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Who have been the top Ironmen in high school wrestling?
By Mike Finn Updated: December 10, 2014
By Rob Sherrill, WIN High School Editor
As Zahid Valencia of Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco goes for his fourth Walsh Ironman title this weekend, I thought we’d open the vault and give you our list of the 10 greatest Ironman champions of all time. Some were for their performance in the tournament itself; others were selected for what they accomplished after leaving the mats at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
No. 10 – Nathan Tomasello, Cuyahoga Falls Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy
In 2012, Tomasello became one of three wrestlers to win a third Ironman title that year, earning the Outstanding Wrestler award in the process. Now at Ohio State, he had three pins, four technical falls and a major decision in his three title runs.
No. 9 – Mark Jayne, Lakewood St. Edward
It’s difficult to single out an individual Eagle for this list, but Jayne became the first St. Edward wrestler to win three Ironman titles, accomplishing the feat from 1997-99. The future Illinois wrestler followed up the 1999 title with a victory in the Beast of the East in his only appearance there.
No. 8 – Bo Jordan, St. Paris Graham
Another of the Class of 2012, Jordan was unbeaten in Ironman competition, winning in all three of his appearances. That run included five pins, a technical fall and five major decisions for the four-time state champion, now at Ohio State.
No. 7 – Jake Herbert, Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny
Herbert went on to bigger and better things, becoming an NCAA champion at Northwestern and earning a World silver medal honors in freestyle. In 2002, Herbert had his own dominating run at the Ironman, winning at 171 with a pin, a technical fall and back-to-back 7-1 decisions.
No. 6 – Joe Heskett, Walsh Jesuit
What would this list be without someone from the host school on it? An integral part of the Walsh national powers of the mid-1990s, Heskett was voted the Outstanding Wrestler of the 1995 tournament – the second one held – at 145 pounds, and repeated at 152 in 1996. The now West Virginia associate athletic director, who was the head coach at Army, became an NCAA champion at Iowa State.
No. 5 – Adam Frey, Blair Academy
He’s better known today for his courageous battle against the cancer that eventually took his life, but Frey had a great Ironman run of his own, posting dominating back-to-back wins at 130 in 2003 and 2004. He had three pins, four technical falls and a major decision in those title runs. He was third as a sophomore in 2002.


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