CASH TURNER, Edgewood
WEIGHT: 106. YEAR: Freshman. RECORD: 36-4. RANKING: NA. SEMISTATE: 3rd.
DRAW: Johnny Cortez, Lake Central, So. (32-10). Winner gets either No. 5 Bryce Lowery, Roncalli, Fr. (36-0) or Keegan Malott, East Noble, Soph. (30-5). Four other ranked wrestlers are in Turner’s half of the bracket. Overall, it’s the first time at state for 13 of the 16 competitors. Turner will need to be ready to go right away, literally, as he will be in the first set of matches to hit the mats after the opening ceremonies.
WHAT WAS THIS WEEK LIKE? “Just keep working hard in the room and working hard out of the room, get extra stuff in.”
COACH GREG RATLIFF SAYS: “The more you’re at state, the more comfortable you are being there and attending state helps you get there. Cash grew up watching the state meet, so I don’t think he’ll have any jitters. But it’s a big thing for us. People are excited around town getting a freshman to state, but we never thought any different. We always t hought he was going to state.”
DELANEY RUHLMAN, South
WEIGHT: 120. YEAR: Freshman. RECORD: 36-3. RANKING: NA. SEMISTATE: 2nd.
DRAW: No. 7 Christian White, New Palestine, Jr. (34-4). Winner gets either No. 3 Giovanni Diaz, Wheeler, Sr. (39-1) or No. 18 Ethan Higgins, Wabash, Jr. (32-3). White and Diaz were both state qualifiers last year at 113, and each lost his opener. Diaz was 8th at 106 as a sophomore.
WHAT’S THE WEEK BEEN LIKE? “This week in practice has been really hard. They’re pushing us to do our best on Friday to place at staet and make it rhough. You always have to look forward and be thankful you’ve already made it.”
WHAT’S THE KEY FOR THIS WEEKEND? “Keep my head right and wrestle my match.”
HOW ABOUT TRISTAN? “Tristian just has to stay aggressive and make sure his mind is where it is and wrestle hard.”
COACH MIKE RUNYON SAYS: “As a freshman going to state mete huge, but I don’t look at Delaney as a freshman. hes a very seasons wrestler. He’s definitely working hard to get where he needs to be. Last weekend, I think he just went above the radar.”
TRISTAN RUHLMAN, South
WEIGHT: 170. YEAR: Junior. RECORD: 37-3. RANKINGS: No. 3. SEMISTATE: 3rd.
DRAW: No. 10 Braden Welch, Culver Academies, Soph. (27-4). Winner gets either No. 4 Clayton Fielden, Garrett, Sr. (39-1) or Marcus Malson, Rushville, Sr. (40-6). Welch returns after making it to state last year at 160 and losing his opener. Felden was state runner-up last year at 170 but Ruhlman pinned him when they met in the quarterfinals of the Mishawaka’s Al Smith Classic. The bottom part of the bracket also contains four more ranked in the top 20, including Ruhlman’s nemsis this season, Mater Dei’s Gabe Sollars.
WHAT’S THE WEEK BEEN LIKE? “The week has been amazing. I’ve loved it, every step of it. The practices have gotten much, much harder. It’s just a great feeling that we’ve made it this far, especially with me and my little brother making it.”
WHAT’S THE KEY FOR THIS WEEKEND? “It’s one match at a time. Wrestle how I do and don’t take anything off the top and give it everything I’ve got. If I wrestle like I can, it’ll be a great weekend. If I don’t I won’t be such a great weekend.”
AND FOR DELANEY? “I would say, stay aggressive. Take your shot and if he gets back up, take another shot. Just keep going at the kid. I think we’ll both make it through. I have great confidence in that.”
COACH MIKE RUNYON SAYS: “I think last year (losing in second round at semistate) left a bad taste in his mouth and this summer he really put in the time. Big thing was Fargo, the camp out there and getting to that level really catapulted him up a little bit.”