COLUMBUS—South seniors Nik Urban and Spencer Dusi closed out their high school wrestling careers as All-Ohioans.
Urban placed third at 285 pounds and Dusi was fifth at 113 in the 2016 Division I OHSAA state wrestling championships at the Schottenstein Center on Saturday.
Urban became a two-time placer after finishing sixth in 2014 and he also qualified for state last season as a junior.
“It's a good feeling,” Urban said. “Ending my wrestling career with a win made it even better. I'm very happy with it.”
For the second time in three years, Urban reached the semifinals at state but was pinned in a tie match by defending state champion Kevin Vough of Elyria in 5 minutes 5 seconds. Vough defaulted out of the championship bout to finish second.
“I knew it was a tough match and I hung with a top guy,” Urban said of his semifinals loss. “Knowing that I was disappointed I didn't get the win but knew if I wrestled my way I can get third.”
Urban rebounded with a 4-2 win over Copley’s Arman Samouk in the consolation semifinals to advance to the third place match, where he edged West Chester Lakota West’s Tim Tanner-Blair, 1-0, to close out his career as the most successful heavyweight in South wrestling history.
“It's a humbling experience,” he said. “I can't really say much more. I'm gonna’ miss the sport. It’s pretty awesome. I wouldn't have been able to do any of it without coach (Guy) Trinetti and the other coaches. They made me into the wrestler I am. It's nice knowing I made the impact I did.”
Urban will play football at Northwestern University.
Dusi opened the 2015 state tournament with an overtime loss to eventual 106 pound state champion Caleb Yates of Whitehall Anthony Wayne and was eliminated from the tournament after a 15-5 major decision loss to Lancaster’s Coleton Chase in the first round of consolation wrestling.
His goal for his senior year was to earn a spot on the podium and he did it with some clutch wins in the consolation bracket.
He won his first bout, 6-5, over Cincinnati Moeller’s Jordan Ward, then lost to eventual state champion Brendon Fenton of Elyria.
Dusi then pinned Dresden Tri-Valley’s William Harris in 2:31 to guarantee his all-Ohio status, but he wasn’t satisfied.
He went out and avenged the loss to Chase with a 2-0 decision before falling to Lakewood St. Edward’s Matt Kazimir, 3-2 in overtime, in the consolation semifinals. Dusi closed out the tournament and his career with a 7-4 win over Clayton Northmont’s Chad Craft in the fifth place match.
“I feel I wrestled very well at the tournament,” Dusi said. “I had many opportunities that I didn't capitalize on though. It is one of the greatest feelings being on the podium with your friends and family supporting you the whole time.”
Dusi plans to continue wrestling in college.