INDIANAPOLIS — Kokomo’s Chad Gaddis scored a come-from-behind victory in the third period of his 152-pound match in the opening round of the IHSAA Wrestling State Finals on Friday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse and will join teammate Fletcher Miller, Peru’s Evan Loe and Western’s Corey Hinkle in today’s action in the state meet.
Quarterfinals begin at 9:30 a.m. Semifinals follow, then the consolation finals are at 5 p.m. and the championship matches begin at 7:30.
Gaddis scored a 10-6 victory over Carmel’s Eli Carlson with a five-point flurry in the final minute. Trailing 6-5 in the third period, Gaddis scored a takedown, then put Carlson on his back briefly to advance to this morning’s quarterfinals.
Gaddis had led 5-1 before running into trouble in the second period. It was tied 5-5 to start the third and the Kats decided to allow the Carmel wrestler to escape and take their chances on scoring a takedown to get back ahead.
“That put us down a point and Chad did a really good job,” Kokomo coach Ryan Wells said. “He gutted it out and found a way to make it happen. That was a great win for him.
“We’ve been talking all week that his goal wasn’t met yet, he wasn’t content with just being here. He wanted to medal. He wanted to be on the podium somewhere.”
Gaddis (52-3) faces Mishawaka’s Tristan Macri in this morning’s quarterfinals.
A third-place finisher in last week’s Fort Wayne Semistate, Gaddis was the only Tribune-area wrestler to advance from a spot below the top-seeded semistate winners. Miller, Loe and Corey Hinkle each won semistate titles last week and were among the four No. 1 seeds in their weight classes.
Miller, the runner-up last season at 220 pounds, won his opener handily, scoring an 11-2 victory over Ben Davis’ Kasha’ Wilder.