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It didn’t take long for Oldham County Middle School eighth grader Alex McIntosh to go from chump to champ.
In just his second year wrestling, McIntosh is a state champion.
McIntosh won the 168-pound weight class at the Kentucky Middle School Wrestling State Tournament Feb. 4 at Montgomery County, with an 8-4 win in the finals over Verity Middle School’s Grant Krueger.
North Oldham Middle School eighth grader Keegan Duncan also finished on top, taking the 121-pound weight class with a 10-6 victory in the finals over Angel Vasquez, from Lexington’s Five Star Wrestling Club.
As a team, NOMS finished fifth, as John Reitnauer also took runner-up at 130 pounds, Hudson Heidorf finished third at 113 pounds, Ben Thome grabbed fourth place at 152 pounds and Tanner Cochran placed fifth at 98 pounds.
OCMS took sixth overall, behind a runner-up finish by Brady Emerson at 105 pounds, third place by Max Emerson at 152 pounds and Zac Brooks at 75 pounds.
McIntosh said he gained momentum from winning by pin in the first and second rounds, as well as the sem-finals. He finished the season 43-1, after finishing as the state runner-up last year.
“It’s been hard because there’s nothing really easy about it,” McIntosh said. “It took a lot of practice. You just have to go out and wrestle as hard as you can.”
OCMS coach Tim Lange said he’s impressed by McIntosh’s use of take-downs and constant high intensity.
“A lot of those big kids just go into throws, but Alex is a very technical and smart wrestler,” Lange said. “He can think moves ahead and he has good body awareness, good mat awareness.”
Duncan, who also wrestles for North Oldham High School, impressed coach Kyle Goldsmith with the pressure he keeps on his opponents.
“One of my favorite kids I’ve ever coached because he’s just an old-fashioned, hard-working kid,” Goldsmith said. “He works harder than anybody and that’s why he’s successful.”
McIntosh’s father, Ernie McIntosh, said Alex is competitive. He said he’s not surprised by how quickly Alex developed into a state champion.
“It completely devastates him when he’s not first in something,” Ernie said. “Wrestling is very much an individual sport and that competitive nature works well.”
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