MANSFIELD — Ontario’s Mason Turnbaugh claimed family bragging rights Saturday night inside Pete Henry Gym.
Considering his family’s wrestling pedigree, that’s heady stuff.
A sophomore, Turnbaugh became the first member of his immediate family to win a J.C. Gorman Invitational title with a third-period pin of Northmor’s Carson Campbell in the 138-pound finals.
Mason’s father, Ontario coach Wes Turnbaugh, won a Division II state title at 145 pounds for the Warriors in 1999. Older brother Colton was a three-time state qualifier. Older brother Ethan was a Division II state runner-up at 160 pounds in 2021.
None of them took home the top prize at the Gorman, which celebrated its 60th anniversary over the weekend.
“It’s means a lot to me. I guess I one-upped pretty much everybody,” Turnbaugh said with a laugh. “That’s pretty cool.”
The ninth-ranked Division II 138-pounder according to Ohio high school wrestling analyst Billy Schaefer, Turnbaugh ran his season record to 15-0 with four wins over the weekend. Two of those wins came against state-ranked wrestlers, including the championship victory over Campbell (ranked sixth at 138 in Division III).
“There were a bunch of ranked kids. It was really good competition,” said Turnbaugh, who hadn’t been scored upon before this weekend. “I feel good on the mat. I feel good at the weight. Everything feels pretty good right now.”
Turnbaugh’s teammate, 120-pounder Jacob Ohl, won his second consecutive Gorman title after taking first at 113 pounds last year. Ohl beat Gradey Harding, Galion’s freshman phenom, 3-2 in the finals with a takedown in the final 10 seconds.
The win was Ohl’s third over Harding this season. The junior beat him twice at Galion’s Kooper McCabe Memorial Pool Tournament last month by scores of 3-1 and 6-5 in an ultimate tie-breaker. The possibility exists that Ohl (16-1) could see Harding (16-4) five more times this season.
“There aren’t a lot of secrets between the two of us,” Ohl said. “We know how the matches are going to go before we step out there.”
Ohl was one of four local wrestlers to win back-to-back Gorman crowns Saturday. Ashland’s Roman Parobek claimed the title at 126 after winning at 120 last year. Mapleton’s Brock Durbin followed last year’s championship at 126 with the 132 title this year. Crestview’s Hayden Kuhn won at 144 after taking the 132 championship last year.
A senior and the 12th-ranked Division I 126-pounder, Parobek beat Northmor’s Cowin Becker 3-1 in the finals to improve to 16-1 on the season. Becker is ranked eighth at 126 in Division III.
“I had a tough finals match, but I thought I wrestled well,” Parobek said. “I don’t think I’m where I need to be yet, especially since we moved back up to Division I, but I’m getting there.”
A projected Division III state finalist at 144, Kuhn beat Pleasant’s fifth-ranked Daxton Chase 5-1 to improve to 13-2. Kuhn beat Chase twice last year, including at the state tournament.
“Every time it has been a real close match,” Kuhn said. “He’s a really good wrestler and it’s a really good match every time I wrestle him. We have a pretty good chance of meeting again at state.”
So was it tougher to win the first Gorman title, or defend the crown?
“Any time you’re in the finals of a tournament and you’re wrestling a top 10 guy in the state, it feels good to win. Since I won last year, I felt like people were gunning for me a little bit more this year.”
In addition to the five Gorman champs, the area produced three runners-up. Ashland’s Jon Metzger was second at 157, while Mansfield Senior’s Mekhi Bradley was second at 215 and Galion’s Alex Griffin was second at 285.
Medina Buckeye’s Eddie Neitenbach took home the Bill Flanagan Most Outstanding Wrestler award for an unprecedented second straight year after winning the 190-pound title. Buckeye ended Ashland’s five-year reign as team champ as the Bucks claimed the team title with 313.5 points.
The Arrows were a distant second with 178 points, followed by Indian Valley (168.5), Clear Fork (145.5), Ontario (135.5) and Galion (128).