State wrestling: Three area wrestlers finish as runners-up

Mar. 10—COLUMBUS — There were a lot of silver linings for the three area wrestlers who wrestled for state championships on March 10 at Jerome Schottenstein Center.

They match the silver medals that Lake Catholic's Parker Pikor, Riverside's Antonio Bottiggi and Hawken's Will Greenberg garnered with state runner-up finishes in their respective weight classes.

Pikor lost to Bethel-Tate's Logan Dean, 8-4, in the Division III 120-pound championship match. Bottiggi lost to Massilon Perry's Aidan Fockler, 8-2, in the Division I heavyweight bout, and Greenberg lost by pin to Alliance's Aidan Mozden in the Division II heavyweight clash.

For Pikor, the runner-up finish goes along with the one he accomplished last year as a 106-pounder. Despite the disappointment, he had a heart of gratitude afterward.

Down 6-3 in his championship match @LCCougarWrestle Parker Pikor tries some funky stuff and it almost works

— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) March 10, 2024

"It's still sick," he said of the trek to two straight championship rounds. "State finals two years in a row isn't anything to scoff at. It would have been cool to take one (gold medal) home, but I'm content."

Pikor (40-4) had trouble getting any offense going against Dean (37-2). Dean scored quickly off the whistle, getting in on Pikor's legs for the early lead. It was a 4-0 lead before Pikor got on the board with an escape and then a reversal.

Pikor trailed, 6-3, with eight seconds left in his final high school wrestling match, when he dug into his bag of tricks. He hit a Granby Roll out of the down-position then attempted an acrobatic move, going airborn in an attempt to get one last takedown to force overtime.

It didn't work and Dean ended up with an 8-4 win. As he walked off the mat, he did so with a smile on his face and he shrugged his shoulders to fans seated in the front row.

Parker Pikor of @LCCougarWrestle says he is "content" after a second straight state runner-up finish.

— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) March 10, 2024

"Five more seconds and he woulda been stuck," Pikor said with a playful grin.

Bottiggi finished the season with a 49-3 record. All three of his losses came to Fockler, the top-ranked heavyweight in the state and the defending Division I champion. The losses were very similar — 7-3, 7-2 and 8-2.

"I gave it all I could," Bottiggi said. "That's all I could do. ... He has hard hands and had pressure on me the entire match."

Bottiggi came into the tournament as the No. 3-ranked Division I heavyweight. He got a monumental win in the semifinal round with a last-second takedown against No. 2-ranked Aaron Ries of Wadsworth.

Antonio Bottiggi of @RiversideWrest1 is happy with his state runner up finish today

— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) March 11, 2024

Similarly to Pikor, Bottiggi drew positives from not only the weekend, but from the season as a senior. He was a first-team Division I All-Ohioan as a defensive end in football and has signed a national letter of intent to wrestle and play football at Kent State.

"It's been an amazing year," he said. "I can't wait for the next chapter, but I've enjoyed all of this."

He said he is proud of himself and credited Fockler, who handed him his only three losses this season.

"He's just better than me," he said.

Will Greenberg of @HawkenAthletics is motivated more than ever after a state runner up finish today

— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) March 11, 2024

Greenberg found himself trailing Mozden, 10-2, and attempted to headlock his opponent for a takedown throw, but Mozden flipped him to his back and pinned him. It was a rematch of the district final last week in Kenston won by Greenberg.

"At that point. I'm not going to give up. I'm not going to stall out the rest of the match," Greenberg said. "At that point, I felt I had momentum going for myself. Obviously it didn't work, but at least I tried."

The trek from a state-alternate spot last year to state runner-up this year left the junior heavyweight hungry for more.

"I'm really proud of myself," he said. "I had a great run. Obviously it's disappointing I didn't get it done in the end... I'm ready for next year."