With six of eight wrestlers earning a spot on the podium, Kirtland finished in seventh place out of 14 teams at the 2018 Chagrin Valley Conference wrestling tournament at Hawken on Saturday.
“We were pretty happy with the guys that wrestled,” said Kirtland coach Scott Francis. “We only had eight guys and six of the placed, so that’s pretty good.”
Sophomore Jeff Kusar led the way for the Hornets with his 220-pound championship.
Kusar, who dropped from 285 to 220, pinned both of his opponents to earn his first conference title.
“He wrestled 185 last year and was up at 285 but the last couple of weeks the weight was coming off naturally for him and he decided to give it a shot at 220 and it paid off for him,” Francis said. “He’s buying in to how we like our upper weights to wrestle, which is patiently aggressive. Jeff’s hips are really strong and he knows where to put them. He’ll get into bad situations but he can work out of them. He’s good at turning bad situations into a good one.”
Junior Konnor Duncan finished third at 120 with his only setback coming via a 6-5 decision in the semifinals. He finished 4-1 with two pins and two wins over Cuyahoga Heights’ Brandon Meade, a returning district qualifier.
“He twice had to wrestle Meade and beat him both times,” Francis said. “He had a rice tournament.”
Carter Williamson finished fourth at 106, Brayden Adkins was fifth at 145, Austin Mayo placed fifth at 195, and Aidan Marsh came in sixth at 138.
“Carter did a great job and all the guys that placed wrestled well,” Francis said.
The Hornets host a double dual on Wednesday with Beachwood, Chagrin Falls and Independence then travel to Perry on Friday.