(DHI Media/ Chad Hirschy)
(DHI Media/ Chad Hirschy)

COLUMBUS - The goal of any wrestler making it to the state tournament is to make the podium on Saturday evening.

For a pair of area wrestlers that goal came up one match short Friday afternoon at the state wrestling tournament at the Schottenstein Center.

Competing in the consolation bracket Van Wert’s Gabe Steyer and Delphos St. John’s Trent Vonderwell both saw their seasons come to an end one win shy of making the award stands.

After dropping into the Division II consolation bracket, after a loss in the championship quarterfinals Friday morning, Steyer returned to the mats early Friday afternoon to face Caiden Blust of Tiffin Columbian.

Steyer entered the start of the third period tied with Blust at 2-2. Blust regained the lead at 7-2 with a take down and three near fall points. Steyer continued to battle Blust but was unable to get an advantage before Blust added two more near fall points for a 9-2 win.

In the quarterfinals Friday morning, Steyer faced Wade Monebrake of Eaton. Monebrake advanced to the championship semi-finals with a 7-5 win.

This match came down to the final period as the two wrestlers were tied 3-3 after two periods. Monebrake took a 6-3 lead in the final period as he countered a Steyer move and was able to get him on his back. Steyer was able to pick up two points with a reversal. Monebrake picked up another point late in the match as Steyer was forced to let him up in an effort to get a quick take down.

Steyer ends his junior season with a 41-4 record.

In his only match Friday, Vonderwell faced Troy Christian senior Nick Baker in a Division III consolation match at 220 pounds. Vonderwell gave Baker a good battle Friday until the Troy Christian wrestler was able to get the upper hand and pin the Blue Jay senior at the 2:38 point of their match.

“It wasn’t easy,” Vonderwell said of the setback. “I was able to get a win yesterday, but I knew this was going to be a tough opponent as I faced him at districts. He beat me there to, but I did a lot better today than I did a t districts against him. I was happy about that.”

Baker had a 2-1 lead after the opening period, then used a take down late in the second period to get the advantage on Vonderwell before finally getting his back to the mat for a pin. Vonderwell said having faced Baker last week was helpful in their match today.

“I kind of remembered what he did last week and I defended what he was doing more,” Vonderwell said. “Last week, I had never seen him and didn’t know what to expect. This time I knew what he could do and I could defend that a little better. In wrestling every thing depends on who gets the better move at the right time.

“I felt good coming in today. This is what everyone trains for for the whole year. Just making it here, I was happy and the win yesterday didn’t bring me down at all, I guarantee you that.”

Vonderwell ends his season with a 37-14 record.