Third time’s the charm for Beck at state
The third time was the charm for Northmor’s Tyler Beck when he took the mat against North Baltimore’s Dalton Ishmael at the Division III state meet.
And this time, the stakes were higher than they ever had been, as the two senior 195-pound wrestlers matched up in the state finals. As sophomores, they met in the consolation rounds, where Beck was pinned in the second period; and as juniors, Ishmael had taken a 12–2 major decision in the championship quarterfinals.
Winning in this encounter wasn’t easy for Beck, who finished his season with a 50–1 record. Ishmael, who entered the match as the Ohio record-holder for most pins in a career, held a 2–0 lead through two periods and was up 3–0 early in the third.
In the process of winning the match in overtime, Beck had to endure several delays for blood time and injury, as Ishmael suffered a persistent bloody nose and the Northmor wrestler was poked in the eye, as well as a fall off the elevated mats after completing a late takedown to tie the score.
While the already-lengthy match was stopped for a couple minutes after that fall, Beck wasn’t injured.
“It was my back and shoulder that hit the ground,” he said. “It probably looked worse than it was. Maybe it was adrenaline, but it wasn’t that painful.”
What meant more for Beck in that third period was the two takedowns he scored against Ishmael. After a scoreless first period, he fell behind 2–0 in the second after being turned for back points in the final seconds.
He then surrendered one point on an escape early in the third period to put him down by three with under two minutes to go in regulation.
However, he was able to get a pair of takedowns in that period (while only surrendering one escape) to tie the score at 4–4. Beck noted that Ishmael’s reputation as a pinning machine may have worked in his favor in that period.
“The longer the match went, the more and more and knew I could do it,” he said. “I looked at that as he’s not used to going to the third period.”
Also of help was all the blood time his opponent had to take. After suffering a bloody nose, trainers were unsuccessful in fully stopping the bleeding until overtime. With the physical, grueling nature of the match, Beck was happy for those breaks, which also allowed him to talk strategy with his coaches.
“I got lucky with all the blood and injury time,” he said. “I knew I probably couldn’t go that long straight.”
While head coach Scott Carr wasn’t worried about his wrestler’s condition, he did feel the breaks were beneficial.
“I think it gave us a chance to collect our thoughts and explain things,” he said. “He’s a smart kid and has a 3.7 GPA.”
In overtime, Beck was able to shoot in on his opponent and take him down near the out-of-bounds line. Even this moment had a good bit of suspense, as the referee wasn’t able to signal for the takedown until his second foot had landed in bounds a couple seconds after the shot had been executed.
“This is what I’ve worked eight or more years for,” he said. “I couldn’t wish for a better ending.”
Giving Beck motivation this year was all of Northmor’s previous state champions. Their championship brackets rest in the school’s wrestling room for all present wrestlers to see in practice every day.
“It’s something you see every day in the workout room — you see those brackets,” he said.
That battle of attrition against Ishmael was probably fitting, considering how easy it was for Beck to reach the finals. In his first three matches, he won by major decision, technical fall and pin, respectively.
He opened with a 10–1 win over Joe Dilbert of Reading on Thursday.
“That’s exactly what you want for a first match,” he said. “It doesn’t always work like that, but I got lucky. All that match was was a good warm-up for tomorrow to get my head on straight.”
In his Friday quarterfinal match, Beck dominated Brandon Brenes of Waterloo on his way to taking a 19–3 technical fall. Beck put his opponent on his back five different times to account for 12 of his points.
“It seemed like everything he was doing was something we practiced, so I took it,” he said. “I just try to stay offensive — when I try to get defensive, I lose to good guys.”
In the Friday evening session, Beck had another easy win, as he took on Marcus Smith of Carlisle, whom he pinned in the second period. Beforehand, he had recorded three takedowns and two back points, while only giving up a pair of escapes.
“That’s about the best-case scenario right there,” he said. “My sprawls were working good, so it just looked like I had an answer for all their shots, I guess.”
Even then, roughly 24 hours before his match with Ishmael, Beck was looking forward to the match.
“I’ve gotten closer every time I’ve wrestled him,” he said. “I think it’s kind of meant for us to meet in the finals and that’s how it worked out.”
After winning, he became Northmor’s fourth state champion, following C.B. Dollaway, Brian Baldridge and Tyler Heminger. As a coach, Carr has has five finalists in five years of coaching and been able to coach in the state finals for four of those five years.
“It’s always nice to leave Morrow County with a suit in hand and know you have a chance to put it on Saturday night,” he said.
And after Beck became the second Tyler to win state in three years from Northmor, following Heminger in 2011, Carr joked that that first name might become pretty popular in the area among expectant parents.
“I don’t think we’ll have to tell them — I think they’ll do it on their own,” he said. “Tyler will be a pretty popular name in Morrow County.”