The Olentangy Orange girls wrestling team showed there’s strength in numbers, using its talent and depth to take top honors at the inaugural OHSWCA Girls State Dual Meet Championship Sunday at Marysville High School.
Patricipation has never been a problem for the Pioneers, who have regularly been one of the most complete teams in the state.
This year, despite the pandemic, was no exception … and second-seeded Orange won the top team prize in the sport because of it.
After what amounted to a first-round bye due to a forfeit win over Miami East, the Pioneers knocked off third-seeded Harrison 48-36 in the semifinals before outlasting host and top-seeded Marysville 42-32 in the final.
Surraiya Mahmud (170) pinned the Monarchs’ Olana Chapman in 2:29 to put the Pioneers up for good. Marysville’s Desi Lee picked up six points with a pin in the what was scheduled to be the second-to-last match, but a Monarch forfeit at 235 smoothed out the scoring summary.
Orange started fast on the way to the title, taking an early 15-4 lead thanks in part to back-to-back wins by Lexi Simmons (110) and Josie Nickoloff (115). Simmons edged Marysville’s Emma Stewart, 4-3, while Nickoloff pinned Annabelle Price in 5:48.
The Monarchs made a run of their own, winning three of the next four matches, but the Pioneers’ Alicia Coleman (140) and Kascidy Garren (145) won back-to-back matches to give Orange a cushion it parlayed into the championship.
Lucy Scheibeck (125) also picked up a win for the Pioneers.
Orange had its hands full with Harrison, but benefitted from having a complete lineup. Nickoloff, Taylor Hill (135), Coleman and Laura Felderean (190) picked up wins while the rest of the team’s points came from forfeits.
Fourth-seeded Delaware Hayes was also in action, finishing fourth. The Pacers cruised past fifth-seeded Mason 75-6 in the first round before falling to Marysville by a 54-24 margin in the championship semifinals. Harrison then won the third-place match 48-36.
Cianelys Plaud (100), Kasey Wells (105), Hailey Hatfield (115), Meredith Milligan (120), Kelcey Dew (145), Megan Keller (155), Gracie Rasberry (170) and Ella Ries (190) all picked up pins against the Comets. Molly Wells (110) also earned a win, knocking off Mason’s Brynn Clark 4-3.
Aubrey Griner (135) and Dew picked up wins against the Monarchs while Hatfield and Ries won their matches in the finale against Harrison.