Armless/Legless Wrestler Wins Sectional, Advances to Districts
Carter moves closer to goal
Division III sectional wrestling
BY JOHN ERARDI | JERARDI@ENQUIRER.COM
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Dustin Carter is one step away from reaching his dream of going to state.
The wrestler from Hillsboro High School, who had most of all four limbs amputated in childhood, won two more matches Saturday in Chillicothe - including a heart-stopping 2-1 victory in the championship round - to win the sectional. Carter now heads to Goshen next weekend for the district tournament.
If the 36-1 senior finishes in the top four in Goshen, he's bound for wrestler's heaven: the state tournament in Columbus.
"One more tournament and my life's goal is complete," said Carter, whose arms and legs had to be amputated at age 5 to save him from a rare blood infection. "I was so pumped for the final match (Saturday) my eyes were watering."
Carter's opponent in the title contest - Nick Greenlee (36-3) of Circleville - went ahead 1-0 on a second period escape. Carter tied it 1-1 with a third period escape.
"Dustin went after the kid like a dog on a mission, and the kid didn't know what to do - he just kept backing up, and they hit him with a stalling call and Dustin got the win," said Brian Williamson, the Hillsboro Junior High coach who turned Carter onto wrestling.
The crowd erupted and gave Carter a standing ovation.
"The first person I heard (yelling) was my dad," Carter said. "It was pretty emotional. My dad was crying. It was a tough match."
In his first match Saturday, Carter pinned Sean Snoke of Franklin Union High School in the second period after dominating 12-4. Carter, ranked No. 9 in the state, had five takedowns vs. Snoke.
Among the competition at 103 in Goshen will be fourth-ranked Nick Brascetta of Graham, who gave Carter his only loss - by one point in overtime - this season.
"Everybody's good at district," Carter said. "Brascetta, this kid (Greenlee), the kid from Oakwood, the kid from Miami Trace - they're all tough. But I'll be ready. I've been ready for a long time."
Also headed to district from Hillsboro High are Oney Snyder (215), Greg Rhoads (171) and Andrew Goolsby, who at 112 is Carter's drilling partner in practice.
"That's the best 'Gooby' " ever wrestled," said Carter, the Hillsboro captain. "I'm so proud of him."
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