Dalton Ishmael's quest for a state title in the Division III state wrestling tournament has reached its final stage.
|Dalton Ishmael (left) locks up with Brady Clayton during the 195 weight class championship match. (Photos: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
The 195-pound North Baltimore wrestler has been on a mission since he lost in last year's tournament to Garrett Linton of Rootstown in the semifinals. Ishmael was 48-0 at the time. He came back to take third and Linton won the title.
"After that match really I set myself to focus, to work harder than I did last year, to get bigger and to prepare myself mentally,'' said Ishmael. "This year I'm mentally preparing myself for all my matches."
As a sophomore he placed fifth in the state at 182 and he lost only one match in his junior year.
"It's definitely the state championship," said NB coach Jesse Thomas about Ishmael's quest. "It is what he has been working for and it has driven him since he started wrestling.''
This year he has posted a mark of 42-1 and has set the state career record for pins with 152 and counting. He has pinned all of his opponents save three. He won two by decision.
His loss came by injury disqualification. His match had to be stopped because his opponent suffered an injury. The referee ruled his hold was illegal and because his opponent couldn't continue Ishmael was disqualified.
His foundation in wrestling was set at an early age.
"I started wrestling because my dad was a coach," said Ishmael. ''I grew up into it. When I was in diapers, I went to practice with him and I watched it when I was two or three or so."
With his matches being so brief he has prepared for the stiffer competition in Columbus.
"I have been working on my conditioning. After wrestling a while, I wrestle a six-minute match, a four and half-minute match, and a three-minute match all in row,'' Ishmael said. ''I feel good for the six-minute match, but start to wear down at the three-minute match. This helps make my cardio good for the six-minute match. Last year I didn't have many six minute matches, but when I did I was not ready.
''This year I go hard in the first and second period and go harder in the third because I think I have worn them down,'' he continued. "In my repertoire for moves, I hit all kind of moves, but the ones I am hitting right now are working so I not going to veer away from them." Thomas said assistant coach Brian King has been working with Ishmael.
"I think something that Brian has on worked with him is his transition of moves. Just going from one move to another," said Thomas.
"I think what makes him so special is his experience, determination and his drive," Thomas added. "He wants it. He is hungry and I think that fits into his work ethic. This isn't his first year in the spotlight, I think he has been very humble about everything and just wants to go out there and wrestle."
Ishmael is not just a wrestler, he plays football and baseball also and carries a 3.8 accumulative grade point average.
"I not sure what college I'm going to got to. I plan on wrestling in college,'' Ishmael said. ''I'm not sure of a major, but I'm leaning toward pre-dentistry. With wrestling there is going to be a lot of time taken up, I might switch my major to something in the medical field."
The first round pairings for Thursday starting at 3 p,m. at the Value City Arena in Columbus are:
• Division I: 106 - Mario Guillen, Perrysburg (9) 31-7 vs. Johnathon Furnas, Olentangy Liberty (10) 27-9; 152 - J.P. Newton, Perrysburg (11) 36-6 vs. Wyatt Wilson, Moeller (12) 31-9; 170 - Rocco Caywood, Perrysburg (11) 33-5. vs. Matthew Walker, Hillard Darby (12) 44-3; 285 - Cale Bonner, Perrysburg (10) 36-8 vs. Jon Morgan-Cunningham, Bedford (11) 17-3.
• Division II; 120 - C.J Ball, Rossford (11) 33-5 vs. Garrett Carter, St. Vincent-St. Mary (10) 35-1; 170 -Randy Caris, Eastwood (12) 52-3 vs. Wyatt Running, Clinton Massie (12) 37-4.
• Division III: 126 - Trenton Soto, Otsego (10) 34-8 vs. Zack Nelson, Apple Creek Wayndale (12) 54-0; 145- Michael Baer, Elmwood (12) 42-13 vs. Thomas Williams, Northridge (12) 56-3; 195 - Dalton Ishmael, North Baltimore (12) 42-1 vs. Austin Kuchta, Elyria Catholic (11) 36-4.