turned up and into him and came out on top and went into a scramble and put him on his back," Nino said.
Delta senior Kyle Keller, a 120-pounder, was the lone Delta wrestler to reach a finals match. The three-time state placer lost 6-3 to defending state champion Garrett Hancock of Troy Christian.
Keller, whose previous best finish was fourth, was happy with the runner-up finish and the team winning a fifth team title.
"By far, this was the greatest moment in my career, win or lose," Keller said. "All I wanted to do was to make the state finals and I finally did. I went out there swinging and came up short. Oh well."
Delta coach Tony Carrizales thought Keller (52-7) performed admirably.
"I couldn't be more proud of Kyle this weekend, or his whole senior year really," Carrizales said. "But this last month, he wrestled as good as he has ever in high school."
Carrizales was named the D-III wrestling coach of the year on Friday.
"To bring 12 guys down is a little reflective of how good of a dual team we were in winning the dual title a couple of weeks ago," he said.
"Individually, we had some hiccups. Potentially this is a team that could have scored 30, 40 or 50 more points. I think what it really says is, No.1, we are team that is pretty dang good. No. 2, we're a program that is up and coming and are doing the right things."
Delta finished as runner-up to Dayton Christian at last year's individual meet, and the last time the Panthers won the individual team title occurred in 1999.
Carrizales said the Panthers' results at the individual tournament is probably more significant than either of the team's state dual team championships, primarily because the dual team tournament is only two years old compared to the 77-year-old individual tournament.
Woodmore senior Evan Ulinski had an opportunity to collect a championship a day after knocking off 113-pound favorite Jake Spiess of Delta in a semifinal.
However, Ulinski's quest was denied by Dayton Christian's Christian Clary (53-5), the defending 113-pound champion.
Clary pinned Ulinski (51-3) at the 2:46 mark.
"[Ulinski] just got into a position and we weren't able to pop our head out, and he got us into a cradle," Woodmore coach Dane Bonnigson said.
Clary recognized Ulinski leaning forward on one leg early in the match and pounced on an opportunity later in the match to grab it.
Delta owned the consolation matches that took place earlier in the day. They started the day trailing Dayton Christian 104.5 to 98 in the team scoring.
However, seven Panthers combined to score 43 points during the consolation matches.
Drew Mattin (106), Spiess (113), Jesse Beverly (152), and Tyler Fahrer (160) came through to earn third-place finishes.
Dustin Marteney (132) and Devon Richards (220) placed fifth, while Ryan Patchin (182) was sixth and Chance Veller (285) seventh.
"We crunched the numbers [on Friday night], and we knew it was going to be tough, but we knew that we could," Carrizales said. "We set that challenge for the boys, and they responded."
Fremont St. Joe's 285-pounder Corey Durbin was a runner-up after losing 6-0 to Akron Manchester's Jacob Hanzel in the final.
Northwood 's 126-pounder Devon Dunbar earned a third-place medal.
Archbold's 145-pounder Logan Day and 220-pounder Travis Jaramillo earned third-place medals, while 138-pound teammate Kenny Price earned a fifth-place medal.
Otsego's 132-pounder Trent Soto and Jordan Hendix (160) produced sixth-place finishes.
Findlay Liberty-Benton's Tyler Sarreshteh (120) was fifth.
Elmwood's Jacob Wise (170) walked away with a seventh-place finish.