For decades, the defining characteristic of Twinsburg wrestling was simple: In good and bad years, coach Dave Mariola would advance at least one wrestler to the state tournament.
From 1994 to 2015, the Tigers had a least one representative in Columbus each year. However, for last five years, Twinsburg has been absent from the fun at states.
For last three seasons, Twinsburg’s brightest hope to end that drought has been junior Aidan Corrigan. On Saturday at the Division I district tournament at Mentor, Corrigan did just that.
"Aidan broke the bad streak," Mariola said. "Or maybe, we should say he started a new streak."
Corrigan advanced to his first state tournament by finishing third at 170 pounds at Mentor. The top four placers in each weight class advanced to the state tournament.
Behind Corrigan’s efforts, Twinsburg finished 24th in the team race with 21 points. Brecksville-Broadview Heights and Wadsworth ended up tied for the district team title with 233 points each.
"I feel pretty good," Corrigan said. "It was pretty never wracking. I was just trying to focus on one thing at a time. I’m ready for the next step."
Corrigan said his next goal is to claim All-Ohio honors, which go to the top eight placers in each weight class at the state tournament.
The Division I state tournament will begin at 5:40 p.m. Friday at Value City Arena in Columbus. Corrigan will take a record of 49-5 — which is the new school record for wins in a season — to Columbus, where he will face Huber Heights Wayne’s Jaden Hardrick in the first round.
Mariola said Corrigan earned his place at states.
"It was a lot of nerve-wracking matches," Mariola said. "There were a lot of kids that you beat before who came back and wrestled hard. Some of the calls that don’t way hurt, but that happens to everyone. They don’t call that thing ‘The Mentor Meatgrinder’ for no reason."
Coming in as a No. 1 seed from sectional, Corrigan opened Friday at Mentor by pinning Hoover’s Cameron Bowen in 1:02 and then pulling out a 6-4 win over Brecksville’s Carter Lloyd.
With two chances to reach states on Saturday, Corrigan was edged in the semifinal with a 3-2 loss to Medina’s Ethan Silvis.
"He did what he was supposed to do, except in the match he lost," Mariola said. "I thought [Silvis] was starting to tire at the end, but he didn’t feel that. He almost had a takedown in the last 20 seconds, but he couldn’t get it."
"It’s not something I want to look back on," Corrigan said.
In consolation semifinals, Corrigan faced a familiar foe in Wadsworth’s Logan Shiaria.
"He beat that kid badly before," Mariola said. ":Just about 10 minutes prior to that match, there were three Wadsworth kids wrestling and two of them won. I think that pumped him up."
Mariola said. Shiaria wrestled a solid match, but Corrigan got two takedowns in the match to score a 5-3 decision and book his ticked to Columbus.
"Aidan was in control the whole match," Mariola said. "The score was closer than match was."
In the third-place match, Corrigan faced a rematch with Lloyd. Unlike the first match, However, Corrigan dominated by getting the pin in 52 seconds.
"I think the big thing was that he already knew he was heading to states," Mariola said. "I think he was free and easy. He went in there, got the takedown, cradled him up and pinned him.
"It was all worth it," Mariola said. "We’ll see what happens when he gets down there."
Corrigan wasn’t the only Tiger at Mentor, as senior 106-pounder Ricky DiTurno saw his high school career come to an end. DiTurno finished 1-2 at Mentor.
DiTurno was pinned in 3:21 by Massillon Perry’s Austin McBurney in his first match, but rebounded by pinning Willoughby South’s Theodore Griffin in 4:59. However, DiTurno was pinned in 2:42 and eliminated by Brecksville’s Pito Castro.
"He won a match at districts s two years in a row. I think he had a great year," Mariola said of DiTurno. "He set a couple of school records for pins and nearfalls. He won 36 matches, so that was a good year. It’s just a little rough in that he had to cut down to 106. We’re all proud of the fact that Ricky was there."
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MLeonard_GHO