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Kaden Russell Leads Charge for Mat Cats at States, Finishing Fourth

By Joe Ginley, 03/13/17, 1:30PM EDT


The career of arguably one of the best wrestlers in the school's history came to a conclusion on Saturday. 

Kaden Russell completed his impressive Saint Ignatius career with a fourth place finish at the OHSAA Division I Individual Wrestling Tournament this weekend. 

Competing against the best 182 pound wrestlers in the state, Russell compiled a 4-2 record on the weekend with 2 pins, a medical default, and a decision.

Along the way, Russell set another school record. Russell concludes his senior campaign with 255 points, besting the previous record of 251.5, set by Mike Buddie in the 1988-89 season. Speaking of great Wildcat wrestlers, Buddie is one of just five Saint Ignatius men to win two individual OHSAA championships. Buddie played an integral role in the Wildcats' 1988 state wrestling championship. 

Russell is no stranger to the Saint Ignatius record boards, however. The Duke University commit set the mark for the best single season dual meet record with a 16-0 senior year, besting Anthony McLaughlin's 15-0 record in 2013-14. Russell also accomplished an impressive, record-breaking feat late in the regular season, pinning an opponent in five seconds. Michael Drobnick then pinned his foe in five ticks to tie the newly set mark. 

Speaking of Drobnick, the junior also made the trip to Columbus. The junior lost by pin at 195 pounds in the opener, and then dropped a close match, 3-1, in the consolation round. Reaching states as a junior, Drobnick has a bright future on the mat, and the football field, too. 

Aidan Gill is another Mat Cat and footballer with a promising career ahead. The junior qualified for States at 220 pounds before bowing out early in the tournament. Still, Gill's determination and grit in qualifying deserve praise and offer a window into an exciting future for Saint Ignatius wrestling. 

As a team, the Wildcats tied the school record for wins in a campaign with 14, previously set in the 2002-2003 and 2013-14 season. With a wealth of gifted up-and-coming wrestlers on the squad, Wildcats fans have plenty of reason to be enthusiastic about next season.

Congratulations again to Russell on a phenomenal career, and to Drobnick, Gill, the coaching staff, and the Mat Cats on a season to remember.