By now, everyone knows how good Richmond senior Aaron Kilburn is on the mats.
The 125 pounder is ranked the No. 1 wrestler in his weight class in Division 3, and he flexed that talent last week. Last Wednesday, Kilburn had a quick pin against Michigan Collegiate to help the Blue Devils lock up their eighth straight regional title.
On Saturday in the individual regional tournament, Kilburn booked his fourth straight trip to the state finals in convincing fashion.
In the semifinals he pinned Capac’s Anthony Trudo – the No. 11-ranked 125 pounder in Division 3 according to michigangrappler.com. In the finals he also topped Mason Breece – the No. 2-ranked wrestler — in a 16-4 decision.
For his dominance, Kilburn is the Times Herald Athlete of the Week.
“He’s one of the best kids in the country,” Richmond head coach Brandon Day said. “You have some kids that are super strong or some that are explosive, but he’s all of those things. He’s technical, explosive and extremely strong for his weight.”
This weekend Richmond will be shipping up to Mount Pleasant for the team state finals, and Kilburn and the Blue Devils are certainly used to these kind of weeks. It’s become an annual tradition like Christmas or Thanksgiving, but with less eating and laughter and more intensity.
Richmond – the reigning state champs – will come into the finals as the No. 4 seed. To Kilburn, not having a top seed is sort of a blessing.
“We’re feeling really confident, actually,” Kilburn said. “The pressure is off, it’s just time to wrestle … we’re not supposed to do good (with our seed) but we’re going to.”
The following weekend will be the individual state finals, where Kilburn is coming off a second place finish last year in the 119 division. Two years ago he also won it all in the 112 pound division, making him a potential multiple state champion if he takes the crown this year.
That kind of achievement wouldn’t be new to Richmond as alum Devin Skatzka completed his four year sweep of state titles just last season.
“Aaron is just as talented as Devin,” Day said. “He might not have the four straight titles, but he’s just as talented as Devin and has the same attributes as him.”