Truver places fifth at State

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Kodie Christenson (12) holds on to his opponent’s leg. Christenson qualified for the State Finals by placing third at Semi-State.

Maddie Hirschfield

The 2015 IHSAA State Finals for wrestling took place on Friday, Feb. 20, and Saturday, Feb. 21. The Indians sent three qualifiers to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse to compete for the gold.

On Friday night, the athletes were scheduled to wrestle one match. If the match resulted in a victory, wrestlers moved on to Saturday’s bracket. If the match resulted in a loss, the wrestler’s season ended at that moment. Under these circumstances, the number of wrestlers was cut in half from Friday to Saturday, guaranteeing that Saturday’s wrestlers were to place 1st – 8th in the tournament. Kodie Christenson (12) and Jacob Kleimola (11) lost their first matches after battles at the 152-pound and 182-pound weight classes, respectively. Branden Truver (12) won and moved on in the tournament.

“I think I did good overall in the season. I think as far as State goes, I didn’t finish the way I wanted to, but the experience and everything, it was all good,” Christenson said.

On Saturday morning, Truver lost his first match to New Palestine’s undefeated Chad Red, putting him in the wrestle-back rounds. Truver dominated Munster’s Jason Crary in his next match with a 4-1 decision, putting him in the 5th place finals match. He then went on to beat Perry Meridian’s Ngun Uk with a 6-2 decision and finished 5th at the 126-pound weight class to end his season and high school wrestling career.

“I am definitely happy with the way [my season] ended. My goal was top five, so I just made that happen. I was happy with what I did, and actually kicking it up at the end, I was really glad that I did that. I knew I could do it, it was just a matter of putting in the time and the effort to do it,” Truver said.

Even though the road has ended for Christenson and Truver, Kleimola still has one more shot to achieve his goal of winning a State Championship in the 2016 tournament.

“I am not going down to State to try to lose or take 8th place. The ultimate goal is to take it all. Last season, I started lifting pretty hard in the off-season with one of the coaches, and I was doing a lot of off-season wrestling. I did a couple different types of wrestling, like freestyle and Greco-Roman. I did a lot of traveling and went to a lot of different tournaments and got a lot of exposure. I am going to do something along the same lines of that [to achieve my goals]. Maybe [I will] try to go to a couple different national tournaments, but [I am] just staying focused and trying to not be deterred by a couple bad losses [this season],” Kleimola said.