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Ruhlman brothers to vie for titles

By Jim Gordillo, 02/20/21, 5:30PM EST


INDIANAPOLIS — They couldn’t be stopped.

Brothers Delaney and Tristan Ruhlman of Bloomington South both charged through the field Saturday morning to make the championship bouts of their respective weight classes at the IHSAA State Wrestling Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Results of the finals will be posted online at Saturday night with a complete roundup in Monday’s edition.

It was a historical moment as they are the first Panthers since Reece Freeman (2007) to appear in a title match. Since then only Edgewood’s Damien Chambers (2014) and Bloomington North’s Garret Goldman (2011) from the area have made final match. All three won.

The last time South had two finalists was in 2006 when Kurt Kinser and Paul Young both won.

Delaney (30-2), ranked second, rolled through the field at 138 pounds, starting the day with an 11-1 major over Southport’s Luke Goodwin then dispatching Wawasee’s fifth ranked Jace Alexander in just 28 seconds.

He was set to face top-ranked Jesse Mendez of Crown Point (33-0), last year’s champ at 132 (beating Perry Meridian’s Matthew Koontz) and the 126 winner in 2019. Mendez is 115-1 over the last three seasons.

Tristian (26-0) was also dominant. He started with a pin of 1:25 against Jamarion Taylor of New Castle, then took on top-ranked Evan Bates of Chesterton, the defending state champ who hadn’t given up a takedown all postseason. The only two-pointer scored against him was a reversal in the semistate final by Jason Streck of Merrillville, Ruhlman’s foe in the final.

Ruhlman gave up a takedown just 30 seconds in, but escaped and got one of his own to go up 3-2 after one period. He started down in the second, escaped and scored another takedown to go up 6-3 heading into the final period.

A nearfall sealed a 9-3 win and set up a meeting with Streck (32-1), who had lost his only two state matches as a sophomore and junior. Streck’s brother, Rudy, wrestles at IU.

Tristan is vying to become South’s first undefeated state champ since Freeman.