Saturday, January 27, 2018 6:00 pm
North Side wrestler dedicates title to late father
JOSH PATTERSON | For The Journal Gazette
NEW HAVEN – Dakota Ault wasn’t lacking for motivation. As one of three unbeatens entering the New Haven Sectional, the North Side senior pinned his way to the championship at 285 pounds.
But keeping a zero in the loss column in his final high school postseason paled in comparison to the biggest factor in his success Saturday. No, Ault was wrestling to honor his father, who passed away last week at just 41 years old.
To say his father remained on his mind even on the mat was an understatement. As Ault explained, every action he took was an effort to pay him homage. After dispatching Snider’s William Swartz with a second-period fall in the finals, Ault pointed one finger to the sky, fighting back tears while celebrating with his family.
“I told him I loved him before each match,” Ault, who improved to 20-0, said. “I went out there and put the first two guys in a cradle. I went and did it for him, because it was one of his favorite moves in high school.”
Wayne senior Dalyn Hart (220) also kept his record unblemished. Hart pinned all three of his opponents, handling Leo’s Jayden Elwood in the championship match in just 53 seconds.
A shoulder injury sustained during the football postseason limited Hart (15-0) early on, but the General senior knows no sympathy awaits him on the mats.
“It’s my last go-'round, so I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get further and advance,” Hart said. “I have no fear and all ambition, so I’m just going as hard as possible.
“I’m not here to be liked; I know I’m hated by some, not liked by a lot, but it ain’t no thing. I just keep my headphones in and keep a good energy to myself.”
South Side’s Jamarri Price was 22-0 entering the championship at 138, but fellow senior Mason Barkes of Homestead secured an 11-10 overtime victory to hand Price his first defeat of the year.
Barkes and Price traded reversals in the final 15 seconds of regulation to tie the match at 10. But Price, who had twice been whistled for starting prematurely, jumped the referee’s signal for a third time prior to the start of overtime. That awarded Barkes a penalty point – and the individual championship.
“I don’t really know what happened,” Barkes said. “I just kept on going, because in practice we go until we basically puke, and that’s what I did.”
With four individual champions, Homestead emerged with the team title 199.5-198 over the runner-up New Haven. Leo (189) and Snider (181) third and fourth.
Bishop Luers’ Chandler Woenker (160) claimed his third straight sectional championship, while New Haven’s Jonyvan Johnson (182), Jaxson Savieo (195) and Homestead's Brady Wyro (170) won back-to-back titles. Wyro won at 145 a year ago.
Other individual winners included Leo's Jacob Veatch (106) and Ian Heath (120), Homestead’s Zac Cawood (113) and Patrick Flanagan (132), Snider’s Beau Humphrey (126), South Side’s Ben Macias (145) and New Haven’s Konner Bender (152).