Five area wrestlers win district titles

By Ben Stroup -

Olentangy Liberty finished third on the strength of three district champions and Olentangy closed fourth with a pair of district champs of its own to headline Division I district wrestling action Friday and Saturday at Hilliard Darby High School.

The Patriots, who collected 144.5 points on the way to the top-three showing, were powered by Blake Saito (132 pounds), Carson Kharchla (170) and Trevor Lawson (182).

Saito pinned Big Walnut’s Bailey Munday in 1:37 to cap a perfect 4-0 effort and earn his place at the top of the podium. Kharchla, meanwhile, pinned Lancaster’s Jordan Deluse in his title match while Lawson blanked Dublin Coffman’s Lennox Wolak 7-0 to win a district title and punch a ticket to this week’s state showcase.

Jordan Rosselli was Liberty’s other state qualifier, finishing second at 126.

The Braves were boosted by Jacob Sherman (1st at 113) and Alexander Gore (1st at 145). Sherman handled Lancaster’s Jacob Reed 5-1 to win a district title while Gore nabbed district bragging rights by knocking off Dublin Coffman’s Ben Yost 6-2.

Olentangy’s James White IV also kept his season alive, nabbing runner-up honors at 138 to earn a trip to the upcoming OHSAA Individual Wrestling State Tournament, which is slated to get underway Thursday at the Schottenstein Center.

Olentangy Orange, Big Walnut and Delaware Hayes were also in action. The Pioneers, led by state qualifiers Rocco Torio (fourth at 126) and Connor Evans (fourth at 145), finished 12th with 45 points; the Golden Eagles, who saw Munday and Cole Foster (fourth at 138) advance to states, were 18th with 37.5 points; and the Pacers, who saw Mason Sutandar (fourth at 170) move on, closed 23rd with 28 points.

Division II District Tournament

Ethan Szanati (113) won a pair of matches in the consolation bracket, blanking River View’s Austin Philabaum 12-0 and Athens’ Jonathan Kimball 5-0, but lost in the third round to see his solid sophomore season come to an end at Friday and Saturday’s Division II district tourney at Claymont.

Brandon Bart (132) was also in action, dropping each of his two matches.

The Barons finished tied for 40th with three points.

Division III District Tournament

Delaware Christian freshman Josh Proper becamame the first wrestler to qualify for the state meet in school history over the weekend, finishing third at 106 in the D-III distict tournament at Heath.

Proper won each of his first two matches — pinning Belpre’s Andrew Maranda in 2:51 and handling Toronto’s Joseph Savage 11-4 — to earn a spot in the semifinals.

He dropped his semi, but won another two matches in the consolation bracket, including a second-period pin against Shenandoah’s Alex Overly in the third-place match.

By Ben Stroup