Vikings outlast Pioneers in battle of state’s top-ranked teams

By Ben Stroup -

Noel Frye and defending state champ Taryn Martin picked up back-to-back pins to help the Olentangy Orange girls wrestling team close the gap to 12 points with two matches to go, but visiting and top-ranked Miami East won the next match via a pin of its own to cement a 54-30 win Thursday night in Lewis Center.

With the Pioneers trailing 42-18, Frye (160) and Martin (170) — seniors who were honored with classmates Emily Duval, Sara Borton and Casey Homorody before the match — went to work. Both picked up first-period pins to slice the deficit to 42-30.

That’s as close as things would get, though, as the Vikings’ Anika Paton (189) pinned Talia Mitchell to all but seal the deal.

Miami East started the match with pins by Lilly Bruggerman (101), Belle Lewis (106), defending state champ Olivia Shore (111) and Elle Demmitt (116) to go up 24-0.

Orange answered with pins by Ayla Castin (121) and Josie Nickoloff (126), but the Vikings won the next three weight classes to take their commanding lead into the final handful of matches.

The showdown featured two of the best teams in the state. Miami East, ranked 22nd nationally, won the inaugural Ohio Girls Wrestling State Championship last season and entered with a 2-0 record in dual meets and a pair of tournament championships. Orange, meanwhile — the defending state runner-up — suffered its first loss after entering the contest a perfect 5-0.

Miami East 60, Delaware Hayes 27

A day before traveling to Lewis Center to take on the Pioneers, the Vikings swung by Delaware to take their shot at the Pacers … and did so successfully.

Hayes battled, getting strong showings from Rebekah Blair (126), Lauren English (137) and Carmen Pape (170), but it wasn’t enough to upset the state’s top team.

Blair doubled up Miami East’s Anna Rowley 14-7, English pinned her opponent in 2:41 and Pape forced Kylie Haught to the mat in 2:39, closing what as an early 15-6 deficit to just three, 24-21 with seven matches to go.

Of those seven, though, the Vikings won six to smooth out the scoring summary.


Olentangy Liberty was sharp in Thursday’s OCC dual against visiting Hilliard Davidson, rolling to a 51-24 win.

Patriot point producers included Dylan Russo (pin at 220), Luke Reidel (pin at 195), Jayce Fitzpatrick (pin at 170), Gabe Pence (won 8-2 at 152), Mark Ceddia (won 9-1 at 145), Hunter Ford (won 17-1 at 138) and Adam Gintert (won 4-0 at 132.

Also: Delaware Hayes 63, Canal Winchester 12; Dublin Jerome 36, Olentangy 24.

By Ben Stroup