'Very, very tough' Austin Boone goes for record eighth state wrestling title
Austin Boone of Lowell will be going after a piece of history this weekend in the individual state wrestling finals at Ford Field.
Boone will be trying to become just the second wrestler in state history to win eight state championships.
Boone has already played a major role in Lowell’s Division 2 state team championships the last four years while also earning individual state championships the last three years.
Now Boone will try to join Brent Metcalf of Davison to end his career with eight state titles. Metcalf helped Davison to state championships in 2002-05, also earning four individual titles while going 228-0.
“Honestly, I really haven’t thought about it very much,” said Boone of the record. “It’s exciting; not many people get to say they did either one (team or individual state championship), and I guess winning it with the team is more fun because you get to celebrate with everybody.”
Boone is 37-0 this season and has a 164-8 career record. He said he won’t change his approach this weekend.
“I don’t really change up anything I do for any specific person,” Boone said. “I just let everything fly.”
Boone won the 135-pound title his freshman year, finishing with a 44-3 record, including a 6-3 decision over Joshua Edmond of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in the championship match.
As a sophomore, Boone defeated Kilian Southworth of DeWitt in the 145-pound title match to finish 48-1 and needed a 3-2 decision over Colton Blaha of Owosso in the 152-pound semifinals last year to get the chance to win the championship, finishing 35-4 with a pin of Melvindale’s Devin Spears in the final.
Boone, whose father never wrestled, says he doesn’t emulate the wrestling style of anyone.
“I never really had anyone that I looked up to too much,” Boone said. “I didn’t watch a whole lot of film.”
Boone, who will compete next year at Penn State, said he developed into an elite wrestler with “a whole lot of practice.”
“I’ve traveled around the country and wrestled, obviously in-state stuff with Lowell and then SAW (Academy out of Lansing),” said Boone of the wrestling club run by former four-time state champion Nick Simmons of Williamston in the early 2000s.
Lowell head coach R.J. Boudro has high praise for Boone.
“He’s been special since he’s been in middle school,” said Boudro. “His parents weren’t really big wrestling people coming into it, his dad never wrestled, but just got him into it because he liked the sport, took him to a camp and found out he was good at it and he’s been doing it ever since.
“He’s very, very tough. Austin’s never missed a practice in his four years of wrestling, not once. And not only has he never missed one, he hasn’t missed a second of one. You never know if he’s ever been hurt. He gets banged up, but just keeps going and never complains. He’s a great leader.”
Jordan Hamdan of Hudson became the 25th four-time state champion last year with Kevon Davenport of Detroit Catholic Central becoming the 26th, the first from CC to reach that goal.
In addition to Boone, Sean Spidle of Flint Powers (32-0 at 119 pounds in Division 3) and Skyler Crespo of Mendon (49-1 at 145 in Division 4) will try to become four-time state champions this weekend.
Detroit Catholic Central’s Derek Gilcher (160 pounds) will try to earn his seventh state championship, being a part of Catholic Central’s first class to win four Division 1 state championships. He won individual state titles the last two years, including 140 last season with a win over his teammate Marc Shaeffer in the final.
Edmond, who transferred to Catholic Central from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s his sophomore year, will go for his sixth state title, winning individual championships the last two years after a loss in the title match his freshman year to Boone.
Catholic Central matched a state record with seven individual state champions last year, including Brendin Yatooma (215) and Steven Kolcheff (heavyweight), who both came up with consecutive pins in the state team title match win over Davison last Saturday in Kalamazoo.
Wrestling individual finals
Where: Ford Field
Tickets: $18 per session or $45 for all sessions (cash only)
Session 1: First round, 11:30 a.m.; consolations, 2:45 p.m.; quarterfinals, 4:15 p.m.; blood round, 6 p.m.; semifinals, 7:30 p.m.
Session 2: Consolations, 9 and 10 a.m.; place matches, 11 a.m.
Session 3: Finals march, 2:50 p.m.; finals, 3:30 p.m.