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LOUISVILLE — Though out of breath, Oldham County High School senior Tyler Kaelin had a big smile on his face after winning the fifth region’s 132-pound weight class.
“Win or lose my life is fantastic,” he said. “I am really enjoying wrestling right now.”
Kaelin led the Colonels to a second-straight region five title Saturday at Fern Creek High School and received the meet’s most outstanding wrestler award.
OCHS put eight wrestlers in the finals winning six of those matches to post 237.5 points, ahead of second place North Oldham with 196.5 points. South Oldham finished seventh in the eight-team field with 91 points.
OCHS, NOHS and SOHS will send a combined 25 wrestlers to the state meet Friday and Saturday at the Alltech Arena at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park.
Kaelin pinned Alex Burke of Male in the second period of the region finals to take his second straight regional title.
He won the event at 125 pounds in 2011.
Riordan said Kaelin has more than enough ability to win a state championship as well.
“Tyler is very good on his feet and he has gotten better in other areas too,” Riordan said. “Plus, no one in his weight class is unbeatable.”
Like Kaelin, NOHS senior Chase Rusch enters the state meet on a high note. Rusch took the 160-pound title with an 18-2 decision over Haziel Lopez of Jeffersontown in the finals.
“If I stay healthy and stay strong I should be able to do what I want to do,” Rusch said.
NOHS put seven wrestlers in the finals and won six. Mitch Rusch made it a family affair taking the title at 145-pounds. Also winning titles for the Mustangs were Keegan Dugan at 120, Loren Avera at 138, Dylan Marksbury at 170 and Will Conrad at 195.
SOHS’ Roy Bisenius carried the Dragons’ banner winning the 126-pound title.
Other champions for OCHS were Brady Emerson at 106 pounds, John Shirkey at 113, Zac Gnadinger at 182, CJ Weires at 220-pounds and Mikey Caudill at 285 pounds.
Gnadinger is one of several wrestlers in the Colonels’ stable who could make a run at a state title.
“We’ve got five or six guys that are tough as nails right now,” Riordan said. “I would not be a bit surprised if any of them or all of them make it to the finals.”
Story by Mickey Patterson/Special to The Oldham Era
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