Ohio Tournament of Champions

Last weekend, Marco wrestled in a regional/national tournament called the Ohio Tournament of Champions. This was by far the biggest and most difficult tournament that we’ve ever been to. Marco wrestled so well, finishing 2-2. Trophies are awarded to places 1-6 and 7th place winners get their name on the website results section. Marco finished in a 5-way tie for 9th place. Considering that there were a monstrous 40 kids in his bracket, clearly he did an awesome job.

I took two days off work for the trip, driving up on Thursday. It took about 11 hours with frequent stops, ideally it’s a 9.6 hour drive according to Google.

Friday, we went to Goodale Park and the science center, COSI. Both were a lot of fun. Around 4, we brought Marco to the convention center to be weighed in. It was a zoo. The weigh-in wasn’t a big deal, but the line to get the bracket printouts took almost an hour! Marco was initially over 50lbs by 0.2 lbs, but we had him pee and he was fine after that. Once we did all that, we left for the Spaghetti Warehouse and had a nice pasta meal. We all ate like lions, Marco put away an enormous amount of food, too, which I was glad to see.

Overall, I was really, really impressed with Columbus as a city. It had a city feel, but it was simpler. It was clean, hip, and full of life. Ohio State was an immense school; regal and dignified. The football stadium was an absolute marvel. I’ve always said that kids should go away to college if they can and seeing awesomeness like the Ohio state campus re-affirms my belief.

The next morning was competition time. We went to Bob Evans for breakfast and had a solid meal that would take us through the tournament and into a late lunch/early dinner. We arrived at the convention center around 8:30am and I was amazed by the sheer scale of the tournament. There were over 40 mats. Despite the enormous size of he tournament, our event was run quite well.

Kudos to Giovanni for his great and steady camera work. Giovanni was a huge help during the tournament and even though he wasn’t too hot on the idea of going to Ohio for this, he had a great experience when all was said and done. One of the highlights for Giovanni was meeting and getting a photo with Diary of a Wimpy Kid stars Zachary Gordon and Grayson Russel. Here is that photo:

A video of all Marco’s matches is below.

Marco dominated in his first match, winning by technical fall 13-1. He was beat by pin in his second match with about 20 seconds to go. The guy that beat him went on to win 2nd place. Marco had an amazing comeback pin in his third match, he was losing until that point. That was pretty exciting! Then, in his last match he was beat by the NYS Champion for 2011, the same kid that beat Marco in  the second round of the states.

In addition to the great wrestling, Marco made a few friends. In fact, he made friends with the two kids that tied for 7th place. Here is a gallery of some photos I took on the trip, enjoy!