Walsh Ironman: The Making of Champions

Alex Marinelli of St. Paris Graham was named OW at the 2015 Walsh Ironman Tournament. The two-time Ironman champ will wrestle at Iowa.

Alex Marinelli of St. Paris Graham was named OW at the 2015 Walsh Ironman Tournament. The two-time Ironman champ will wrestle at Iowa.

The Walsh Ironman Tournament hosted each December at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls is one of the top high school tournaments in the country. It annually draws the top talent from around the nation to come and compete in northeast Ohio. Literally dozens of future NCAA champions and NCAA All-Americans have made their mark in prep competition at the Ironman.

Known for its tight gym and hyped atmosphere, the Walsh stage is a classic venue for the sport as elite teams vie for the top ranking nation-wide and individual wrestlers put both their hopes and reputations on the line.

This year, a new champion emerged from a field that included powerhouses like Blair Academy of New Jersey, St. Paris Graham of Ohio and St. Edward High. Wyoming Seminary of Pennsylvania won its first ever Ironman title after years of top five finishes.

145: David Carr (Massillon Perry, Ohio) dec. Jarod Verkleeren (Belle Vernon Area, Pa.) 4-4, ultimate tiebreaker rideout

145: David Carr (Massillon Perry, Ohio) dec. Jarod Verkleeren (Belle Vernon Area, Pa.) 4-4, ultimate tiebreaker rideout

Individually, 145-pound sophomore David Carr of Massillon Perry, ranked third in the nation, topped number one Jarod Verkleeren of Belle Vernon, Pa. in the ultimate tiebreaker to win the title in the championship round featured match.

Repeating with his second Ironman title was Alex Marinelli of St. Paris Graham. As the nation’s top 160-pound wrestler and committed to the University of Iowa, Marinelli made his fourth finals appearance at the Ironman, something only eight others before have achieved. Marinelli notched a fall at 4:26 against No. 13 Justin Thomas of Calvary Chapel, Pa. and was named as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.

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