A record-setting 10 Rochester wrestlers will compete for a berth in the IHSAA State Championships Saturday at the Fort Wayne Semistate.
Each Zebra needs to win their first two matches to advance. Despite winning a second-straight regional team title, Rochester will have stiff competition to reach the state finals on Feb. 17-18 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Rochester produced three individual champions at the Peru Regional, which slotted them into more favorable early-round matches at the semistate.
Brady Beck (38-0), a junior ranked No. 2 at 220 pounds, captured his third regional title and will open the semistate Saturday against Wes-Del freshman Luke Powers (31-10).
The winner of the that match will face either Jimtown senior Connor McPhee (25-14) or Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran senior Chance Harris (30-5) in the “ticket round” to advance to the state finals.
Rochester regional champion Layne Horn (36-0), a freshman ranked No. 1 in the state at 106 pounds, makes his semistate debut against Winchester junior Quentin Keen (28-7).
The winner draws either Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger freshman Javier Henry (28-12) or East Noble sophomore Kealan Fuller (24-6), ranked No. 16.
Senior Aaron Swango (36-5, ranked No. 25), Rochester’s third regional champion at 126 pounds, opens the semistate against Whitko sophomore Jonathan Courter (25-14). The winner faces either Jay County junior Cody Rowles (35-1, ranked No. 8) or Northridge junior Graysen Beasley (32-7).
Senior Ethan Holloway (36-2, ranked No. 8 at 120) battles New Haven sophomore Timmy Rocha (35-7) in his opening match. The winner faces either Delta junior Neal Mosier (35-0, ranked No. 5) or Northwood sophomore Calix Truex (23-6, ranked No. 20).
At 152, senior Grayson Gard (33-3, ranked No. 11) opens against DeKalb senior Elijah Knepper (32-9). The winner gets Bellmont sophomore Gavin Davis (38-5, ranked No. 8) or Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger senior Eric Delaney (26-13).
Tenth-ranked Brant Beck (35-3 as a freshman) has his semistate debut against Daleville junior Reazon Davenport (23-6) with the winner facing either Garrett junior Chase Leach (36-1, ranked No. 4) or Northridge senior Cael Arroyo (22-6).
At 170, junior Colin Weiand (31-10) takes the mat first against DeKalb sophomore Dominic Dunn (21-16). The winner faces Columbia City senior Tanner Reed (36-2, ranked No. 9) or Bluffton senior Levi Kahn (32-7).
Senior Gavin McKee (10-4) needs to defeat Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger senior Lukas Alderice (28-11) to get a “ticket round” match at 182 pounds with either Northwood senior Kaden Lone (38-4, ranked No. 8), or Norwell’s Stuart McCabe (16-10).
If junior Alex Deming (39-0, ranked No. 6) gets by Lakeland junior Noah Owsley (11-9) in the 195-pound bracket, he will face either Leo junior Eli Coolman (29-9) or Adams Central junior Trevor Currie (38-4, ranked No. 14) for a trip to the state finals.
And Rochester senior Carlos Orduno (18-8) will try to extend his career at 285 pounds against Heritage’s Parker Hennessey (27-7). The winner faces either Elkhart senior Brayden Jellison (28-4, ranked No. 8) or Delta junior Isaac Moss (25-14).