McARTHUR, Ohio — About the only thing that slowed down the Gallia Academy High School wrestling squad on Saturday was the weather.
Otherwise, even by winning by only a single point — and wrestling without four starters — the Blue Devils did indeed capture the annual Vinton County Invitational.
Bolstered by winning five individual weight classes, and placing in all but three, the Blue Devils edged Zane Trace 237-236 to claim the team championship.
The Blue Devils didn’t compete in the 126-pound, 138-pound and heavyweight classes, as Zane Trace filled all the weights except for 126 — and won four individual titles.
However, the Blue Devils did utilize their lightweight depth, as Gallia Academy took three of the top four spots at 106 — and had two placers at 113.
Gallia Academy’s five champions were Caleb Greenlee at 106, Jared Stevens at 120, Kaleb Crisenbery at 152, Lane Pullins at 160 and Hunter Jacks at 182.
While Greenlee won his championship bout with a pin in 23 seconds, and Crisenbery did the same in 32 ticks, perhaps the most critical wins were Jacks’ third-period pinfall in his title bout — along with Pullins prevailing in his championship match in overtime.
Jacks needed five-and-a-half minutes to pin Hillsboro senior Austin Miller, while Pullins won with an 8-6 decision over Vinton County’s Tim Bunnell.
“The team scored every point they could to win by one point,” said GAHS coach Todd May. “Our team stepped up. This is the second tournament we have won this year and they are working hard. It was a great team effort.”
Saturday’s invitational featured 16 teams, 14 of which that scored points.
After Gallia Academy (237) and Zane Trace (236), host Vinton County was third with 182 points, followed closely by Hillsboro (177), Unioto (161), Jackson (155) and Westfall (136).
Meigs, which was spearheaded by its only weight-class champion in senior Trae Hood, placed eighth with 87 points.
For the Blue Devils, and in addition to Greenlee, Jason Stroud was second and Kenton Ramsey fourth at 106.
Kyle Greenlee was the runner-up at 113, as Corbin Walker was sixth in the same weight class.
Justin Day (132), Kaden Ehman (145) and Logan Griffith (220) all placed fifth for Gallia Academy, while Darren Owens (195) and Andrew Mullins (170) both placed eighth.
Hood led the Marauders with his 220-pound championship, pinning Jared Conn of Hillsboro in three minutes and 18 seconds for the title.
The remainder of the Marauders all finished fourth or lower — as Nathaniel Gearheart was fourth at 152.
Other Meigs placers included Tucker Smith (132), Grant Adams (170) and Keynath Rowe (182) taking sixth, Brandon Justis (220) sporting seventh, and Clayton Hanna (106) ending up eighth.
Zane Trace’s four champions were Jordan Hoselton (113), Dawson Hoselton (145), Austin Carroll (195) and Tanner Kunz (285).
Other weight-class champions included Wyatt Webb of Vinton County at 126, Wes Davenport of Unioto at 132, Ben Davenport of Unioto at 170, and Kyle Kirby of Jackson at 138.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106