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Local wrestlers find success at Junior Olympic Games



The top athletes never stop working to get better.


Indian Lake’s Heath Lange wrestles for Team Ohio Gray during the AAU Junior Olympic Games earlier this week in Detroit, Mich. Teammate L.J. Henderson also competed in the event. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Even in the hot summer months Indian Lake wrestling standouts L.J. Henderson and Heath Lange spent their offseason doing just that.

The pair of returning state placers just wrapped up over a week of intense wrestling. Henderson and Lange, who both placed fourth in the Division II state meet last season, spent three days at wresting camp in Delaware with several Ohio State All-American instructors including J.D. Bergman, Reece Humphrey and Adam DiSabito.

From there, the Laker duo drove straight to Detroit, Mich., where they wrapped up a week’s worth of mat time by competing in the AAU Junior Olympic Games.

“It was a grind, that’s for sure,” said Lange. “I was beat up and ready to go home when it was all over. I got cauliflower ear pretty good. It was just tough.

“We went there just to get better. We wanted to keep wrestling during the offseason and work at improving. The best guys are doing it and we want to be the best too.”

Lange wrestled at 145 pounds for Team Ohio Gray, which finished sixth out of 22 teams and had a 12-4 record.

Individually, Lange boasted a 13-3 record. His first loss was to a two-time state champion from Minnesota, a Fargo All-American by a 13-12 score. He also lost to a two-time state champion from New Jersey, and was able to avenge his third loss, a standout from North Carolina.

Henderson also gave an impressive performance wrestling at 182 pounds for Team Ohio Scarlet. The squad finished eighth at the national duals with an 8-4 mark.

The Laker ended the week with a 10-2 individual record. One of his losses came to Quinton Hiles of Brecksville, who was a Division I state runner-up last season.

Team Minnesota won the AAU Junior Olympic Games and never lost a dual.

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