Olentangy Liberty’s Jaxson Rosselli and Dylan Russo, Olentangy Orange’s Keegan Knapp and Delaware Hayes’ Devin Halliday won their first-round matchups to highlight the opening day of the 85th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament inside the Jerome Schottenstein Center Friday at OSU.
Russo (215), who won a state title as a sophomore at 220, was in firm control of his opener against St. John’s Jesuit’s Gage Yackee before picking up a third-period pin to advance.
The win sets up a showdown with Trenton Edgewood’s Wyatt Walker in today’s quarterfinals. Walker pinned his first opponent in less than a minute to bump his record to 46-1.
Rosselli, who finished fourth in the state at 106 a year ago, gave himself a chance to improve upon that mark this time around at 113. The sophomore, who entered the tourney with a stellar 32-3 record, was dominant in his opener against Elyria’s Kaiyon McKinney, winning 10-2. Next up, he’ll take on Moeller’s Jared Johnston in today’s quarterfinal.
Knapp (150), looking to reach the podium for the second straight year himself, took a step toward doing just that by cruising past Elyria’s Izzak Pedraza 18-8 in his opener. He’ll look to move another step closer when he takes on Massillon Perry’s Sam Thompson in today’s quarterfinals.
Halliday (157) handled LaSalle’s Carson Thomas 7-4 in his first-round showdown — his 41st win of the season. He’ll look to continue his winning ways against St. Edward’s Jarrel Miller in today’s quarterfinal.
Delaware County standouts who dropped their openers included Olentangy’s Kurt Mokros (106), Big Walnut’s Vince Giordano (138) and Liberty’s Gabe Pence (165) and Brady Quillin (175).
Mokros was in position to win his first ever match on the state’s biggest stage, up 5-1 in the third period, but Perry’s Emeric McBurney turned the tables late, using a near-fall to rally for a 7-5 win.
Giordano had his hands full in his opener against Walsh Jesuit’s Dyvaire VanDyke, who finished third in the state a year ago at 132. VanDyke pinned Giordano in the first period to move on, sending the Golden Eagle junior into the consolation bracket.
Pence, meanwhile, fell to Nordonia’s Jeremy Olszko 17-1 in his opener while Quillin was pinned by Moeller’s Kurt Thompson in the third period of his opening match of the tournament.
Of the four, Mokros and Quillin won their consolation matches to keep their seasons alive. Mokros outlasted Springboro’s Joey Franz 12-10 to stay in contention for a spot on the podium while Quillin picked up a first-period pin against Medina’s Matt Hamula.