INDIANAPOLIS — Nick Crume let the tears flow.
The target that the Jimtown High School wrestler had been aiming so intently at for years was reached Saturday night, Feb. 16, with an overtime takedown in the 126-pound championship match at the 75th IHSAA State Finals.
“I just knew I had to get that last takedown,” said Crume, who took down Castle’s Luke Welch with 10 seconds left in the period to give him the 3-1 win and Jimtown’s first wrestling champion since John Campbell in 1968. The Jimmie and the Knight had each other in trouble throughout the match and Crume trailed 1-0 after two periods and quickly got the tying escape against the Purdue-bound senior who wound up the season at 47-2.
Crume (38-0), ranked No. 1 by IndianaMat.com and the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association, was at a loss to describe the exact move that sealed the title, but credited the countless hours of drills.
“It’s just scrambling every day, working at different things at practice,” said Crume, who placed third at state in both 2011 and 2012 and was a state qualifier as a freshman.
“Those were two warriors,” said Jimtown coach Mark Kerrn of the championship match. “There was not a dull second. Both guys were pulling the trigger. (Nick) is so (well-) positioned on his takedowns.”
Kerrn, who coached Nick’s older brother Collin to a runner-up finish at 130 in 2011, understood the outpouring of emotion.
“He’s dedicated his life to it,” said Kerrn, who was in the coaching corner Saturday along with assistant and former Concord state champion Paul Bachtel. “This has been his goal since freshman year.”
With a 181-13 record, Crume is Jimtown’s all-time victory leader. The two-time team captain won four sectional, four regional, four Northern State Conference and two semistate titles. He is a four-time team MVP.
Crume made it to the finals by beating Beech Grove’s Evan Smiley 16-0 in the first round Friday and Center Grove’s Tyler Fleener 11-2 in the quarterfinals and Connersville’s Tom Gettinger 5-1 in the semifinals Saturday.
Penn junior Zach Davis, in his third State Finals appearance, placed second at 113 with a 9-7 loss to Hanover Central’s Stevan Micic (48-0), the defending state champion.
Davis, the Kingsmen’s first State Finals match participant since Josh Arnold in 1999, wound up 45-7 for the 2012-13 season.
Concord junior DeLawrence Gayfield (113) came in sixth. Elkhart Central senior Johnny Tredway (160) and Penn freshman Drew Hildebrandt (106) both finished eighth.
Ten area wrestlers were eliminated on Friday night — Fairfield freshman Blake Glogouski (106), Fairfield senior Brett Martz (126), Jimtown senior Cody Koebel (132), Penn junior Alex Rinehart (138), Penn sophomore Joey Mammolenti (145), Penn senior Trevor Manspeaker (152), Jimtown senior Tanner Adams (170), NorthWood senior Zach Telschow (182), Penn freshman Kobe Woods (200) and Goshen senior Hayden Schmucker (Hwt).
Perry Meridian ran away with its third straight team state championship and first since the IHSAA eliminated the state duals and went back to crowning the team champion during the individual finals.
Alexandra’s Luke Blanton was the mental attitude award recipient.
Also of note, Levi Moss (Ben Davis) was fifth at 132, Anthony McHugh (Culver Academy) fifth at 138 and Juwan Bartlett (Lawrence North) sixth at 138. Aaron Moss, a state champion for Memorial in 1993, is Levi’s father and head coach. Former Jimtown wrestler Matt Behling is head coach at Culver Academy. Brian Seltzer is former head coach at Memorial and current head coach at Lawrence North.
Granger’s Jeff Colborn was one of the officials.
IHSAA State Finals
Top 10 teams: Perry Meridian 102.5, Yorktown 62, Mishawaka 53, Indpls. Cathedral 45, Franklin 41, Warren Central 40, Fishers 36, New Palestine 36, Bloomington South 31, Merrillville 31. Also — 17th (tie), Jimtown 20; 25th, Penn 17; 48th (tie), Concord 4; 61st (tie), Elkhart Central 1. No points — Fairfield, Goshen, NorthWood.
106 — Chad Red (New Palestine) dec. Garrett Pepple (East Noble) 4-0. 113 — Stevan Micic (Hanover Central) dec. Zach Davis (Penn) 9-7. 120 — Deondre Wilson (Warren Central) dec. Drew Hughes (Lowell) 6-2. 126 — Nick Crume (Jimtown) dec. Luke Welch (Castle) 3-1 (ot). 132 — Cody Lecount (Perry Meridian) tech. fall Grant Martsolf (Mishawaka) 16-1. 138 — Tommy Forte (Mishawaka) dec. Luke Blanton (Alexandria) 12-7. 145 — Neal Molloy (Danville) dec. Eli Walker (Yorktown) 4-3.
152 — Josh Farrell (Greenfield Central) dec. Vinny Corsaro (Indpls. Cathedral) 3-2. 160 — Riley McClurg (Perry Meridian) dec. Austin McCloskey (Western Boone) 2-1 (ot). 170 — Bobby Steveson (Merrillville) Riley Lefever (FW Carroll) 5-4. 182 — Matt Hurford (Culver) Jake Masengale (Perry Meridian) 9-4. 195 — Mitch Sliga (Fishers) pinned Jaylin Allen (SB Clay) :31. 220 — Gelen Robinson (Lake Central) Fletcher Miller (Kokomo) 7-2. Hwt — Donte Winfield (Perry Meridian) dec. Joseph Garland (Rushville) 5-1.
Attendance: 27,650 (weekend); 10,355 (final session).