A total of 17 Madison County high school wrestlers advanced from last weekend’s sectional tournament to this weekend’s district tourney with a chance to qualify for the OHSAA state championships at Ohio State University.
Eight wrestlers from West Jefferson and three from Madison-Plains will compete in the Division III district tournament being held at Heath High School at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 3. Four London grapplers and a pair of Jonathan Alder wrestlers qualified for the D-II district tournament being held at Claymont High School.
The wrestling at Heath will start at 9 a.m. Saturday. The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the OHSAA state championships which will be held at Ohio State University’s Jercome Schottenstein Center March 8-10.
The county wrestlers competing in the D-III sectional site on Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24 at Madison-Plains had a good showing.
West Jeff had a pair of sectional champions in junior Joey Buckland (126 pounds) and senior Jesse Kean (132).
Buckland (37-10) won his championship match with a 2:00 pin of Elgin’s Wes Stillions. Kean (29-16) needed only :41 to pin Caleb Isler of North Union in their final at 132.
Roughriders who made championship matches but came up short and settled for second-place finishes included senior Mark Woodard at 152, senior Nate Wilson at 182 and junior Chet Lohr at285. Woodard lost a 4-2 decision against Newark Catholic’s Billy Luft, while Chris Cox-Wilson of North Union topped West Jeff’s Wilson in a 5-2 decision. Lohr came up on the losing end of a 5-1 decision against Newark Catholic’s Liam Kirkpatrick.
Other district qualifiers included Aidan Benedict (third, 113), Anthony Speakman (fourth, 145) and Hunter Braithwaite (third, 220).
The Madison-Plains High School wrestlers who fought their way through the sectional included freshman Ken Shafer who was third at 106. He enters the district tourney with a 9-23 record. Fellow freshman Anthony Roby pinned Bobby Diller of Columbus Academy in :57 of the third-place match at 132.
Golden Eagles junior Isaac Puckett placed fourth at 170 pounds.
The team title was claimed by North Union (186), which edged out Liberty Union (182). West Jeff placed third with 156 points.
The D-II sectional held at Licking Valley on Friday, Feb. 23, didn’t produce as many district qualifiers as the D-II sectional but it did give Jonathan Alder senior standout Jacob Johnson yet another chance to shine. He improved his season record to 35-1 with a championship winning performance at 120 pounds. The final match was a 7-2 decision over Licking Valley freshman Crae Muzykoski.
Johnson will be joined at the D-II district by senior teammate Dylan Boysel (28-9) who placed third at 195 pounds. He topped River Valley’s Carter Layton in a 6-4 decision in the third-place match.
London’s foursome of district qualifiers included freshman Josiah Kennedy at 113 who pinned Logan Holland of Hamilton Township of in 3:24 of the their third place match. Red Raiders sophomore Dominic Davis was also third at 120 as he defeated Utica’s Pierce Jordan 7-2.
Sophomore Darian Huff placed third at 152 following a 11-1 major decision over Linden McKinley’s Henry Garner. London sophomore Ethan James was fourth at 126 pounds earning him a spot in the district.
River Valley won the sectional team title after scoring 169 points. Bishop Hartley was the runner-up with 32, while London and Amanda-Clearcreek tied for third with 117.5. Jonathan Alder was 16th after finishing with 55 points.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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