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Lehner defeats Keenan for state title

March 4, 2012
From staff reports , The Herald-Star

COLUMBUS - Steubenville Big Red's Charlie Keenan's road to a state championship ran into a road block - Lexington's Josh Lehner.

"He tech-falled his way into the finals," Big Red wrestling coach Mike Blackburn said. "He's a pretty good kid."

Lehner went 4 for 4 in tech falls with his 17-1 decision over Keenan at 195 pounds Saturday in the Ohio State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center at Ohio State University.

Keenan, a junior, finished second in the state and his season at 40-6.

"He had a great season and a great tournament," Blackburn said of Keenan. "It started with winning the sectional and district titles and we knew as well as he was wrestling he had a shot at placing here. We saw he had a pretty good draw. He just wrestled a great tournament."

Keenan was one of five all-Ohio placers for Big Red, the other four being Devin Brown (third, 106), Shawn McGhee (fourth, 145), Greg Moray (fourth, 220) and Jake Howarth (eighth, 170).

"We had a heck of a tournament," said Blackburn as Big Red finished fifth in the team standings. "We had two seniors here (McGhee and Howarth), so six of the eight who qualified are returning. We have a very nice team coming back."

Blackburn's adjustment to Big Red's schedule, he said, helped his team prepare for this weekend.

"Everything we did this year prepared us for the state tournament," he said. "Picking up the teams we did in dual meets, wrestling Claymont at home in a dual, wrestling at Top Gun, one of the better tournaments in Ohio, being in the Wheeling Park duals and wrestling Parkeresburg South - all of that helps the kids basically get an idea of different officiating, different styles kids wrestle. It puts them in different situations so they get tougher mentally and that showed as we wrestled at Claymont in the districts.

"We knew it would be a hostile environment and the kids were prepared. They didn't lose their heads and they wrestled hard all the time.

"Qualifying eight to states, including two freshmen (Brown and Trent Mays), is great for our program and the earlier competition helped us prepare for this weekend."

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