Arabians senior Brown is three-time state qualifier

NEW CASTLE — Pendleton Heights’ Jared Brown is back where he belongs.
For the third straight year, the senior wrestler has qualified for the IHSAA Wrestling State Finals.
Now, the 138-pounder would like to accomplish something he hasn’t done in the first two trips — get on that medal stand.
Brown was one of four Pendleton Heights wrestlers to compete at Saturday’s New Castle Semistate, but he was the lone Arabian to get through one of the state’s strongest semistates.
“It’s a special thing. We’ve only had one four-time qualifier (Mason Todd) in the history of the program, and I think he’s the first three-time qualifier. It’s a special thing to get there three times,” Pendleton Heights coach Dave Cloud said.

Brown finished fourth in his weight class and is hopeful his trip to Indianapolis’s Bankers Life Fieldhouse will be a longer stay than the past two years.
In his two previous trips, he lost in the first round.
Like the first two trips, he knows his work is cut out for him. As a fourth-place finisher, Brown will take on a champion from one of the other three semistates. Brown went in as a fourth-placer in each of the past two state meets.
In the 11 a.m. session on Friday, Brown (19-4) will take on Oak Hill junior Brody Arthur, who is 38-1 and winner of the New Haven (Fort Wayne) Semistate.
Considering the choices, Arthur may be the best draw Brown could have hoped for. The other semistate champions are defending state champions. Evansville Mater Dei’s Blake Boarman won the Jasper Semistate and is the defending champion at 138. Crown Point’s unbeaten Jesse Mendez, who Cloud said is a world-ranked wrestler, won the East Chicago Central Semistate and is the defending state champion at 132.
“I definitely want to get more out of (my state tournament) this time. Going as a No. 4 is probably not the best plan. It’s what I have to work with, and I have to make the best of it,” Brown said. “I want to have fun, and I definitely want to place this year. I think it’s a year I can do it.”
“Obviously, not finishing in the top three, you make it a lot harder for yourself,” Cloud said. “We told him, ‘Every year there are No. 4’s that knock off No. 1’s; why not you?’”
At the state meet, all wrestlers compete on Friday, with winners moving on to quarterfinals, semifinals, consolations and championship rounds on Saturday.
“We drew the guy we would have chosen, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Now we have to do something about it. I really want to see him get off Friday night. (Brown) is good enough to be a state placer. He just has to get over that hump, mentally,” Cloud said.
At New Castle, in a field of 16, Brown opened with a 9-4 decision against Warren Central’s Jeremiah Hernandez. In the quarterfinal, called the ticket round, he defeated Carmel’s A.J. Gunn, 7-2, to secure a spot in his third state tournament.
He lost to eventual
weight-class champion
Luke Goodwin of Southport, 11-3, in the semifinals.
In the third-place match, Brown was defeated by fall in 5:51 by Frankton’s Seth Lawson.
Brown lost to Lawson in a dual meet at the end of the regular season, but had beaten him in both the sectional and regional rounds. He was leading in the match on Saturday in New Castle when he lost control and was pinned.
“I really thought I was going to win Saturday,” Brown said. “I guess I just stopped wrestling as good as I normally do after that second match. I think I’m ready and go (to state) and perform like I normally do.”
In the 113-pound weight class, Pendleton Heights junior Elijah Creel lost his opening match, 4-2, to Union County’s Jesus Aquino-Morales.
At 152, junior teammate Ethan Childers dropped an 11-3 decision to Carmel’s Nathan Powell.
At 195, Arabians junior Colin Gillespie lost 6-4 in his first match to Knightstown’s Liam Orcutt.
It was Creel’s and Chil-ders’ first trip to semistate; Gillespie is a two-time semistate qualifier.
“Hopefully they can grow from their experiences,” Cloud added.
As a team, Pendleton Heights scored eight points and finished 24th of 55 teams that had at least one representative from their program. Perry Meridian won the meet with 148 points. Cathedral, winner of the Pendleton Heights Regional, was second with 135.