BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — The last time Maumee had wrestlers represent the school at the OHSAA state tournament, Tommy Gast was finishing up his last season of competition at Gateway Middle School.
Last weekend, Gast stopped a five-year dry spell for the Panthers by competing at the Division II state tournament in Columbus.
Unfortunately, though, things didn’t go as well as Gast or coach Brian Buck had hoped, with two losses on Friday putting an early end to Gast’s weekend.
“My experience at state was a little more fun than I wanted due to the fact I was able to eat and really experience all the things I wouldn’t be able to do if I was still wrestling,” Gast said.
In his first match, Gast faced Central District champion Aiden King of Columbus Bishop Hartley, who pinned Gast midway through the second period. King ended his weekend losing in the 126-pound championship match.
Then in Gast’s second match of the day, he fell to Leroy Steagall of Indian Valley, 9-2.
“My performance in the first match was not bad, he was just a really tough opponent,” Gast said. “The second match, I did not wrestle to my ability in my opinion. It was a very winnable match.”
The season ended with Gast posting 40 wins as a senior, giving him 102 wins for his career. After a slow start to the season, Buck thought Gast started wrestling at a high level.
“He was a leader in the wrestling room and in meets and tournaments,” Buck said. “He was able to qualify for the state tournament, which is a hard thing to do.
“For three years he qualified for the district wrestling tournament and never won a match; this year, he won four, so that’s a great way to finish.
“Like I told him, you will always be remembered because you will go in our record boards in the wrestling room as a state qualifier and in the 100-win club.”
Gast has made 100 wins a goal since his freshman year. Buck said it showed Gast’s consistency over four years, and he believed it could have been even more than 102 wins had the COVID pandemic not derailed Gast’s sophomore season.
“I have been fighting for it (since my freshman year), so this is a very proud achievement of mine, almost as much of an achievement as making it to state,” Gast said. “These two goals have been the only two major goals since I started wrestling.”