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Harmon comes up short, exits state tourney

COLUMBUS — By the look on his face it was clear Beau Harmon wasn’t ready for his wrestling career to be over.

BL-Harmon

Benjamin Logan’s Beau Harmon tries to get hold of Beloit West Branch’s Connor Sharp during a 285-pound consolation match Friday at the Division II state tournament. (EXAMINER PHOTO | AARON LABATT)

The tears began to form before the final whistle even blew here Friday at the Division II state wrestling tournament as the Benjamin Logan senior heavyweight lost his second-round consolation match in the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

Harmon, who placed eighth at the state meet last season, was heartbroken after his final match ended. He lost 7-3 to returning state placer Connor Sharp of Beloit West Branch and was eliminated. The Raider needed one more win to place in the top eight again.

Even though Harmon didn’t place, Ben Logan head coach Tony Grant had nothing but positive things to say about his standout senior.

“Beau wasn’t gifted with a great physical body,” said Grant. “He used whatever he had and made it work. He did a great job of handling the pressure this year. He had a bull’s eye on his back all season.

“He has great character, is a hard worker and is very respectful. The kid doesn’t know a stranger. Those are attributes you won’t get winning a state championship or being a two-time state placer. He’ll do just fine in whatever he decides to do.”

Harmon lost in tiebreaker overtime during the first round on Thursday, but bounced back with a consolation win later that night. The Raider knew he would have a tough match on Friday in the second round of consolation matches.

He would either face Chase Henderson of Franklin, who he lost to at the sectional tournament, or Sharp, who placed third at last year’s state meet and was the projected state runner-up this season.

“We talked about how wide open the weight class was this year,” said Grant. “We said whoever got the breaks down here would do well, and Beau didn’t. He didn’t get any breaks.”

Sharp threw Harmon to his back in the first nine seconds of the match and quickly grabbed a 4-0 lead. Harmon was able to eventually roll through the hold and escape to end the period down 4-1.

The second period saw Harmon choose down and escape to make the score 4-2. That was as close as the Raider would get in the match, though. Sharp used another throw at the edge of the mat to score and take a 6-2 lead. Harmon escaped shortly after to make it a 6-3 match.

In the third period, Sharp chose down and fought to escape for nearly a minute before he earned the point and a 7-3 lead. Harmon fought tooth and nail to try and throw Sharp to his back, but instead saw his career come to an end.

“We didn’t expect what we saw from Sharp,” said Grant. “We watched him wrestle Henderson and we thought we could do some of the same things. Beau was just so much shorter and smaller than Sharp. He got his hooks in and would end up on his toes. Beau couldn’t get low enough and lost his leverage.”

Harmon finishes the season with a 45-4 record and ends his career as a two-time state qualifier, a one-time state placer and the most successful heavyweight in the history of the Ben Logan wrestling program.

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