INDIANAPOLIS — New Castle High School senior wrestler Jack Taylor completed an excellent high school career over the weekend at the IHSAA wrestling state finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Taylor’s record was 3-1 over the two days of competition for a fifth-place finish in the 220-pound weight class.
Taylor finished the season with a 39-3 record.
Even Taylor’s lone loss was a “quality” one, as it was to eventual undefeated state champion Tristan Ruhlman, a senior from Bloomington South, in the quarterfinal round.
Taylor’s lone match on Friday evening was against Fort Wayne Northrup freshman Julante Hinton, and Taylor won a 5-2 decision against Hinton to advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday.
It was there that Taylor suffered his lone loss in the state finals. Ruhlman pinned Taylor in 1:25 in the quarterfinals, relegating Taylor to the consolation bracket for the remainder of the tournament.
Taylor made the most of the situation. In his next match, Taylor faced Franklin Central junior Aataeveon Jordan, a guy he had tangled with and defeated the previous week in the New Castle semi-state.
Taylor pinned Jordan in 4:51 to move into the fifth-place match at 220 pounds.
In his final match on Saturday, Taylor was matched up against Terre Haute South senior Joshua Howell. Taylor pinned Howell in 4:42 to capture fifth place in the state tournament.
As noted previously, Ruhlman went on to win the state championship at 220 pounds with a 10-2 major decision over Merrillville senior Jason Streck in the finale.
Ruhlman finished with a 27-0 record for the season.
Despite Ruhlman winning the state title at 220 pounds, New Castle wrestling Head Coach Gary Black Jr. had his own thoughts on the matter.
“He’s No. 1 to us,” Black stated when referring to Taylor.
Taylor earned 12 points during the tournament, enough to enable the Trojans to finish in a tie with Westfield for 32nd place in the team standings.
Evansville Mater Dei won the team state championship with 112 points, five more than state runner-up Chesterton.