At the 55th J.C. Gorman Wrestling Invite at Mansfield Senior High School, St. Paul senior Derek Gross took home the title in the 145-pound weight class. Norwalk’s Ethan Hernandez and Gabe Phillips also found success and a spot on the podium as Hernandez took second at 152 and Phillips grabbed third at 170.
Gross began his tournament on Friday cruising to a 16-0 win in the opening round. He then proceeded to dominate his next two matches earning pins in the first period. In his semifinal match, he earned a 17-5 major decision over Northmor’s Conor Becker to give him a chance to wrestle for the tournament championship. He faced off against Brian Persinger of Triway defeating him 7-4 earning the championship. He was the only St. Paul Flyer to podium at the event.
Hernandez worked hard for his spot in the final match. He took his tournament-opening bout 4-0 then pinned Shelby’s Isaiah Hicks in 1:11 into the first period. That set up a showdown with Bucyrus’ Damon Parsell where Hernandez again earned a pin 3:35 into the match. He rolled on to defeat Ian Maund of Mapleton 5-4 setting up a showdown against top-rated Sid Ohl of Ashland. Ohl took home the title with a 13-5 major decision as Hernandez walked out with a runner-up finish.
Phillips started his tournament against Max Honigford of St. Paul pinning him in 49 seconds. Phillips pinned his way into a matchup with Trevor Bowman of Shelby where he scored a 5-4 decision punching his ticket to the semifinals and a match against Aidan Ammons of Lexington. Ammons scored a 4-1 win to put Phillips into to bottom bracket. He was paired with Tristian Pitz of Ashland and took care of business beating him 14-3 to set up a rematch with Bowman. Phillips scored a 3-2 win to take third place.